Chicken overheating?


Jun 7, 2016
Kingsley MI
It is around 95 Degrees F here and that is not really normal...definitely a hotter than usual day. (usually 75 to 85 summer in northern lower michigan.) My chicken Princess Laya who is around 7 months old and has only been laying about 2 weeks is acting strange. She is a late morning to early afternoon layer and was due about 1 pm today if she follows the schedule she has been. (about an hour later every day for 5 days then skips a day and starts about10 or 11 the next day. She started her normal laying behavior about 3 hours ago. She digs all 3 nest boxes out to the floor and lays in the same one every day anyway. Silly chicken! Today she just isn't laying but is still in the coop. It's well ventilated but definitely hotter than her normal hot day spot under it. There is water in there and she is laying either in a shallow nest they have next to the waterer or in her usual nest box. But she is panting like crazy and making a weird noise in her throat the noise a person would make if they had a frog in their throat. Is she overheating? Should I intervene or let her lay her egg in peace? She is a New Hampshire red if that helps.

I Love Layers

5 Years
Apr 25, 2015
Sometimes my winter hardy breeds get overheated when it gets above 95. What I do is I dunk them up to their heads in cold water, they are usually fine after that


Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
Holts Summit, Missouri
She is getting hot for certain and I will estimate overheating. First response is to move to cooler locations which coop may restrict. Then she will try to dump heat by a range methods not limited to panting you are observing. Then she will try to reduce heat production limiting activity, physical and physiologocal (latter can involve producing eggs). Additionally she can reduce feed intake as process feed even for maintenance can produce excess heat when it get really hot. My birds eat only during early morning and late evening when it gets really hot. This can go to the extreme of not only shutting off egg production, it can also cause a reduction in weight.

When I think ventilation, I also invoke consideration of airflow as latter can be very important with some of your hen's heat dumping mechanisms.

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