Violet's only companion died today - and it's freezing

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by yogamebird, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. yogamebird

    yogamebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of our two chickens died today. It's very cold with no sign of the cold letting up. I understand they keep warm by huddling together. Does it make sense to introduce a new hen? We've never done that. If we don't, will Violet be able to keep warm all by herself? We are trying to follow the instructions for keeping the coop warm as possible. With a singlton, does some kind of external heat make sense? Also, forgive my anthropomorphizing, but do they grieve? They were quite a pair and traveled as a twosome.
     
  2. threescompany

    threescompany Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry you lost your hen. [​IMG]
     
  3. puirasville

    puirasville Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh wow. So sorry for yours and Violet's loss. :( I am not an expert by any means and I don't have a tonne of experience as we haven't had our chickens for very long, but if it were my bird and she was on her own, I would put a heat lamp in for warmth, wait out the winter and introduce a new bird when its spring and everyone can get out and have more space to get to know one another. My understanding is that they are like cats in that they take time to warm up to one another, and if they are all "cooped up" for the winter I can imagine it adding some extra stress having to get to know one another in such close quarters.

    If I'm giving bad advice, someone please correct me! :)
     
  4. N F C

    N F C just blowing in the wind Premium Member Project Manager

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    I'm sorry for your loss (and Violet's). I think animals do feel a sense of loss. I've seen it myself with dogs, cats and horses so why not with other animals, like chickens.

    Chickens are flock creatures and do best with companionship. If you can't get other chickens, I've read stories of chickens doing well with rabbits or even goats. Not sure what your set up is but if you want more birds, get 3 if you can. That accounts for losing 1 (hopefully not) and with 4, it won't turn into 2 vs. 1. You'll have to go through a period of time where they can look but can't touch. Lots of info on BYC about integrating birds. Look on the Learning Center or do a search using the box under the logo on the left upper corner of your screen.

    Hope that helps. Again, sorry for your loss.
     
  5. LipsChicks

    LipsChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, I feel terrible for Violet and you, too. I personally would get a companion immediately! I have had no problem integrating chickens. Put the new 2 or 3 friends in a large wire cage in with Violet. Let them see and communicate for a couple of days. Let the new ones out of their cage at night just before their bed time. They integrate better at night. They will probably wake up as friends in the morning. I would get 2. I hope this helps.
     
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  6. yogamebird

    yogamebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for everyone's help here! It's going to be an extra challenge integrating chickens in single digit weather where there is no place for them to spread out. And after 5 phone calls I can find nobody who sells other-than baby chicks. I know this forum frown on heat lamps, but I am worried about her being alone and having nobody to snuggle with in the bitter cold. Heat lamp temporarily? Dog crate in the garage at night?
     
  7. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe bring her in the house with you for the winter. She will get lonely, or at least maybe a small friend like a bunny may help.
     
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  8. LipsChicks

    LipsChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really wouldn't leave her out there alone- that just seems cruel. Where do you live?
     
  9. LipsChicks

    LipsChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where do you live? I'd help in any way I can. If we live close enough, I'd give you one of my girls. What size chicken is Violet?
     
  10. yogamebird

    yogamebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh you are SO kind! I live in Connecticut. It's a bit too far. :-( Although this forum by and large discourages sources of heat, our local Agway advised a light bulb for these single digit nights. We're setting that up now with a tin cover.
     

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