Heat stress or something else?

Emma Miriam

Jun 23, 2015
New England
Hi everyone. I live in MA and currently it's 90 degrees and 60% humidity (was even higher earlier). My Light Brahma, Luna, is exhibiting what seems to me to be heat stress symptoms today. She laid an egg this morning but when I went out to the run right after lunch, she was standing in one spot, in the sun, panting.

I moved her into the shade and put a waterer with NutriDrench right in front of her, and she drank quite a bit. I also misted her a bit with the hose and used a handheld fan I found inside. Still, she's not looking too good. She'll drink if the waterer is right in front of her, but otherwise she just sits and doesn't move. She was picking at some treats about an hour ago (Garden Delight poultry treat), and I tried giving her a scrambled egg but she wouldn't eat it. Right now she's just sitting in a corner and if I approach her, she moves to a different corner.

Her droppings are loose, as is to be expected in this weather, but they're also a yellow color that I've never seen before. Could that be from the NutriDrench? Should I be worried about that?

Anyway, all tips would be appreciated. I assume this is heat stress but I also don't want to miss anything if you think the yellow droppings and lethargy could be a sign of something else. I decided to just leave her alone for a bit since she did drink quite a bit before. I'll go out again in about an hour to see if I can get her to drink more and maybe pick at some food. Anything else you recommend? Hopefully it will cool down soon...

Thank you!
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So, she'll drink if the water is directly in front of her and is walking around a tiny little bit, but not much. I've gone out a few more times to mist her with the hose and use a little handheld fan I have, and I added a little bit of feed to her NutriDrench water and tried to crush it so some nutrients will dissolve. Two questions:

1) Should I put her up with my other two on the roost at dusk? I doubt she'll go on her own. They have a roost outside in the predator-proof run that they usually choose this time of year, so she'll be in the breeze. I can get up close to sunrise tomorrow to take her down from the roost and make sure she drinks.

2) The heat and humidity aren't supposed to let up for a few more days. When do I make it a priority to make sure she's eating? Tomorrow morning? I know water is the biggest priority but I don't want her to starve either.

Thank you for any help you can give!
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Okay, it's perfectly cool at this hour and she's still very lethargic. Preens and walks a bit, will eat off my hand a tiny bit, but now will not drink. Droppings are white and loose. Not foamy, feathers are not ruffled, has the energy to jump on and off of roost. It's Sunday and the only vets that know anything about chickens are far south county, not sure if it's feasible. I have Corid on hand but can't remember dosage. Not convinced it's that though. What else could it be? Please advise.
Oh, and she's just over a year old. Found Corid dosage at 1 tspn per gallon. Should I try that? Shooting in the dark here...will it hurt her if I give Corid and it's not coccidiosis?
Hi I also live in MA and my flock has been doing the same thing. It's how they cool down they pant and slow moving. I wouldn't mist her because she will become even more hot. I would just make sure there is shade and freeze water bottles she will lay next to them if she becomes to hot.
I hope it helps a little. Good luck
Thank you for the reply! She was doing worse yesterday morning, not drinking or eating on her own, and I had to syringe her NutriDrench water and fried egg yolk. She's eating on her own now and her poop is back to normal, which makes me feel better. She also has some energy back, though still slower than my other two. Her crop feels abnormally hard to me, though it's not large like a tennis ball, so I'm making sure she drinks and am massaging it several times a day — hope it's not impacted. She's pooping normally so I'd say probably not.

Again, I appreciate the reply! She had me worried there for a while it but I think she'll recover. :)

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