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The Dogmother

Chickens in the heat

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Just a reminder to provide plenty of:

Cold water - I have frozen some plastic water bottles (part filled) and put them in the drinkers to keep the water cool. Chickens cool down by excretory heat transfer.... cool water moving through their gut take heat from their internal organs (this will result in slightly splatterier poos, so don't worry unduly.

Shade - create lots of shady areas if you don't already have them. Mist the grass or ground with cold water as that will cool the air and also help them to lose heat through their feet.

Stress relief - they will get easily stressed in this heat, so keep them calm and pop a good quality poultry tonic containing B vits (such as Vit Boost) in their water to keep the stress levels down.

Don't forget that their normal operating temperature is around 105deg, and they can't sweat like us, so keep an eye on them in this hotter spell.

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105 degrees DM? We put ice blocks in the drinkers. It's 38C here and the first, an 8 year old TNN has come in. The first and the only sign of heat overload is a lot of squawking, after that......  Obviously they pant a bit first and that's the clue to watch carefully. We are spraying the runs with loads of water. They don't like direct spay so send it into the air and they think it is rain. 

We haven't deployed the fans yet- they are keeping the freezers, us and fridge cool.

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Bought an extra parasol for the chickens this weekend. Mostly to make sure their drinker is in de shade the whole day. Have a few small bottles frozen too and add them to the drinker.

otherwise I just leave them be. They get much more worked up if I fuss a lot about them and Ginger even decided to have a good sunbathing...

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15 minutes ago, Beantree said:

105 degrees DM?

40.5°C

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Chickens are like us with a very high temperature, given that they can't sweat, they have trouble shedding heat.

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I learnt from the heat last year to fill the glug with water and put it in the freezer overnight, that way they have lovely cold water all day as it melts.

Not sure how long it will last in 37 degrees though as forecast for Thursday. 

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A gazillion degrees today and I have a leaky drinker... had to refill it twice already...

I don’t want to leave my house! 😩

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Hot hot hot here, the car was reading 43 at 8pm last night. The chickens are under a big tree and I have sprayed the run with the hose several times but don't tell anyone as we are restricted water and to use grey or rainwater in the garden

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43.... 😱

I refuse to accept those temperatures! HATE it!

Came all back hot and sweaty with new drinker, ready to fill it up again with an iceblock and water, only to find three chickens casually lounging in the sun! 😡

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Lily is really struggling :-(

I picked her up earlier because she was stood in the sun with her beak wide open, and popped her by the fan but she almost fell over.

She has been in front of the fan for over an hour and is still wide beaked and sleepy now too.

Do you think I should bring her indoors where it is marginally cooler  with the fan ?

I haven't seen her eat or drink anything since she has been there either.

I feel really sorry for her.

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I would put her somewhere cooler and syringe some NutriDrops into her, followed by some cool water to cool her down. Standing her in cool water will help too - they can lose heat through their feet like dogs do, and/or bathe her abdomen with cool (not freezing) water. They also use their combs as a heat sink - increase of blood flow through it to disperse heat - so cooling that is good too.

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I went to get her anyway, she had a very poopy bottom again so I gave her a cool bath.

That has cooled her enough for her to close her beak.

She is in a broody cage indoors now with her own fan, asleep.

I hope she cools down  and perks up soon.

Can chickens get heat stroke ?

Thanks DM, she doesn't look too great at the moment :-(

I haven't dried her off this time, is that OK ?

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3 minutes ago, Cat tails said:

Hope Lily is doing better! :pray:

Thank you Cat tails.

I'm not sure she is going to make it.

I just weighed her so I could work out the nutri drops and she has lost 200g since 4th July.

I have managed to give her the drops and 2 syringes of water with the Avipro in, and that was an effort on her part.

I will wake her up again in about an hour and give her some more Avipro water.

Thank goodness it is the summer holidays now and I was able to check on her earlier in the day than I could normally.

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It sounds as if there are other factors going on with her, and the heat has just brought it to the fore.

You don't need to be massively scientific with the dosing for NutriDrops.

Fingers crossed that she pulls through.

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Yes, DM I think there is something else too.

But she is clean and comfortable and taking her to the vets will cause her unnecessary stress.

I think she might pass away in her sleep tonight.

Sorry to have hijacked the thread xx

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I lost one of my old ones last week, and the oldest aged 11 yesterday.  I’d been expecting it, but I think this heat helped them on their way.  End of an era with them gone.   The younger ones seem fine.  

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Extreme temps do seem to weed out the weaker ones. i think it puts too much stress on their hearts. You are doing all you can; can you put a chill block under her box/crate?

Cold shower for me tonight :)

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Posted (edited)

Same here! 👍🏻

iPoes decided that she wanted to lie in the sun...

Edited by Cat tails

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When it is hot I give them cold milk and ice-cream in a bowl on the lawn and they love it. Peter 

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They love anything with sugar!

Milk products might not be the way to go though. They can’t really digest it and it can cause some tummy upsets. Better keep it to green vegetables.

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Erm, not a good idea to feed them dairy - they might like it, but they can't digest it. Best stick to cold water

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I have checked it out and milk and associated milk products are ok in reasonable amounts. I had some soft shell eggs so it stopped when they were getting a little milk in there mash. Peter 

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S'up to you Peter - ask any poultry vet and they'll say not to give it to them. Any deviation from their natural diet - seeds, grains, leaves, berries and small creatures - isn't a good idea. There are quite a few things that their digestive system isn't geared up to deal with and this is one of them.  About 15 years ago, there was a bit of a trend towards giving live yoghurt for digestive issues - we all tried it, but it didn't do them any good in the long run.

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