Hot Chicken, Crazy Woman

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KSue, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. KSue

    KSue Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2010
    Old Fort
    Well I figure you guys are rubbing off on me, lol! Up until recently, I thought chickens were only good for meat and eggs and not pet worthy......Hahahaha! Yeah right! [​IMG]

    I bought my first chickens a few weeks ago. They are an established flock of adult Buff Orpingtons; six hens and a roo. The whole flock is not overly friendly. I guess these guys were not socialized much. They're not mean at all, just shy away when I come near. If I can catch one and pick it up, they calm down and there is very little fuss.

    Anyhoo, I was working outside today and took the opportunity to let them out to free range. They were out for most of the day, enjoying digging up crickets and exploring the yard. I would check periodically and do a head count, then go back to my work. After lunch, I noticed one of the hens was missing. I looked all over the yard to no avail. Finally, thinking maybe she went back to the coop to lay an egg, I went there and checked. Sure enough she was in the coop, but not in the nest box or roost. She was on the floor in the shavings. She didn't look too distressed, panting a little, but moved away when I came in to check on her. I decided to leave her alone and went back to my work. A couple of hours later I went back and she was still there, all by herself. Hmmmmmm. She was panting a little more noticably so I decided to give her the once over. I just thought it weird she was in the coop by herself. Maybe she is getting broody? I don't know.

    Well, I picked her up and checked her abdomen. No noticeable lumps or bumps. No poop on her butt. She must just be hot. So what do I do? Yeah, I take the dumb hen into the house so she can cool off a bit. Man, you should have seen the look my DH gave me when he saw me carrying that chicken into the house. I looked at him and said, "What? She's hot." He didn't say anything, just shook his head. Well, I grabbed a towel and sat down on the couch and put her in my lap on the towel. She was nice and quiet, still panting, but behaving herself. I sat there racking my brains trying to remember all the posts I had read about hot chickens. I didn't have any electrolyte solution, so I had hubby cut up some cold cherry tomatoes from the fridge. So there I sat, hen in lap, hand feeding her cold cherry tomatoes. She ate fairly well. We sat like that for about 20 minutes and I figured she was about ready to go back out. Just for good measure, I took her into the shower and lightly sprayed her off with cool water before taking her back out. She was really well behaved...better than my dogs when they get a bath!

    When I took her back out she rejoined the flock, who were already heading back into the run. When I left her, she was happily scratching the ground of the run with everyone else. Does it sound like heat to you guys? Starting to get broody? Just not wanting to be social? Did I do everything right and is there anything else I need to look for in the next few hours with her? Thanks!
     
  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    Jan 27, 2009
    Enumclaw
    I think you will know for sure tomorrow when she comes and asks the same thing again. [​IMG]

    Seriously, I would have worried considering what the temperature have been like around the country. A hen that goes off by itself is suspect to having problems. Heat is the simplest explanation. So when she responded to being cooled off I think you were right on with the assessment. A mister over the chickens may help. So now you know that you have done the best you can do for it.
     
  3. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2010
    I lost two chickens in a heat wave, one was a Buff. They're a big chicken and I don't think they do super well in the heat. It's a real pretty chicken too. When it's going to be a hot day here, I hose down the chicken yard so they can keep cool. I generally let them free range in the afternoon but on hot days, they don't even want to go out. It's hard on them too. The old and sick ones can just go down hill like that, hens stop laying, it seems to be a time for trouble. Even the strong ones look a little worn. So good job, cool her off and feed her cool treats. I know my chickens just love tomatoes!
     
  4. KSue

    KSue Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2010
    Old Fort
    Thanks folks. I am going to hose the run down today. The temperature is cooler this week here in NC, so they will get a break for a bit. My girl seems fine and was eating and drinking with the others this morning. Have a great day!
     

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