I found our PeckAroo upside down with his feet straight up in the air yesterday under the shade of an outdoor pen in Florida. Heat Index was 104 F yesterday. I immediately saw he was still breathing - bizarre to find him absolutely upside down - so I turned on the water hose and began cooling him down after rightside upping him. Our hen did not make it. She was stiff and lay sleeping-like on the ground, right side up not far from him. I gave mouth-to-beak resuscitation but she was stone dead, but her body was very hot to touch. Since Peck was still alive I turned my attention on him & called for my daughter. She used another hose on the hen - but no go. Cluck was gone for good.
Turns out my 8th grade daughter did turn on their water hose & gave them clean water but did not clean out the 2 pans where dirt and grime had accumulated from the 2 ducks. The Ducks love water & scoop up dirt to make it a mud-hole. The ducks, having their own 4 foot diameter kids swimming pool, had invaded the chicken pen and decided to use the chicken water pans as their own. The water, although under shade, was hot to touch. No wonder. Even if it would have been clean, the shade temp was over 100 F. Chickens need COOL, clean water in this heat - not just clean water.
I sat down on the ground with Peck between my legs & gently hosed him off. He woke up but would not drink water until I cupped it in my hand & put it around his beak. It was touch & go for a while & we even prayed for him to live. I brought him to the porch of our house where he stayed the night in a laundry basket & I tended to him every 2 hours. He was breathing, continued to lay upright, but did not stand up.
This morning, I brought him into the house, and put him in his laundry basket in our bathtub in the air conditioning. He wasn't moving, which was unusual for him as if he would have been in his normal health, he would have been out of that bathtub with a flap of his wings.
Then I googled and found how you saved your hen using powder electrolytes for chickens. I thought he was a gone-er, but as soon as our local feed store opened at 12 noon today (Sundays) I was there getting him some electrolyte powder. I mixed the package into a gallon of water and gave him an entire cup through the course of the day. I put the rest into the baby chick pans & split it between the 2 ducks. The ducks immediately gulped it down even though we had given them 3 gallons of fresh cool water at the same time.
It was as hot today as yesterday so I saw online that some chicken owners had put water-fan misters in the chicken pens. I found our old one that I was going to throw away as the tilt knob had broken on it, but it still works and all the 4 misting vents work too. I put the 2 ducks back in with the exotic rooster Max still in good health & Wobbles, who, despite her walking disability, still manages to get around the henpen. I gave them all the rest of the electrolyte water & they all immediately began drinking it - surprising since it turned the water somewhat orange-brown. They sure love that misting fan!
We had to take showers so I put PeckAroos laundry basket back in the pen at the back porch, meant for sick animals. I put all the chickens & chicks & ducks in it so I could keep an eye on them. Peck decided he would stand up in the laundry basket, so I realized I needed to get him out to let him lurch around on his own. He seemed happy to get out but continued to drink the electrolyte water we had placed near him. He hungrily ate the scratch chicken feed put nearby too, so it looks like he'll make it. Max, our exotic roo wasn't so happy to see him - and walked over to Peck & immediately dumped Pecks electrolyte water bowl. I scolded him & he ran to the other side. I replaced the electrolyte water for Peck & he settled down near the misting fan. I am hoping he makes it! Thank you for your blog as it really helped me to figure out what to do to help Peck.