Another Hen died from our horrendous heat!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by shellybean40, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. shellybean40

    shellybean40 Chillin' With My Peeps

    515
    2
    141
    Apr 15, 2010
    Boerne, TX
    I lost a Hen, Opal about a week or two ago. Up to the morning I found her, she had been healthy, laying, and eating, dust bathing, etc. Just found her below the roost dead. It has been 100+ for weeks with no end in sight for us here in South Texas. Awful!! This evening, all of my big girls were in the yard dust bathing and looking really good. There were panting, but they do that all afternoon here with those temps. We went to Whataburger for dinner, and when I came home, I checked the nest boxes, and Violet was half off the roost that is attached to the nest box and DEAD! She was fine an hour before that. i am so sad. I am down to 4 large laying hens and 3 banties. I have 12 that at 12 weeks old, but I am afraid I will lose all of them to this awful heat.
    We have a fan in the coop, it is on 24/7. They have access to fresh clean water and free range from about 2pm until dark. There are lots of trees on our property with plenty of shade. I give everyone a spray of cool water before I let them out to free range. The coop and run are in the shade.

    Anyone have any other ideas for keeping these girls cool? I don't think I can use a mister because we are in a record breaking drought and cannot run a sprinkler but 2 times a week at weird hours.
    Help!
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  2. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    10,884
    20
    291
    Jul 17, 2009
    Fill yogurt tubs with kitchen scraps and water. Stick them in the fridge and give them one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Frozen watermelon and melons are a good treat too.

    Shade is the biggest thing, but I have shallow pans of water everywhere that I change at least twice a day. Chickens cool off by standing in it, transferring their body heat through their feet.

    I also have a solar greenhouse fan ($55 on ebay) next to a big trough in the shade. In the afternnoon, you'll see 15+ chickens chillin at the pool.
     
  3. shellybean40

    shellybean40 Chillin' With My Peeps

    515
    2
    141
    Apr 15, 2010
    Boerne, TX
    I will try the tubs and water pans. Thanks. I am heartbroken
     
  4. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    5,411
    17
    251
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oklahoma
    My Coop
    Texas has always had that regulation of running water. That is the only thing I know to do is spray/mist them several times a day. You could freeze water jugs that might help. Mine are scared of them and will not go close to them.

    I didn't pour ice on the ground for my meaties, and they laid right on top of it to cool off.
     
  5. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    5,411
    17
    251
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oklahoma
    My Coop
    Quote:Need to check on one of those fans for sure. I tried the pans of water, and my babies jumped in it and drowned [​IMG]
     
  6. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    10,884
    20
    291
    Jul 17, 2009
    Quote:I had that happen too this year. Now I keep all the babies seperate, all the time. Babies get blocks of ice water and air-conditioned rooms...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    BTW-- this is my chicky-triage room on the day it hit 118 and 60% humidity last week.
     
  7. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    4,617
    20
    264
    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Fans, fans, fans. Hugely important. There are a bunch of folks in Texas that also have AC as I now do in NJ as we've been getting hotter and hotter temps and insane humidity.

    There are many threads here on BYC with all kinds of helpful ideas.

    JJ
     
  8. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    172
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    I take empty milk containers, fill them 7/8th full of water and freeze them overnight. Around 1pm each day I take the gallon of ice out and pop it in the water bowl (my water bowl is a rubber 2-gallon container). Within minutes the water in the bowl is cold, and since a gallon of ice takes a long time to melt, even in this heat, it stays cold all afternoon. I figure a glass of cold water helps to cool me down compared to a glass of room temperature water, so it must have the same affect on them. In addition, I took a couple of large foil oven roasting trays and keep an inch or two of water in those. I have one girl in particular who likes to stand in water to cool off her feet and this keeps her from standing in the water bowl. We're probably not suffering quite as much as you but I live in a the city that was recently named the hottest city in the midwest and we've already exceeded our average number of triple digit days for this year (and its only mid-July!) We had one day that was 111 and I don't even know what the heat index was that day! So far, the girls haven't shown any undue signs of distress. I don't have a run so they free-range all day and are therefore able to choose where to spend their time, having access to shade trees and so on. I don't have fans or misters - just the ice water. Hope this helps.
     
  9. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    I'm in El Paso - and the heat has been horrible!!! Every day I flood underneath our largest, shadiest bush and my 8 girls lounge there almost all day. They kind of burrow into the moist dirt and stay cool. Then during the hottest part of the day, I'll go out and flood a small area of my yard (about a 4X4 foot area) that is in the shade and they all run over to stand in it and drink. Oh, and I keep all of our dog bowls full of water for them as well. So far so good! Hang in there....[​IMG]
     
  10. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    5,493
    58
    268
    Mar 28, 2011
    MN
    I'm sooooo very sorry! [​IMG] It's going to be high 90's-low 100's all week with very humid temps here. Heat index will be at 110 during the hottest hours.

    I can't help, but bring mine in the basement. I have a set up for them in the basement for them. I only have 8, so it's not bad. I almost lost a few one day with the temps so high. They were laying on their bellies, neck stretched, labor breathing with wings away from their bodies. It was awful.

    I'm truly sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by