Dyeing because too hot?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jak2002003, May 9, 2016.

  1. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 24, 2009
    Its been very hot here for a few weeks.. this week its been 107.6 degrees in the shade for 4 days already.

    My chickens are suffering.. with 7 having died so far.

    I have lost mostly half grown chicks and young adults.

    They are healthy one day.. then the next they are really lethargic and slow and then they die the same day.

    I have been spraying water on the ground the make it damp.. and also have a sprinkler I turn on a few time a day to wet the birds.

    They are free range 24 / 7 roosting in the trees at night... and they stay in the shade mostly.. but they are panting a lot with wings held out from the body and a lot have got pale combs.

    Do you think its the heat killing them or a disease of some kind?

    Any tips what I can do?
  2. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 24, 2009
    Forgot to mention.. I examine each dead bird...

    They all are a good weight, no swellings or bad smell, and clean feathers and vent area.
  3. OrpingtonFairy

    OrpingtonFairy Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 24, 2015
    Hamden, CT
    That's very hot for any mammal. Do you have a cool basement? Or perhaps freeze water in a container and give it to them to sit on and perhaps peck at?
  4. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    In addition to the above, there are some other things you can try. I agree with your assessment that the chicken deaths are probably due to the heat.

    Also I know that when it is that hot -- you cannot keep up with the heat using frozen water bottles even if you have access to a freezer with enough space.

    I think you are on the right track with water -- some other things are giving the chickens a wading pool or some containers with a little water in them that they can walk in or stand in --- sometimes in the heat chickens will dig down to a place where the ground is still damp and lay in the depression -- you may be able to help that a bit by digging a bit in their area -- and putting water in it. They may look a little shabby...

    Here are some threads:


    Years ago I found this chart:

    HEAT and Chickens:
    The following table is posted on the web at the Poultry Site -- here is the link: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/138/hot-weather-management-of-poultry
    there is a good article and it is sobering to realize the effect of heat on our feathered friends-->

    Table 1. Heat Stress and ambient temperatures &and Abient Temperature

    55° to 75°F

    Thermal neutral zone. The temperature
    range in which the bird does not need to alter its basic metabolic rate or behavior to maintan its body temperature

    65° to 75°F

    Ideal Temperature range
    75° to 85°
    A slight reduction in feed consumption can be expected, but if nutrient intake is adequate, production efficiency is good. Egg size may be reduced and shell quality may suffer as temperatures reach the top of this range.
    85° to 90°F
    Feed consumption falls further. Weight gains are lower. Egg size and shell quality deteriorate. Egg production usually suffers. Cooling procedures should be started before this temperature range is reached
    90° to 95°F
    Feed consumption continues to drop. There is some danger of heat prostration among layers, especially the heavier birds and those in full production. At these temperatures, cooling procedures must be carried out.
    95° to 100°F
    Heat prostration is probable. Emergency measures may be needed. Egg production and feed consumption are severely reduced. Water consumption is very high.
    Over 100°F

    Emergency measures are needed to cool birds.
    Survival is the concern at these temperatures.

    The above from article By Kenneth E. Anderson, Extension Poultry Specialist and Thomas A. Carter, Specialist-in-Charge, Poultry Science Extension, North Carolina State University web link is above

    Information on charts is very valuable. I also think that animals are tremendously adaptable and if the chickens are used to higher heat conditions, they may not drop dead. They do have some mechanisms for cooling themselves, such as panting. In our heat wave which has lasted over 51 days and is predicted to continue for at least the next 2, the thermometer by the coop is 100-degrees. (yes it is shaded). The chickens cope--but there was one very close call this summer and one other example where the chicken was suffering.....and luckily those times I was there.... what may have happened when I wasn't around at other times, I don't know.

    Once I had a chicken collapse from heat prostration -- and I put her in a pan of water --not cold water because the shock would be too much -- and she did survive.

    Heat is brutal to chickens. I hope that you make it through this -- Water, shade, wet sand, Ice water if you can get it -- frozen water bottles if you can get them (I could never get them frozen fast enough) --- and a fan -- as they use in commercail poultry houses -- if you can get one that will provide breeze, moving air to them....Good luck -- hope that you don't have any more die -- and you will get a break in your weather....
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  5. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Just googled the temps in Bangkok and it says Wednesday will be 100 -- but the 'feels like' is 116-degrees. That much heat is hardly survable IMO -- if you could get some of them into cages and put the cages inside someplace -- it may help save some of them....but then with every heat wave the same will happen.

    Here are some of my chickens that were put in an airconditioned building one year in the worst heat -- when one thermometer was reading 120


    another thing -- if the heat will be ongoing for a long time -- do you have a friend or relative who is in a cooler location that could keep them for awhile? --
  6. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 24, 2009
    Lost another one yesterday.. I saw her looking lethargic and put her in a tray of water... she perked up in the evening a bit.. but died in the night. Her body felt really hot to the touch.

    This morning I have another pullet (my only white cochin bantam) looking bad. Got him inside the house in air con room.

    I have about 40 chickens.. so I can't bring them all in the house sadly.

    Looked at the weather for today.. will be a high of 103 degrees. I just hoping the rains will start soon.. they are predicted for next week... but they often say that and nothing comes.
  7. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Hope that you get the rains soon -- and relief from the heat. [​IMG]... Maybe your bantam can recover fully and at least that one will be safe from the heat wave. When I get hot outside working - it makes me really sympathetic for the chickens -- because feathers are HOT. Good luck with it all---sending you good thoughts from here to there......
  8. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 24, 2009
    She died.

    I have lost another 3 birds today. This is so sad...
  9. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member


    Could it be anything else? -- is there a way for you to get a necropsey on a bird? Hope that one will be the last one.
  10. rides2far

    rides2far Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2014
    Bakersfield California
    We live in the Central Valley in California where it gets 100+ often. I installed misters in my run. I keep a box fan on the ground at the run fence. I have 2 fans in the window in the chicken house for the hens who are laying. I give them ice in their water. I've tried frozen bottles in the nesting boxes, but they don't like them. My nesting boxes are inside so they don't get so hot. Good luck with your chickens.

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