Can panting be normal?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by codybird, May 10, 2009.

  1. codybird

    codybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2009
    Near Myrtle Beach
    My first chickens, all these behaviors are new to me, please help.

    A couple of my 5.5 week old BSL's were panting in the late afternoon heat yesterday. They are outside in the shade and plenty of water and breeze, but it's hot.

    My questions are:

    1. I know that they are hot. Are they panting because they are in distress and are about to die?, or

    2. Do they pant because they are hot and are regulating their body heat?. When I get hot I sweat, when my dog gets hot he pants. I don't mind sweat, it's just not a state I would like to be in all the time. My dog pants, but I don't take him to the vet when he does.

    The reason I am asking is that it's going to get hotter as we get into the summer and I need to know what's normal.


    (I searched "panting" and found nothing specific.)
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  2. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Yes 'panting' is normal. They will open their beaks and breath much like a dog will.

    You can do a few things to help cool them off.

    - Make sure they have shade to get in/under.
    - Give them an area of loose dirt to scratch around in, the ground is usually cooler.
    - Use the 'misters' that attach to a garden hose, available from the local Walmart garden center.
    - Freeze gallons of water and set them outside, the birds will huddle around where the cooler air is.
    - Put a fan in their area to move the air around.
    - Always provide plenty of fresh water. Try freezing some 20oz bottles of water and putting in their gallon waterers. The frozen bottle will keep their water cooler longer.
  3. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    When you see heavy panting, I would recommend adding vitamins and electrolytes to the water as well. This will help reduce the stress from the heat and ensure they don't dehydrate. Fresh cool water helps them to cool down too, so ensuring it isn't consistenly hot water is important.
  4. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Panting is a daily thing here in Texas unfortunately. Can giving Vits & Electrolytes daily be a BAD thing?
  5. bluie

    bluie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2007
    I imagine if they can endure 8 degree temps in the winter they might overheat pretty easily in the summer. Make sure they have shade and water, good breezes and a cool patch of dirt to sit in and scratch in.
  6. codybird

    codybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2009
    Near Myrtle Beach
    Thanks for the replies.

    I wouldn't call it heavy panting, just panting.

    I turned the tractor east/west which seems to give them a more shade for late afternoon and put up some landscape cloth on the afternoon side which should help.They are in the shade most of the day.

    Chickens did come from tropical forebears 5k years ago.

    I gave them a five gallon bucket of garden weeds and they are as happy as a porcine mammal in solid body waste.
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  7. eponagirl

    eponagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2009
    Quiet Corner, CT

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