Help! Hen with heat stroke!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chicken_china_mom, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    My kids went out to the coop to refresh the water for the umteenth time today and my older DD found my Bantam Mottled Cochin hen collapsed. She rushed her inside and my younger DD filled the kitchen sink with cold water and gave a cold bath. I came in after that, wrapped her in a couple of dish towels, and now I'm sitting with her in my lap and we're sitting in front of the fan. Is there something more I should be doing for her? She's one of my favorite little girls and I don't want to lose her! She is sitting calmly in my lap and is half dozing, half watching the dogs. She's naturally a very quiet girl, so waiting for some vocalization could mean I wait til I die. She's as quiet as a church mouse. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Siler

    Siler Songster

    Jan 25, 2010
    Central Indiana
    Oh no! [​IMG] I have a hen inside today too. I hope someone has some good advice for you and hope she pulls out better than she did before. This weather we're having today in Indiana is for the tropics. I wish it would go away soon!
  3. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Songster

    Jun 6, 2009
    Can you get her to drink some water? Not alot at first but at least some? Dip her beak in.
  4. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Songster

    Jun 6, 2009
    I hope it is ok to reproduce this off the internet...

    Treat Heat Stroke
    By Suze Scott
    Edited by Alan Stanford, Ph.D.

    I just got off the phone with the vet. Getting hold of a vet today was a real effort. My regular chicken vet was booked solid. He did get back to me with a message through the front office folks that it was heat and he'd see Stormy tomorrow if he was still having problems. They gave me the name for another vet, who wasn't in today, for someone who doesn't treat chickens, and that office gave me some other names, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. No one was available or would treat chickens. I finally got a return call from one of the vets where I left voice mail. We had a long discusion.

    Yes, it is heat stroke. The real clue is the neon/lime (his words) "irridescent green" poop, which means there's a lot of bile in it, which the liver releases under stress.

    I'm to give him 1/2 ounce of gaterade 4 times per day, yogurt, and B-complex vitimins (not more than 10 mg of B1).

    I should have given him a cold bath; I thought about doing it, but was concerned that I would stress him more. Vet said this is a good, fast cool-off, and will sometimes bring back a chicken who is almost gone. 1/2 of a baby aspirin (or 1/4 of an adult one) once will help bring down the temperature rapidly.

    Editor's note: Valerie Hirvela has reported losing a bird with too fast a cool off. I recommend a bath at a temperature near the normal temperature of the bird. A bath will quickly drop the bird's temperature to the bath's temperature. We want to restore the bird's normal body temperature, not to make it cold. A bath near or just below that temperature will be best and won't shock the bird.

    Other facts: mornings, with their higher humidity can be more stressful than the higher temps (with lower humidify) from later in the day. Adding the temperature to the humidity gives a number to judge how stressful it is. For example, 100 degrees + 50% = 150, a very stressful number; more stressfull than 110 degrees + 20%.

    Recovery can take quite a bit longer than it takes to over heat. Sounds like Stormy's in for at least 2 or 3 days of recovery, but it could be longer. I expect that Daphne will be pretty much back to normal tomorrow. If chickens are overheated too heavily, or for too long, their internal thermostat can get fried and they'll NEVER be able to regulate their temperature. This is very bad.

    One thing that I'm really greatful for is that I now have a quantity of liquid to aim for getting into him. That was one of my real concerns. The yogurt should help his appetite, as should the B-complex.
  5. Hippie Chicks Mom

    Hippie Chicks Mom Songster

    Jun 9, 2010
    Near Old Forge NY
    Thanks Rustywoman. This is great info and I will copy it down should I ever need it in the future. So far, this has been above average for temps, but still not the extremes some of you get. It was 72 degrees in the coop today, but no breeze, even in the outside run. I still put the fan on low/med to give them a little circulation. The humidity is a killer.
  6. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Songster

    Jun 6, 2009
    You are welcome. I had one of my BCM Roos almost die from it two days ago. I hope it helps
  7. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Thanks very much from me also, rw/Germaine. The heat and humidity in my neck of the woods has been insane. Well, the dew point has been insanely over 70 way too often, described accurately by weather folk as oppressive. Apparently the dew point measures our comfort or lack thereof and I swear when the dew point in the mid 60s or higher it feels like the air IS water. Hot water.

    If the internet is accurate the body temp of a chicken is somewhere around 102-103 degrees. I am not good at feeling the temp of water without benefit of thermometer but I guess that's pretty warm. Can see why really cold would shock them. Maybe somewhere around 85-90 would be good - haven't a clue.

    OP, you can try nice cool treats when you feel she can handle them (e.g,. watermelon , cut up grapes), Spritz a bit of Pedialyte on the fruit if you don't have poultry eletcrolytes on hand. When I leave for work on a hot day I leave frozen fruit for them to cool off with for some hours. And water bowls with large blocks of ice in them for slow melting.

    I have a fan aimed toward my heat sensitive Ellie right now because she's open mouth breathing even though it's 'just' 85 (9 p.m.) but with dew point of 67 (and humidity 58%). She can move away from it if she chooses. When she stops panting, I'll move the fan off her for the night but still keep fans circulating around. It will go back to being far hotter and stickier on both of the next 2 days but then mercifully will back off again for a couple of days. June and July were virtually relentlessly fierce fire-y sticky furnaces here. Fans were running continuosly and I resorted to getting a window AC for them as I knew I'd lose Ellie if I didn't do that or bring them in the house. By setting it on 76 the building is 88 (lots of leaks - ha!) but I think it's been saving her. Because the coop is inside a larger building I was able to put the AC in the window of the larger building away from where the birds sleep, so no direct cold drafts on them but they reap the benefits of cooler air without it being too markedly (shockingly) different than the outdoors. In your case OP, you did good by bringing your girl indoors as she likely could not have withstood any more of the heat. I hope she'll be alright.

  8. Siler

    Siler Songster

    Jan 25, 2010
    Central Indiana
    Quote:That's interesting about the neon green poop. I've been seeing that recently. I assumed it was too much grass, but it's bright neon green.
  9. bigstack

    bigstack Songster

    Jan 4, 2010
    Texarkana, TX
    I hope you baby is ok!
    It's been over 100 here with 60-70% humidity!!! Add to that a big black chicken and well.... you can figure it out! I have a fan in the coop 24hrs a day. I have added a feed mixing pan from TSC. Its about 14x24 and 4 inches deep. I added a water trough self shut off float also at TSC. They are right beside each other on the shelf. About $20. My birds will take turns standing in the water!!! It so funny to see but it helps them to cool off!! It's also a big auto waterer for them so it helps me too! I just go out and dump it every other day or when it needs it. I had to slip a 2x4 in between the valve and the pans side for the valve to be able to clamp onto the pan. The water level stays about an inch below the top. I made sure the water pan and the hose are in the shade as much as I could! The hose can build VERY HOT water if it is sitting in the sun!!! This is also a very easy auto waterer. You just have to leave the hose on all of the time! or at least all day. I made sure to get a heavy water hose. I plan on running water lines out to the pen soon any way. I guess now I know where to put the connections. LOL

    Good Luck and God Bless!
  10. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Songster

    Jun 6, 2009
    Is that why they are standing in their water? After seeing a few of mine do that for 3 days now, I was catching a clue but I am glad to know for sure!

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