Do chickens pant?


10 Years
Apr 29, 2011
Springfield, Georgia
Maybe this is a silly question but lately when I take the girls outside some of them have their beaks open. Yes it's hot here, upper 80's to mid 90's. I bring water out for them but they are usually to busy exploring. They are 5 weeks old if that makes a difference. Just curious if this is normal chicken behavior.
Yep, chickens definitely pant! You'll be seeing a lot of it if your temps are above 80. It's perfectly normal

Oh, and
As long as they know where the water is and have shade, will they b ok? We have been having 80's & 90's during the day and very high humidy ad about 65-70 at night, but humidity still high at night. We just put them in their coop and enclosed run today for the first time. They r feathered out and 7-8 weeks old now. I noticied they were panting today some. They have plenty of fresh and clean water. Is there a point where u have to worry about them getting sick from the heat? The coop and run is next to a huge pine tree that offers some shade at different points during the day.
To help keep chickens cool:

Put ice in their drinking water
Freeze water bottles and put them out for them to lean on (cover with a towel if you have chicks that aren't fully feathered)
Fill inexpensive kitty litter pans with water for them to wade in
ABOVE ALL make sure they have shade!!
You can also feed them cold watermelon on hot days (I have some chickens that love watermelon and some that won't touch the stuff)
Great advice Anianna, thanks.

My chickens won't go near the frozen water bottles. They avoid them like the plague. I left them out and all the water had melted.
Yes, they can get too hot and they can die from the heat (many a sad story here on BYC). Panting (in this instance) means they are experiencing heat stress.

Did I mention fans?
Cold water sources (if you need to be away for hours at a time, put frozen bottle of water in a water bowl for them - it won't melt as quickly, and make sure it's in the shade)
Extra sources of water just in case their usual source spills or in any other way is compromised/
Cold fruit periodically (watermelon as mentioned, cantelope, cut up grapes, berries....)
Electrolytes when there's lots of panting (lots of info here on BYC about this - let me know if you are not familiar)
No heavy food in the heat of the day

Great advice Anianna, thanks.

My chickens won't go near the frozen water bottles. They avoid them like the plague. I left them out and all the water had melted.

If you put them around perimeters or in strategic locations inside the coop, they will still serve to lower the surrounding temperature a little even if the chickens don't use them directly. We often put ice packs on top of our rabbit cages so cold air falls into the cage to cool rabbits that won't lean against the bottles, for example. You can hang cool water bottles in strategic locations to cool the air under them. If you use a slip knot around the neck of the bottle, you can simply loosen the slip and trade the bottle out with a frozen one after it thaws.

Keep in mind that thawing water bottles will drip as they condensate, so you might not want to hang these in sleeping areas.

Also, if you use a one gallon or larger hanging waterer, you can put an entire frozen water bottle inside the tank to keep the water cool for a long period of time. We keep lots of water bottles frozen in our freezer and rotate them once or twice a day depending on the temps.
i freeze 1 liter bottles full of water and kind of flatten them when they freeze. I then tuck them under some shavings in thier favorite corner. Then they aren't touching the wet surface directly. They just think it's a cool spot.

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