*UPDATE* Neighbor's chickens freezing

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by honeydoll, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. honeydoll

    honeydoll Songster

    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    Well, I'm not sure if any of the others that replied to my earlier post will read this, but if so I need some advice. Ok, my neighbor's chicken has been living in a tree in our yard since summer, actually all 8 were, but the others finally went to their dog house "coop" when the cold got brutal. Except this one, we nicknamed Meanie Britches. He is incredibly mean. I process my own birds but I do my best to insure a healthy life and no to minimal suffering in the end. This roo will not go to his own coop because the other two roos chase him off, so he stays in our yard, freezing rain and all. Today I seen him laying in my yard in the snow not moving. We put up a temporary shelter for him, he used it but then disappeared for about 3-5 days, until I found him today, near death. He was so weak he didn't peck or hardly move. He is emmaciated, I mean severly. I felt for his keel bone to check his weight and thought I felt it and realized it was his ribs! He is so emmaciated, beyond what I thought a roo could live. We put him in our brooder as it is empty with heat lamp, hay, water, food. He perked up a little and ate but has not drank or moved hardly at all. He is not mean at all as he is so weak, his legs felt like frozen icecicles. I put vaseline on legs and comb, no waddles left, man he's suffering. I guess last night did him in, it got down to 2*F with a -7wind chill. I don't know what to do for him, part of me thinks I should just cull him, but the way I see it it's a waste to kill a bird that is just skin and bones, although it does end his suffering. He is one tough bird. Can I help him or is it a lost cause? My neighbors said we could have him, we called them tonite and told them he was starving, freezing and pretty much dying. I am so busy with my kids, I really can't take constant care of him. I know it sounds totally stupid but I can't seem to kill a bird that has survived like this. Ugh why am I such a softie. I can process mine but can't kill this darn bird. Mine have a good life and their death is useful, but it's like this bird suffered and died for nothing. [​IMG] I know, I can hear people rolling their eyes and saying "just kill it", I feel stupid admitting this but there is just something about this crazzy roo that got my sympathy going. So I need advice on how to save him. The only thing mine are suffering from are just tips of combs frostbit, nothing real serious so I don't know what to do. Any practical, not cost me an arm and a leg advice would be greatly appreciated. My neighbor's said they didn't know where he got to and were worried sick, I think they just didn't want him he was only 20ft. from his coop and from the man's work truck he drives everyday. [​IMG] thanks -- Carolyn
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I do not think I could cull him either.

    Poor bird - using up all his reserves to live - that is some will.

    Maybe offering him some moist chicken feed might temp him, or a scrambled egg. It is hard to know what he does consider food. Might just be wild birdseed to start.

    If you have frozen veggies - run a small amount under some hot water to thaw and offer to him - sometimes the colors attract their attention.

    Poor boy.
  3. honeydoll

    honeydoll Songster

    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    Thanks. You know my neighbor's are great in so many other ways, but this has ticked me off a bit. He won't go to the coop, ok, I can buy that but not knowing where he was and him starving to death, come on???
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Agree with HorseFeatherz- Supportive care if you can.Good luck

  5. Of course now I have "I'm a survivor" stuck in my head.

    I agree with you. I don't know that I could kill (even for kindness' sake) after that much gumption.

    If he can make it this far, he could be a great addition to your flock... think of the hardiness.

    It's a wolly mammoth roo.
  6. Preservation Acres

    Preservation Acres Songster

    Dec 31, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    He'll come back. You should keep him. Give him water with a medicine syringe if he won't take it any other way. You'll see daily improvment, and he'll be back before you know it.
  7. paulpig

    paulpig Songster

    Apr 4, 2009
    come on........just do the right thing.....SAVE THE BIRD..........your neighbors feel bad enough, even if you don't see or know it. You say they are great neighbors.....now it is your turn to be the great neighbor and all around SUPER STAR for attempting to rescue a bird.............applause from me...!!!!
  8. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    You are to be commended for your caring attitude. I'd try to save him as well. If you have any Poultry Drench try placing a few drops, full strength, in his lower bill. Do this several times to get him to ingest as much as possible. If you don't have that, try molasses and water. Electrolytes added to his water could also help.
  9. Hello Carolyn
    It is people like you who make us chicken lovers proud. The poor roo might just be so exhausted from trying to stay warm and alive that it might take a couple of days to come around. He will need some high protein food. You can try to feed him some cat food, wet or dry. Wet would be better as it would also get some fluid into him. Try to add a bit of sugar to his water as this sometimes prompts them to drink as it is sweet. Yogurt and veggies are also good. Simple high protein foods from your cupboard or fridge. If you can keep him sheltered and warm he should pull out of it.
    Keep us posted.
  10. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Songster

    May 15, 2009
    I agree with Horsefeatherz and Imp.......dehydration is a biggie right now since you said he would not drink but did eat a little. Can you try to dribble a little water or Gatorade on his beak? Try scrambled egg. Make sure he has chicken or chick grit so he can properly grind up anything the poor thing eats. I had a chicken not doing too well with the weather and a friend suggested sunflower seeds that were shelled. The feed store had them in the bird food section and though they were expensive I did buy them for her. I think she was very weak and also not eating so the sunflower seed with the shell might have been too much for her.

    The fat and protein in the seed helped a lot. You know all the good things to feed him but just like Horsefeatherz said he might not know what to consider food. I would try a little of everything. Some frozen thawed corn (lots of moisture) a little chopped tomato, a little scratch or even left over pasta. We all want him to eat but don't want to overwhelm his system.

    I'm really glad you took him in. Give him a few days to recover. He's come this far the poor thing.

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