Does this sound like a heat stroke...or something else?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Dec 4, 2008
1) What type of bird , age and weight.
Buff Orpington, adult (at least 2yrs), i don't have a scale (she is...was... a big girl)

2) What is the behavior, exactly.
desceased now ( concern now is for the rest of the flock)

she had been fine. today was hot & all birds were panting & a few were keeping wings out to cool off. 2 hrs earlier i had given them fresh water & they had full access to that and they have plenty of shade from the tree & their "dugout"
Happy was in the "dugout" under the raised coop, laying on her side (almost on her back) with her head on the ground. i picked her up & her neck was floppy & she had her mouth parted. checked her for wounds...nothing
i grabbed a new frozen 2L for the coop. i tried to give her water & she wouldn't drink, so i used my fingers to drip water into her mouth. i tried to hold her upright & she would just flop over. i spread her wings out & tried to get air to circulate around her. when i went in to get a wet towel, my husband yelled to me that she passed (her wings extended & shook & then she was still) her comb, ears & waddle immediately turned purple

3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.

4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
the only thing i can think of was the heat. no change to feed, flock or routine

5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
commercial layer feed, access to garden, yummy bugs & snakes, access to compost pile & WATER

6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
well within normal runny range

7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
see #2

8 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
she is now in the freezer til i can decide what to do tomorrow. hubby thinks maybe we should cremate her instead of bury her...this is our first (non-meat) chicken death & we're unsure what to do

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on my sadness. This was my FAVORITE hen. She was soooooo docile & loved to sit in my lap & have her waddles stroked.
Oh, sweetie, I feel for you. I, too, have a hen that sits on my lap and loves to have her waddles stroked, too.

You could get a necropsy but that's somewhat costly. If I were you, I'd probably wait and see....keep up the water and you might, just to make yourself feel better, get a cheapy fan from Walmart and plug it nearby....maybe wet the soil a bit so they can lay on something cooler.

We're having very hot temps here in Texas and my girls pant, too...they drink lots but are getting through....
It does sound like a heat stroke to me, but then, I really don't know. I mean, chickens can have heart attacks right? It could have just been her time. I'm sorry.
i don't think it was "her time". she wasn't very old & has been fine up to her death, plus she seemed soooo stressed. i could cry just thinking about it. i feel like such a bad chicken mommy & i don't want to loose another.

also, i'm getting 2 new black copper marans today & i'm kinda freaking out now.

thanks for the condolences & i HOPE this was just heatstroke. i'm going to look at the coop area today & see what changes i should make.
i lost her sister yesterday too

so now I've lost both my laying hens to this very TX heat...100degree+ days SUCK!!!!!!

it's been a couple weeks since I lost Happy and we lost Puff yesterday.
we buried them both under the garden and put down a marker for each of them. i'm gonna miss my girls & their eggs. i had some store bought eggs this morning (from co-op) and they just aren't the same....AT ALL!!!!
i still have a while til my little girls start laying, so i guess i'll be relying on buying from anyone who has extras til then.

has anyone else put out misters or fans? i really don't want to pamper them, but i can't have them all dying on me.
i put out the frozen 2liters, which they seem to enjoy. we're giving them clean, cool water 3Xs/day. i run the soaker hose for them & they have a big & small dust bath, as well as the dugout...where they usually spend the heat of the day. the silkies & cochin are in the cooler part of the yard & they seem to be doing fine.

i'm thinking of moving my coop, but i really don't like the idea of them being so far from the house at night. maybe i could just have a second coop for them to spend the day in? i don't know...i just wanna be a good chicken mommy.
I am sorry you lost your girls. I can tell you what I have done/am doing and it seems to be working great, thruogh last summer and so far this one.

I have a box fan in one window and the other window is open, I also have a box fan that is in one corner facing the corner so the air is moving around at their level but not blowing directly on them. I also have the frozen water bottles out there for them. The run is covered with bird netting and a 8' x 12' area is covered with 70% shade cloth, giving them a cool shady spot in the run plus under the coop is shaded.

I also put a bowl of ice in their 5 gallon waterer every morning when I fill it. That seems to keep it moderately cool during the day.

I have 30 of them and it has only been a high so far of 96 degrees but the 100 degree days are coming. If need be, I do have a small window air conditioner that I can mount in there and keep them inside if they start having heat issues. And I will give them the AC if it is needed, I love my girls and could care less how spoiled they are.
I saw on here recently where someone sort of laid an ice chest on its side, no top of course, and put one of those reusable blue ice things in there, and changed it out every couple hours or so. If you stick them in a ziplock before refreezing it saves a lot of cleaning. The chickens would go in there; it was like air conditioning for a little while for them. Do they have shade where they are, and a good bit of moving air? I run fans and hose the coop down once or twice in the heat of the day. Yes, lots of people use misters and fans. Any chance you can mix them in with the silkies and cochins to put them in a cooler area?

Good luck.

So sorry.
I am so, so sorry about your girls. I love mine so much for so many reasons. I don't have running water or electric at my coop and I do worry about the heat. In addition to the inside waterer and the outside waterer I have a small kiddie pool that I fill every hot day with about 4 inches of water. I have it in their run under a tree. Maybe this would help. Again I am so sorry.
i added a shade cover to 1/2 their yard and a wading "pool" after i lost Happy. there is a huge bald cypress tree that covers one corner of their yard. the yard consists of brick wall side (next to my window, along the shaded side of the house),wooden privacy fence on 2 sides & a chain link side. the roof is made of chicken wire & now 1/2 is covered w/shadescreen. a nice breeze runs thru the side yard most of the time & i think they prob get enough air flow w/out adding a fan.

prior to our first death, i had already been providing fresh water at least 2xs a day, running the soaker hose daily & they had the dugout under the coop for their dustbaths.

i still have 2 wks before the cochin & silkies are out of quarantine, they are in a temp pen under my potting table. i will actually have to build a new yard for them if i move them. i don't plan on mixing them with the others until the babies get a little bigger...for safety concern

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