Could Electrolytes be a bad idea?

RGB RIP

Chirping
Jun 11, 2021
49
97
71
Before our long heatwave started, I had been switching off between ACV and a lactobacillus supplement in the girls' waterer. Then I read that when it's hot, you should stop giving ACV and give them electrolytes instead. So I switched to the Rooster Booster probiotic and electrolyte supplement. Not long after, I saw that one of my hens was getting heat stressed even when the temperature was only in the low-mid 80s. Now because it's over 100 degrees every day, I've been keeping them inside in the air conditioning during the hottest parts of the day. But even in the cool house, I see her panting quite often.

Then today I read an article saying that unless your chickens are sick, you shouldn't give them electrolytes because they're mostly salt. This particular hen does drink a lot of water, so now I'm wondering if the electrolytes are raising her blood pressure, which is in turn making her less heat tolerant and causing her to pant more, which in turn is making her drink more water, so that it's a spiraling problem. The Rooster Booster instructions only call for using a very small amount, but I'm still wondering if I should stop it altogether and just give them plain water for a while.

Has anyone ever experiences this problem with electrolytes and chickens?
 

PoultryCQ

Songster
Jul 13, 2021
563
882
166
CA
Before our long heatwave started, I had been switching off between ACV and a lactobacillus supplement in the girls' waterer. Then I read that when it's hot, you should stop giving ACV and give them electrolytes instead. So I switched to the Rooster Booster probiotic and electrolyte supplement. Not long after, I saw that one of my hens was getting heat stressed even when the temperature was only in the low-mid 80s. Now because it's over 100 degrees every day, I've been keeping them inside in the air conditioning during the hottest parts of the day. But even in the cool house, I see her panting quite often.

Then today I read an article saying that unless your chickens are sick, you shouldn't give them electrolytes because they're mostly salt. This particular hen does drink a lot of water, so now I'm wondering if the electrolytes are raising her blood pressure, which is in turn making her less heat tolerant and causing her to pant more, which in turn is making her drink more water, so that it's a spiraling problem. The Rooster Booster instructions only call for using a very small amount, but I'm still wondering if I should stop it altogether and just give them plain water for a while.

Has anyone ever experiences this problem with electrolytes and chickens?
I never buy electrolytes. I like to make my own with honey and a little bit of garlic. Never had an issue, but I dont give electrolytes unless theres a reason to. I give it to chicks and sick hens (apart from hens with slow and sour crop).
 

PoultryCQ

Songster
Jul 13, 2021
563
882
166
CA
Usually plain water is best. Chickens don't sweat so they don't need to replenish lost electrolytes. They could od on salt butI think that would take a lot. If you add anything to the water, you should always provide plain water too
I agree, plain water on the side is always important.
 

RGB RIP

Chirping
Jun 11, 2021
49
97
71
Thanks. They seem to prefer the plain water anyway. I'm going to do away with water supplements altogether. And I might keep them from free ranging altogether for the next week or so, just in case she's having a reaction to something she's finding in the yard.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
6 Years
Jul 3, 2016
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Electrolytes are meant for short term use. Not sure how often you were using it. When we had our last heat wave (up to 110F) I made a homemade electrolyte mix for the chickens and dogs and ourselves, but they still had access to plain water as well. As soon as the worst of the heat wave was over I discontinued using it.
 

U_Stormcrow

Crossing the Road
Jun 7, 2020
8,194
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North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Focus on sweat, while understandable, is misguided. Look at where you are putting your feet. Chicken droppings look much different in hot conditions than cold - they consume more water, their droppings tend to be much looser.

THAT is where your missing electrolytes are going.

You'll probably want to wash that up.

:lau
 
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