Hens get too hot?

backyardfarmfamily

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 27, 2008
37
0
32
Texas
It's only spring but here in Texas it's already in the 80's. One of my chickens has been having her mouth open a lot lately and I know it could be a sign of gapeworm but she isn't seeming to have breathing difficulty - it's more like she's panting like a dog. I brought some water out and she sat and drank for a while. They have their own water that I refresh often but I'm not sure if they're drinking from it. Is there a way to get them to drink more often? Should I worry about the heat? They are free-ranging in our backyard with a covered coop. She is a barred rock and pretty good sized. My huge black australorp isn't seeming to be troubled from the heat though.

Hmm...
 

Chickemee

Songster
12 Years
Jul 30, 2007
264
7
139
Texas
I lost a rooster last year due to the heat. Some people said that to avoid this happening again I should give my flock more electrolites. Also I find leaving frozen water bottles around my chicken coop helpful, when they get to hot they like to lie next to them.
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
975
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Sounds like shes hot. Some birds do better in hot weather than others. When it reaches about 75 here, all by birds start to over heat, pant, and take moist dust baths to keep cool. 75 has killed my meat birds before so I usually raise them before July. Luckily, our summer highs average is in the 70s.

Ice bottles and ice water may help out along with lots of shade and some "moist baths" or squirts of cold water under wings to help them cool down. They can't sweat like us, so they have to pant to cool.
 

MaransGuy

Songster
12 Years
Oct 25, 2007
515
14
151
Greenfield, MA
Once their water gets warm they tend to not drink it. Adding some ice to the fount will keep it cooler and make it more likely they will drink.

Richard
 

d.k

red-headed stepchild
11 Years
Feb 6, 2008
3,085
13
221
Southeast Coast of Florida
* Put out more waterers in prime locations and 'show' the chickens where they are by sticking their beaks in. Here in FL We've already had near 9O's and I have 3 waterers out for 1 chicken!!
 

tvtaber

Songster
12 Years
Aug 2, 2007
350
2
141
Central CA
Birds do pant, so that is nothing to worry about. However, 80 is not really that warm! If she has shade and water, there is not a lot more you can do for her. Perhaps there are better breeds for that region? I would hate to have to put ice out in the coop every day!
 

jjthink

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 17, 2007
4,623
44
274
New Jersey
For birds that are not heat tolerant, a fan can also help. Placed where they can choose to be near it or not.
JJ
 

ozark hen

Living My Dream
12 Years
Apr 4, 2007
6,962
49
301
Mansfield, MO
we freeze milk jugs of water and put them in the waterers...you can use pop bottles or whatever. We also hang a box fan from the ceiling during the hot months to keep some air circulating. You aren't feeding any corn are you?
Just thought we needed to be sure it wasn't a food source.
 

backyardfarmfamily

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 27, 2008
37
0
32
Texas
I think she was hot - I put out some cool water and she drank a lot and eventually stopped panting. She does get the smallest amount of corn - it's in her scratch that she gets a little of every once in a while as a treat.
 

ozark hen

Living My Dream
12 Years
Apr 4, 2007
6,962
49
301
Mansfield, MO
I doubt that a once in a while corn treat would hurt but if she is that hot I would try to give her yogurt or something else..grapes?...as a treat instead of the corn and see what happens. Just a suggestion.
 

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