heat wave, free range, and misting

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mockcherry, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. mockcherry

    mockcherry Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2010
    NJ
    Our chooks are free range but they are panting. I've brought the rabbits in because they were in a bad way. I have baby chicks I'm brooding now too. The baby chicks have a fan with ice blocks in front of it. A couple are panting, a couple aren't.

    If I set up a mister, will the free range chickens use it? They all have fresh cold water. Lots of shade and dirt for them to dig in too. If I set the mister near the brooder and let some go in for the chicks, will that be okay? If I do that, the big chooks will have access to it. Or would it be better to pen the chickens and force them to have a mist and fans?

    ugh.

    I guess the ultimate question is if I put up a cooling station, will the free range chickens use it or will they avoid it like the plague? And would the little chicks (4 weeks) get too chilled.
     
  2. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    haha! Mid morning I set the hand nozzle to spray a fine mist then scattered some treats on the edges and into the midst of that.... they went through to get the goodies, and ruffled up and looked all offended over it. I'll go out shortly to do it all again. It's a bit of a waste of water and we are on well water, so in a way I don't like to do this, but I have it as fine as I can so I'm just going to deal. I haven't heard the pump kicking inn TOO often so it's probably ok. Maybe I'll go check out an actual mister set up at Home Depot or something.... hmmmm.

    Anyway, last time I was out hanging laundry, my free rangers were all under a big tree looking pretty comfortable. It's about 90 here today, only one had her beak open all the others seemed ok, and a little beak breathing is normal I think.
     
  3. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    I've dipped my hens into some cold water, they did not go for that. also have a mister set up for them. i doubt any of them have ventured under it. i also put treats in the middle but to no avail.

    and the craziest part is when it's freezing cold and raining, guess who is out and about looking wet, cold and miserable. you'd think if they could stand out in the rain for hours, they might seek the mister for some small break from the heat.

    i literally stood under the mister before with a few of them one by one just so they would get a little wet.

    my hens look really pathetic in this heat and don't stop panting, i worry about them.
     
  4. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    YAY!! I just went out to swap out laundry on the line and there were 3 hens in the misty water spray, and a few others on the edges of it scratching probably for worms and bugs that the water is scaring up... but that's ok, because they seem to be figuring out the water isn't going to melt them like the wicked witch of the west! YAY!!
     
  5. mockcherry

    mockcherry Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2010
    NJ
    Well look-y there. You can lead a chicken to water, AND make it drink. I brought a fresh ice cold waterer to where they were laying and they ran over to drink. Nice, too lazy and hot to drink water. So I guess technically I didn't lead them to water but I did get them to drink.

    Seriously though, thanks for the tips on the treats in the mister spray. They're all hanging out under the mister in the shade and scratching. It is such a light mist, barely noticeable. DH bought it at Home Depot for about $20. I don't know how much it uses, but honestly, it seems like such an efficient and fine mist that I can't imagine very much water is being used at all. We're about to pass 103 and I'm feeling a tad better about them.

    Allison
     
  6. mockcherry

    mockcherry Out Of The Brooder

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    34
    Apr 18, 2010
    NJ
    Portagegirl, I didn't see your reply. That's actually a great idea - to put it over towards the woods more and let them feast. I'm sure worms deliver fluids...
     
  7. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    This is my first REAL heat wave concern in two years. It's a muggy 103 degrees outside, and 92 inside the coop, which is normally in the 70s. The heat isn't supposed to break for several more days, though today is expected to be the worst of it. I've refilled the waterers a couple of times already today, and also fed them a bonus snack of half-frozen romaine lettuce and NAPA cabbage after they devoured all the fruits and greens from the morning.

    The main part of my coop leads to an enclosed run, most of which is shaded, so my 2-year-old birds have plenty of shade and a little breeze, albeit a hot one. But within the coop is a chicken-wire-enclosed area that holds 5 new pullets (4 of which are 7-8 weeks old, one is maybe 6 months - I'm not positive!). They can't access the outside yard, though they do have plenty of fresh water and food. We were concerned about them, so my daughter convinced me to plug in an oscillating fan inside the coop, which the younger ones can't touch but they - and the older ones - line up to enjoy.

    Have I done enough for them? Is there anything else I might try to ease their heat (I can't mist them inside the coop)? Should I be worried? They all seem to be bearing up OK, though they are panting a bit.
     
  8. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    I bet the fan helps a lot! They are probably ok, I have heard of people freezing 2 liter bottles of water and setting them in amongst the hens, it seems that hens usually figure out that cozying up to them is pretty comfortable. I may go throw some jugs in the chest freezer since it's supposed to be even hotter here tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010

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