Winter Storm

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by steny03, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. steny03

    steny03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2013
    Nevada
    Today while I was at work a blizzard rolled in, and now we have several inches of snow on the ground. I had left the run open so my 6 girls could could free-range if they wanted to, as there was no snow on the ground and it was a balmy 48 degrees this morning when I left.

    When it started to snow, I wasn't too worried as in the past the girls would always go back to their coop if the weather became icky. I got home around 3:30-4:00 (after putting my SUV in the ditch) only to find my girls huddled in a snowbank about 20 feet from their run. By the looks of it they had been there for quite some time.

    Of course I freaked out and immediately started grabbing them and putting them in their coop. I turned on a heat lamp, put a bowl of water, feed, and scratch in their coop too as I'm sure they haven't eaten much. I think one of my girls might have a bit of frostbite on her comb, but everybody seems ok.

    Why wouldn't they go back to the coop? They could clearly see it from where they were at. What else should I do for my girls?
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have noticed that sometimes when they get cold they will set there and just freeze to death rather than move- especially when they are just young pullets. If yours are young that would explain it in my book. If they are older then I don't know.
     
  3. steny03

    steny03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2013
    Nevada
    They are less than a year old. I got them as started pullets mid summer, and I know at least 3-4 have started to lay.

    Just feel so bad assuming that they would go back to their coop....
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Well they should have gone to the coop- not your fault at all. But just a few days ago (when we had a cold snap...now we are in another cold snap) I had a 4 month old silkie sitting down as it was getting dark and it was pretty cold...I had to actually go to the pen and push her along...she was all alone and sitting right next to the fence like she was not going to move. I thought she might be dead but she started moving when I gave her a little push. She had gotten too chilled.

    I have lost younger chicks as well to them not going in the coop and I find them the next day in the run (like 2 months old). So heartbreaking.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  5. steny03

    steny03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2013
    Nevada
    Thank you for sharing your experiences. They will be confined to their run tomorrow if it stops blizzarding. Just did not expect that they wouldn't seek shelter.

    I will be checking in the morning, but tonight they have heat, food, and water, so I'm sure they will be ok.
     
  6. steny03

    steny03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2013
    Nevada
    My girls spent today locked up in their coop. Highest temp was 15 degrees. I got home from work about 2 pm, and let them out to enjoy the sun for a while in their run. Tomorrow I'll let them out in their run if they want, as it is supposed to be sunny, but still around 15 degrees. My girls seem ok, but half of the comb of one has turned grayish.
     
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    When they lose part of the comb from frostbite it may turn black after it turns colors, I have read (before that part falls off). I have seen pics:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/430433/frostbite-blisters
    see post #8
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013

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