Help! Hot birds panting!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by operator16, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. operator16

    operator16 Songster

    May 15, 2010
    The gals just moved out to their coop two days ago and already violent thunder/lightning storms and scortching heat! It's been around 100 degrees today and they are panting. I've hung wet, white cotton sheets to give them some cool shade, we've put out a fan to circulate the heat on the run and in the coop, we've been misting them. But, it's DARN hot and they are still so uncomfortable. What should I do? How do I cool them down????? Are they in danger?
  2. happyfeetfarm

    happyfeetfarm In the Brooder

    Nov 16, 2009
    I am so sorry and to be honest the heat here is slowly killing our girls off. We have water running and fans blowing, lots of prayer and keeping our fingers crossed.
  3. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Songster

    Hey Operator, your chickens will be ok. If they have shade and water (sounds like they have an ad hoc air conditioning system, actually!) they'll be ok. They DO pant a little when it's hot. Last summer when it got around 100, I would point a hose into their run with a mister for a little while, and they seemed to like that, and having some damp earth (or mine have a little sandbox) seems to be appreciated. I have an old patio umbrella in their run for them, and that's their favorite place to hang out. And, hey, we're panting (and sweating) too, right? It's not fatal.
  4. Dar

    Dar Crowing

    Jul 31, 2008
    what about nice cold treats like water melon
    or a kiddy pool
  5. chics in the sun

    chics in the sun Songster

    Apr 1, 2010
    Their body heat is regulated with water, so what I have started doing daily is filling their smaller waterer that I used in the brooder and putting it in the freezer at night. Then in the morning I put it in the coop and it slowly thaws and gives them cold water to drink for most of the day. Other people have put frozen 2-liter bottles in their coops that the can sit around. Mine pant every afternoon when it is in the low 90s here. They seem okay, though, and love to dig little dust baths in shady areas to stay cool. Today I panicked when I went out and couldn't see them anywhere, and I found them all sitting under my camper van in little dust baths/ holes.
  6. anbhean

    anbhean Chirping

    Jun 3, 2010
    Hey Operator 16, I'm in Colorado too and this heat is unreal! Here's what I've been doing and it helps a little.

    1. I put "left over containers" (you know Gladware etc.-- the stuff you store left overs in) with ice water in a few locations in their inside and outside run and change them out every few hours. They seem to hang out around them, so I guess it feels good.
    2. I put a few ice cubes in their drinking water fonts to keep it cool. They don't like it hot and won't drink it. That way I ensure they'll keep drinking.
    3. I've put up that UV garden fabric over their outside run to kill the heat and give them more shade. You can buy it at Lowes, or Home Depot in the garden section (but honestly, the sheets will do the same thing).
    4. Fans... lots of fans.
    5. I mist the dirt in their outside run with the garden hose just enough to make it moist soil and not a soppy mud mess. They lay in the soil when they get hot.

    Still, I've been getting lots of panting and irritable looking feather flaps, so really I'm just praying the summer doesn't get any hotter or they're gonna be inside with me and the A/C on high! [​IMG]
    Hope that helps.
  7. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    Couple things you can try... Shallow pans of cold water(they love to walk in them and it cools them off well), frozen fruits (watermelon is a fav of my girls), digging holes in the run for them to lay in ( just a few inches down into the ground and it considerably cooler), also freeze pop bottles and place in the run
  8. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Songster

    Mar 13, 2010
    I have been fighting the same problem. My chicks (4wks to about 10wks) don't really care for melon though, and when I mist them with the hose they sprint flat-out to the chicken house. I put a few plastic bottles in the freezer and will toss them out tomorrow. I sure feel sorry for them, especially the fluffy Brahamas. My entire run is "L" shaped and each leg is shaded at some point in the day - at high noon the whole thing is shaded (huge 30-something year old pecan tree).
  9. LindsayB

    LindsayB Songster

    Apr 26, 2008
    Cypress, Texas
    I freeze slices of watermelon, canalope and honeydew and sit a couple out there during the hottest part of the day. You can also try freezing some gallon water jugs and putting them in the shaded areas of the run.
  10. operator16

    operator16 Songster

    May 15, 2010
    Thank you all so much!

    Great ideas! I have two gallons of water freezing tonight. My DH picked up bunches of UV Shade cloth and an outdoor fan. I will dig a few holes as well for them. I also really like the frozen water in the waterer.

    Thanks for all this great advice! You guys are great!!

    We just went out to tuck them in. It was so adorable. We sat and watched them for a while and as the sun went down they all got really vocal and began heading inside their coop on their own. We closed them up and watched inside as they all shuffled up the little ladder and all 10 climbed into one nest box and settled in. The two big Polish climbed into the box next to them. What a sweet sight!

    Thanks again!


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