They survived the freeze and now they decide to die...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Camelot Farms, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    Like many of you, we were ensconsed in a deep freeze for nearly 2 weeks. Temps not out of the singles for days at a time. All of our birds survived to enjoy the beautiful 40's that began yesterday.

    Then this morning I went out and one of my favorite mottled cochins and a Splash OEGB were stone cold. I did the chores yesterday at 4pm and everyone was perky and healthy looking.

    I just came back in from chores today and I have a Booted Porcelain Duccle who is puffed up and stiff feeling. I touched her and she fell over. I tried to give her water but she wouldnt even open her beak. I seperated her to finish dieing in peace.

    No bloody poop in the pens, no diarrhea. Nothing. So whats going on?

    So frustrating!
  2. JewellFarm

    JewellFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Lebanon, Virginia
    Sorry about your birds Kim. I lost two bantam cochins during all the freezing weather and just marked it up to the cold. Unfortunately the two that died were my lavender ones. It doesn't make sense that they die now. The only thing I can think of, is maybe it just weakened them from the stress of the severe cold that we have had.
  3. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    Thanks Jewell. I wonder if I may have 'drowned' them... During the freeze, we would take water to them twice daily and allow them to drink for 5 minutes and then remove the waterers and bring them back to the house. We have 12 breeder pens and use the mason jar waterers. But the cold was freezing them within an hour anyways and the jars would break and shatter in the pens.

    Yesterday it finally got above freezing so I took out full waterers to everyone and let them drink to their hearts content. So, now I am wondering if not having plentiful water for a week and then getting water overload had something to do with it. I know with people and some animals, you shouldnt let them chug water after they have been without but honestly it never crossed my mind with the birds.

    I hope its that and not some disease or something. Not that I am glad that I killed my birds...oh, you know what I am trying to say... ugh!
  4. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    I'm sorry about your loss. With holding water might have been the cause of the deaths or they were just worn out from the cold. A chicken needs at least a cup of water per day even in the winter. In the summer they need more.

    Next time get plastic waterers or if you have electricity in the coop or you can run a heavy duty outdoor extension cord you can get a heated waterer.

    Again I'm sorry.[​IMG]
  5. clkingtx

    clkingtx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2009
    Sorry about your chickens. Could there be a chance some of them got to the shattered glass?

  6. jeslewmazer

    jeslewmazer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2009
    My opinion is that it was the cold. I had a brooder outside closed off all but the bottom but I put hay to cut out draft. You chicks started bleeding (Guessing from their bottoms could not find any open wounds) and dieing in only a few days. everything was clean and seemed to be warm...but I guess the freezing nights were just too much. I lost 6 chicks and had 15 left...brought them inside and lot one more by the next day....but now the remaining 14 are good as gold.
    I would not think it would be water. If mine ever drink too much they will just throw it back up and get more, its just because they have a hard time getting what they want when all it was doing was freezing even in midday.
    Might have something else wrong with them to. [​IMG]
  7. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    Thanks all.

    Im sure that it wasnt glass because we removed them immediately when we realized that they were cracking in the cold.

    I am leaning more and more toward the water and now I feel totally stupid. Not that there were any other options with the cold so brutal. Our area never gets this kind of extended cold weather. We have electricity in our barn but DH was afraid that if we connected 12 water heaters to what we are already running that we would end up with fried chickens. [​IMG]

    DH has already promised to install a heating system into the barn for next year so it wont happen again. Poor birdies. I'm afraid to go out there this morning and see if anyone else has died... [​IMG]
  8. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    NW Florida
    Sorry to hear about your losses. [​IMG] Have you seen the post on the "cookie tin" water heater? It's a cookie tin with a light bulb inside it. It gets warm or hot, depending on the wattage, and if you put it under your waterer it will keep the water inside from freezing. Search the forum for "cookie tin" heater. You can make one yourself for a few bucks. Also, you can use Infrared lights to warm the area, doesn't need much wattage vs. a "heater". It's not going to take the coop from -10 degrees to a balmy 45 degrees, but it might take the edge off.
  9. bethsplace

    bethsplace Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2009
    My rooster died after the cold too. he was kept in his own pen with house, he did get frost bite on his wattle just alittle I treated it one night then the next morning I noticed he hadnt eaten the day before and he wasnt crowing and just went down stairs and started drinking. I brought him inside after looking him over and realizing he was wet around his vent. he was drinking and it was going right through him. that was saturday he wouldnt eat all weekend only wanted to drink so I had to monitor his drinking so he wouldnt get to much. his comb seemed very dark reddish purple. then he died sometime monday morning. I am worried about my 3 hens was this something they could catch? Or could he have gotten too cold and stressed during the freezing weather?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by