Heat exhaustion. Hen down......Advise please Wed UPDATE

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DDRanch, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    It's been over 100 today, unusual for our area. I came home to my hens gasping and hotter than I have ever seen. I know they cool off by panting. One hen could not walk, quite limp and pink comb and face area.
    They are in the shade, misting water overhead......what else can I do?
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  2. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    Sounds like you are on the right track.

    We filled a small basin with water and put them in (it only had an inch or so, just to cover feet) then scooped water over them when it happened to us. I took the worst of them down into our cool cellar and did the same. After a short while it seemed to revive most, the worst ones, did take a little longer. Mostly just trying to get them out of the heat and to start cooling down. I had kids helping so, extra hands - and about 6 of ours were affected that day.
     
  3. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Quote:Cold water to drink, fan, a wading pool with a couple of inches of cold water in it, ice cubes in their waterer, cold or frozen melon chunks.
     
  4. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    all suggestions have been done.......I also read yogurt and hard boiled egg which I have just done.....they really liked it. Downed hen is still down although appears to be panting less. I have isolated her and keeping her cool. Anything else, please suggest. I appreciate this so much.

    Anne
     
  5. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2010
    Just like a person or dog - try to get her to take some electrolytes. I prefer to dilute gatorade rather than give it straight.. you can also use pedialyte if you have something like that. Be careful about cooling too fast or too much -they are tiny little creatures and can bounce from one extreme temp to the other.
     
  6. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Vitamin water, make her drink or inject a water vitamin mix under the skin of the neck/back, put in shaded area, I fill up ziplock bags with cool, not frozen, water and put one under each wing or cover their feet with it, if I have one really bad. I have also filled a dish pan with cool water and let one float in it while I watched, she seemed to enjoy it. It can take a few hours for them to recoop from heat stress.
     
  7. bburn

    bburn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    We are at 16 plus days in a row over a 100...the chickens have actually taken it better than us! I take them ice cubes I have frozen in cottage cheese containers a couple of times a day and put in their water jug....another in a dish on the ground and they peck at it. Cucumbers sliced lengthwise from the fridge. They have their coop where there is a cross breeze all the time and another shelter where they take their dust baths.

    They have made it....don't know how....but I think the ice a couple of times a day cools off their water enough to make them be able to stand it.

    Good luck with your chickens....
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  8. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    Update 9 PM

    Still close to 90 degrees here but I can report that I did EVERYTHING all of you advised. The baths, pools of water, yogurt, frozen fruit, slow cool, ziplock bags under wings, etc. The downed hen is now up and around, although a bit shaky. One one the Delawares is also shaky but looks a lot better. All have gone to bed, and I have been attempting to get some air flow thru the coop to cool it down and will install a fan tomorrow. Wish I could leave the big outside doors open in addition to the small doors and windows but can't of course due to predators.

    I am so grateful for your advice and your quick response to my post. Although I have had my hens for several years now, I have not experienced heat stroke. Quite frightening I must admit. But with your quick responses and your ideas and cool down methods I am convinced saved my downed buff as I took emergency action based on your comments. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart. We all do.

    Anne and the girls.
     
  9. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2010
    Glad to hear she is doing better!
    I don't know if it is the same for chickens, but I know people and dogs have recurrences of heat exhaustion particularly easily once they have experienced it. You may want to kind of "coddle" her a bit and keep an eye on her.

    I simply turn a big rubbermaid lid upside down and put water in it - they love to wade in it and some lay in it. I also spray down the run when it is over 100* (whether actual temp or heat index) - the hardpacked dirt tends to hold and radiate heat. My chickens don't care for anything cold (weirdos) but if yours do then cold stuff like watermelon, canteloupe will have fluids and cooling properties.

    You did a great job!
     
  10. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    Wednesday update:

    The girls are doing much better this morning. Still a bit shaky, but eating everything I put before them and happy to be out and about. They are hanging quite close to the coop/run today. I put a mist nozzle on the hose and positioned it so that it mists into the wind for a nice air conditionier. They do seem to like this. After all the treats and special foods for the past 24 hours, they will probably not want their pellets a anymore. They are splashing around in the brand new pool I bought them this morning and preening in the damp earth under the mist.

    This morning, I made a trip to my local feed store to purchase electrolytes and learned that many chicken people in our area lost partial or entire flocks yesterday to the heat. Our weather has gone from quite cool all summer to over 100 overnight with no time for anyone or anything to get used to it. Consequently, many, including myself were caught unawares that severe heat exhaustion problems could arise. I wil certainly not make this mistake again and consider myself very fortunate not to have lost anyone. I heard that one woman lost half her flock along with most of her bunnies. And she has had chickens and rabbits for years.

    I hope all our critters are cool and safe today.

    Anne
     

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