Very old bantam in winter

CharlieCrawford

In the Brooder
May 27, 2020
5
2
11
Hi folks,
I have had a bantam for 3 years, her previous owner had her for 5 years and she got her from someone who didn’t reveal her age but she was fully grown. She’s very tiny. She’s been a trooper every winter, but we dropped temps quick in the last week and every morning she is shaking and has little interest in moving much. She isn’t exactly thick feathered anymore. I bring her inside and she sleeps in a blanket until she is warm and begins to perk up a bit.
Has she just turned the corner in age where getting through winter temps is just too hard on her? We’re in Montana and we’ve already dropped to highs in the teens for a week or so. I have her inside for now. She rules the roost so I’m not worried about reintroducing her to my small flock when the weather gets a little better. Should I keep her in my back porch when it’s crazy cold? Thoughts?
 
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Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Apr 3, 2011
56,638
47,470
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southern Ohio
I think that you have answered your own questions, that she is getting old and unable to tolerate the cold weather. I recently lost a 9 year old bantam, while my 8 year old is still doing well. Since you have been keeping her in out of the cold, it would be best to continue on. Make sure that she is eating and drinking well. Watch her droppings for anything unusual. Make sure that her crop is emptying overnight, and filling up gradually during the day. She might enjoy visits with her flock on warmer days, or a friend brought in with her, but be careful that she is not attacked. A dog crate would be good for that. Chickens can live to be quite old, but I have only seen mine live to about 9 so far.
 

CharlieCrawford

In the Brooder
May 27, 2020
5
2
11
What breed is she?

I worry about my elderly (ages 10 and 11) bantam cochins too.

Has she fully molted or is she still growing some back in?
She’s kind of a mutt. Maybe has some Seabright in her, but I have never been able to identify her. She hasn’t molted this year at all. I think she might just be an old lady now.
 

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CharlieCrawford

In the Brooder
May 27, 2020
5
2
11
I think that you have answered your own questions, that she is getting old and unable to tolerate the cold weather. I recently lost a 9 year old bantam, while my 8 year old is still doing well. Since you have been keeping her in out of the cold, it would be best to continue on. Make sure that she is eating and drinking well. Watch her droppings for anything unusual. Make sure that her crop is emptying overnight, and filling up gradually during the day. She might enjoy visits with her flock on warmer days, or a friend brought in with her, but be careful that she is not attacked. A dog crate would be good for that. Chickens can live to be quite old, but I have only seen mine live to about 9 so far.
Thank you for responding and I figured it might just be age, but as a first time chicken person I just wasn’t sure. I’ll settle her into the back porch, keep her warm, and make sure she has regular flock visits. Thanks for your time!
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
Premium Feather Member
Mar 9, 2014
21,644
89,893
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Northern Colorado
Thank you for responding and I figured it might just be age, but as a first time chicken person I just wasn’t sure. I’ll settle her into the back porch, keep her warm, and make sure she has regular flock visits. Thanks for your time!
She is a wee tiny thing! I think you have a good plan. She sure is cute!
 

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