Help... our first death

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jkeppley, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. jkeppley

    jkeppley Hatching

    Jun 29, 2008
    So... we are in Portland, OR and it was 99 degrees today. Two of our three chickens just started laying this week. One had laid three eggs and another 1. We left our house about 4:30 and put two frozen 16oz water bottles in the run under the coop. They also had fresh water. I also spread a white sheet over 1/2 the run to provide some shade and still have air circulation. We arrived home about 10 pm to find one of the laying hens dead in the nest box.

    Could she have died from heat stroke or do chickens die from being egg bound?
    We also just changed their hay today. My husband says there was some mold growing on the hay. Could that have done it?

    Also, any other suggestions to reduce heat?
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2008
  2. I know I am kind of new to this myself but I have seen suggestions of putting fans in the area during the real hot days and I myself think it is a great idea. Can't say one way or the other for the mold but i think people have said that they can die from being eggbound. My mother lives in Millwaukee Oregon, beautiful country there, anyway sorry i can't be more helpful but i thought i should try. Good luck with keeping cool chickens.

    ONAWHIM Hatching

    May 19, 2008
    So sorry about losing one of your girls:( I live in The Dalles and it was very hot here also. My girls were panting and trying to stay cool- I let them out of the coop and sprayed down the grass with water and they seemed to enjoy that.
    My DH is going to attach a mister for there run and see if that will keep them cooler during these hot days.
    With summer just beginning I need to get something figured out.
    Take care and good luck with the rest of your girls.
  4. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Sad about your hen - so sorry.
    Very hot temps for Portland, right? And probably a sudden dramatic increase in temps. The hen could well have succumbed to heat. The added stress of trying to lay an egg in the heat would not have helped.
    FANS can make all the difference. If the air can move it feels cooler, as with us. Cold water changed frequently, cold fruit offered at intervals. No "heavy foods" during the heat of the day.
    Keep a thermometer in the coop so you can monitor temps. With fans, I've been able to keep the coop no hotter than 80 even when 100 outside. Even at 75 in there last night my hen began to open mouth breath because the humidity was so high.
    Egg bound is a possibility but usually there would be signs of failed efforts to lay an egg.
    Ditch the moldy hay. Probably wouldn't create an acute situation in one day but it may well cause problems going forward.
  5. playswithfowl

    playswithfowl One Earth!

    Jun 18, 2007
    I am down in Lebanon Oregon. 100 degrees here yesterday. My bantam cochin hen died yesterday in the heat. I think that the heat was definitely a factor [​IMG]
  6. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    So sorry about your hen [​IMG] I always put a box fan out in my coop when it's really hot like that. My girls who have a coop out in the sun were panting, but they're fine. My girls who have a coop under a tree, were talking to me a bit, but did fine.
  7. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    you might check deeper into this molded hay . NOT really sure tho , I was told chickens can even eat bread that is a little molded , Something about mold is actually Pennicilin ??????????

    Sounds weird to me to give or supply anything with mold ....

    MAYBE we will both receive answers about MOLD .

    So sorry about your loss .... :|
  8. Godsgrl

    Godsgrl Ostrich wrangler

    Aug 27, 2007
    at the zoo usually
    Sorry about your hen. [​IMG] I would lean more towards it being the hay. Something I read one time about tigers in a zoo getting sick and dying. They had respiratory symptoms, then with agitation, they suddenly died. It was tied to wet/moldy hay. The lions were fine, because their caretaker used hay from a different part of the barn. So sorry, and good luck.
  9. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    I have a fan on my girls and I am in Southern Oregon...we were 98 degrees yesterday. I put their frozen water bottles in there with the fan blowing across them. So far so good. When I get moved and build the coop, I am putting misters around the run to help cool them off as well as a fan inside the coop.

    Sorry you lost your girl. [​IMG]

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