chickens dropping dead in Central TX

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by YolandaT, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. YolandaT

    YolandaT Out Of The Brooder

    May 10, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I am down half my flock! I only started with 4, but still. They are just dead in the coop, both times.

    I live in Austin, over 100 degrees every day for a couple months now and not a drop of rain since April. Is the heat killing my girls or could it be something else??

    Since the first one died last week we've been spraying their run with water midday and are sure to let them roam the yard every other day or so. But their run and coop are fully ventilated, though there hasn't been much wind.

    How do I know if its the heat or disease? What do I do?! My goldie wyandotte was laying weird and panting right next to the dead one today, I htink if I hadn't hosed her off she'd be dead by now.

  2. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    The heat is for sure bad. I am in the Ft Worth area so I feel ya. Do you have any way to get fans running on them? I have one that blows 24x7 with an extention cord. We also have misters installed in the run. They love to lay in the damp sand. If that is not an option, you need to make sure the run is sprayed down several times a day. You can also take empty milk jugs etc and freeze water in them. Mine lay next to them. I also put on in front of a fan for the cool air. We also went to petsmart and got a doggie pool and keep that full of water with a frozen jug in it to keep the water cool. My run is under trees but also has shade cloth covering it.

    Also give them frozen fruits and veg, my girls like frozen watermelon.

    We went to far as to put a window unit in the coop so they can go inside if they get to hot. I put some pictures below, hope this helps you.



  3. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    I lost my 2 year old BR hen a couple weeks ago during some extremely humid weather.
    I have been wondering if it was the heat or some other unseen problem.
    She had not shown any signs of stress and the other hens are fine.
  4. babyrnlc

    babyrnlc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Tulsa, Ok
    We lost two chickens and a bunny to the heat.

    I was at a birth and my husband gave them water, but did not hose them down. I have been hosing down the coop at least twice a day. I did not think it made that much of a difference. Well we lost our 6 month old Leghorn and our 1 yr old BR. Both were otherwise healthy. Well since I have been watering down the coop every 2 hours in the heat of the day (We had several days over 110) and we have not lost any more.

    Thankfully we have cooled down and the chickens are quite happy again.
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I'm sorry for your losses and it sounds like the heat did them in. We've had temps in the upper 90's and low 100's, add in the humidity and we're up around 110-115. I went and bought several box fans and have them blowing in the pens. I have smaller standup fans inside both chicken houses blowing air out the rear screened vents and fresh air is sucked in through the screened side vents. There isnt any direct airflow on my chickens at night when they are roosting. I've been changing their water out 4 times a day, to keep it cool and fresh. I dont give them treats during hot temps neither...anything they are not used to eating, such as chilled watermelon etc....causes them to have more watery diarrhea than what they already have. They get just plain layer feed and cool water and that's it. I've had to bring 2 hens into the A/C in the house so far during our record heat and kept them in a hospital cage in the kitchen for a couple of days til they fully recovered. That's when they got spoiled with scrambled egg mixed with buttermilk and poultry nutri drench. So far so good and havnt had anymore sick bay commandos, but I'm keeping a close eye on them for signs of heat exhaustion.
  6. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    If you have any way to improve their shade situation during the day, that will help immensely. I feel you on the heat situation. My chickens are toughing it out impressively, but i'm lucky to have a LOT of natural shade for them to stay cool (ish).
  7. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    Dawg...if I were a chicken..I would want to be one of yours! You take really good care of them!!
  8. Chinchilla2

    Chinchilla2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2011
    Red Rock
    I would say it's the heat. I'm close to you (out near Bastrop/Lockhart area) and even the wild birds are looking droopy. While I haven't gone so far as to put an A/C out there, I did splurge and get a misting system for my outside feathered children. Having my pen situated under a tree helps since they have shade pretty much all day long. Between the shade and the mister, I can feel a definite drop in temp when I walk near them. Not sure if this is actually helping them beat the heat but I know it certainly feels good to me.
  9. rjlanger2

    rjlanger2 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 22, 2011
    Central Texas
    I'm just north of Austin. I would definitely say it's the heat. Lost 2 girls last summer to the heat. All you can do is try to keep them cool. I have a fan in the window of the coop. Change the water frequently, mist if you can, do what you can until the heat breaks. I don't think I'll be putting AC in the coop for them!

    How did everyone keep their girls warm last winter? I locked mine in their coop when it got down to 6 degrees and had 3 heat lamps on to keep the temp above freezing. The coop is not insulated and even with the heat lamps on it was still cold, but no wind!

    5 RIRs, 3 White Leghorns, 1 very mean Lavender Guinea
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011

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