Heat and danger to chickens (one hen lost)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Nashville Hen Mom, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. Nashville Hen Mom

    Nashville Hen Mom In the Brooder

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    We have been experiencing a heat wave in Nashville since midweek. Today, our hensitter discovered one of our three four-year-old birds dead in the yard. They have two waterers (a plastic fount and a bucket nipple-waterer). I have also been spraying down the area under the waterer every morning. I fear that the other two may also succumb. The dead bird was a Silver Laced Wyandotte, while the survivors are a Black Australorp and a Rhode Island Red.

    Also, we left today and won't return till next Thursday (six days). I don't like the idea of having her disposed of before I can take a look at her to not only say goodbye, but to inspect for hints of any disease or other cause of death. Any ideas about how to keep her remains from becoming smelly and ugly before we return?

    Any advice to reduce further harm to our flock? All help would be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    Well you could wrap her in a paper bag and freeze her, not what I would want in my freezer, but it would work.

    Many people on here have very old birds, but really 4 years is definitely an older bird, the heat may have had something to do with it, but maybe not. If you have had them for 4 years, I am assuming you have had hot weather before. It may just have been her time.

    Do they have shade? Shade can help, along with what you have already mentioned.

    Mrs K
     
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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Welcome to BYC...sorry you're having troubles.

    Ditto Mrs. K....except:
    Preserving for necropsy.... you want to refrigerate, not freeze.
    Double plastic bags sealed tightly.

    Additionally, I use an occasional dose of Sav-A-Chik vitamins/electrolytes.
    It really seems to help, once a week during extended heat waves.
     
  4. Nashville Hen Mom

    Nashville Hen Mom In the Brooder

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    Thanks for making me feel a little better. I really though our girl was quite healthy: still laying lots of beautiful eggs, interested in treats, and feisty as always (though always asking to be carried round). I will miss her. The shade is a bit of an issue this year as we took down some of their bushes to put in a fence that expanded their yard and protects them from predators. One strange but plausibile thought I had later was that the giant Walnut tree that provides their shade is dropping nuts right now. Maybe she got hit in the head :-(
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Black Walnut?
    Think I read recently that those may be toxic...might want to look into that.
     
  6. Abriana

    Abriana Spicy Sugar Cookie

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    Here are some heat-busting ideas for chickens:
    a shallow tub for them to wade in (some will, some won't)
    freeze water in milk jugs and put in out for them to lean on or lay next to
    put ice cube in their water to cool it and toss some into the pen for them
    make sure they have lots of shade

    How to make an air conditioner:
    cut three holes in a bucket, and put short PVC pipes in the holes. Place a gallon jug of water frozen overnight inside. Take the base off of a fan and place it face down over the top of the bucket. Set it in your chicken pen under shade and near water. I plan to make one, but i haven't yet.
    Hope this helps! I am so sorry to hear about your poor hen
     
  7. Barb Osborne

    Barb Osborne In the Brooder

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    Sorry to hear of your loss. When we have our heat waves I put extra water containers out...assuring water is clean and cool. I have heard good things and no so good about the water nipples. I also provide watermelon to promote hydration. If I have broody hens I assure they also get water while on their eggs. We have also gradually spray/ mist their abdomen to cool their body temperature. Some of my girls are over 4years of age as well. I have heard that other people will put a fan in the coop and have a block of ice under the fan to blow cooler air. Good luck
     
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  8. Nashville Hen Mom

    Nashville Hen Mom In the Brooder

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    Matilda will be staying in the spare fridge until our return. As I told our pet sitter, there are certainly more disgusting things in there than a dead pet. I will be purchasing some Sav-A-Chick at first opportunity. Thanks for the advice!
     

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