Dehydration: I have a few chickens and I leave some smaller ones in a big box inside. My roommate put them out side after I left with no food and water.

When I returned home from school one was already dead, and another is very sick. Its not wanting to drink or walk and its favoring one leg. What do i need to do?

You haven't said how old these chicks are, but it's probably not possible to save this very sick one.

When young chicks can't get what they need (food, water & heat), they begin the dying process within a few hours.

The one you lost was probably the weakest in the group and had no reserves to help it through this stressful time. The one that is very sick is probably the next weakest.

To go for hours without their needs met can cause permanent damage, including brain damage, digestive failure, immune system shut down, and major organ failure.

Young chicks grow very fast and under normal circumstances, sometimes doubling size in a few days. Internal organs and systems are maturing and growing as well.

In nature, when food and water is inadequate for survival, organisms shut down, and the young are the most vulnerable. When our artificial means of raising chicks fails in food, water or heat, chicks get sick.

If the situation lasts long enough, they just can't survive. I hope your roommate can understand what has happened and why.

I would recommend keeping Chick Save on hand when raising chicks. This can help strong chicks stay strong and weaker chicks to survive.

Due to the very weak state of this one chick, I would suggest not trying to save it, as its chances of becoming a strong healthy chicken are minimal.

Heat, food and water are the basics and the only cure for this chick, if it can survive. Using an eye dropper to offer small amounts of liquid often may help, if the chick can swallow on its own. If it can't swallow, giving fluids will just fill its lungs.

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Keeping Water For Chickens From Freezing?

by John
(Colorado )

Keeping Water For Chickens From Freezing?: I was hoping you might have some ideas on keeping water for my chickens from freezing.

I live in the mountains of Colorado, so at night it can reach -20 and during the day the single digits.

I have looked into tank heaters but they require so much electricity. I would rather not go that route. Are there any other options out there?

I'm going to be honest and say that we don't have that problem so much here in Georgia. It is rarely below freezing for a 24 hour period here so we do not have to deal with your problem.

  • You could use a bowl for small animals instead of a tank heater which would use less electricity. They have a 5 quart dish at that has a six foot protected cord for $24. This or something similar could be a viable option, depending on how big your flock is.

  • For less extreme days there are other possible options. I've been told that if you put the watererer in one end of a styrofoam cooler and cut a hole in the other end for the chickens to get into that it will keep the water from freezing longer.

  • I've also read of a tire method. You get an old tire and fill it with river rocks. Put the watering bowl in the middle and make sure that it is in full sun during the day. The black tire and rocks should soak up enough heat during the day to keep the water from freezing longer.

  • I don't know if this would work, because I have never heard of it or tried it, but another way to keep water from freezing is to keep it in motion (a river for example). Maybe you could use a small circulating pump (fish aquarium pump) to keep the water moving. I just don't know how well the pump will withstand extreme temperatures.

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