How hot is too hot for chickens?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by birdy_num_nums, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. birdy_num_nums

    birdy_num_nums In the Brooder

    May 28, 2008
    How hot is too hot for chickens?

    I've got mine in their coop which is shade, and with the windows there is a good, strong cross breeze. Thermometer placed ~8 feet up reads 89 F. A few of my 11 are panting on and off.

    Is a chicken panting a sign I need to take immediate action?

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Quote:Well so far this summer my chicks have survived 116 degrees and lots of panting.

    I finally just realized that there are all kinds of pigeons and other birds that survive the Phoenix summers, so mine should be able to... but I sometimes buy a bag of ice and put it in their waterer... They love that on especially warm days.
  3. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    If panting they are hot and trying to cool down.

    Fans. Fans. And more fans!
    Water with electrolytes and ice, changed frequently.
    Periodic cold or frozen fruit like watermelon.

    Outdoor area? There should be shade. I also run a fan to part of the run when hot so they can have a breeze if they need one. Some people use a mister to cool down the air.

  4. Mine have survived several 102 days so far here in Florida...AND the humidity was like 98%.

    We really don't do anything special. They have tons of shade...I think that's very important...not being in the direct sun. Sometimes put frozen plastic jugs/bottles of water in their coop or give them some nice cold watermelon or frozen grapes.
  5. birdy_num_nums

    birdy_num_nums In the Brooder

    May 28, 2008
    Ok, whew! We have very low humidity, so that helps a bit. Yesterday was their first day outside in their coop, and I was going in to visit them often. I happened to have a container of frozen bananas that I put out for them. They loved that [​IMG] I also put up curtains soaked in water for a bit of swamp cooling effect. I also put several frozen ice packs in a bag and put it out there for them to stand/sit on/near. They didn't care about that at all. :|

    Coop is new and run is in the works. Once that's done I'll do some mist for them, too.

    Thank you so much for the responses. I'll keep up with the icy treats and wet curtains, my goal being no panting chickies.
  6. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    if your birds seem heat distressed..and are panting alot..

    think of hyperventilating..and passing out..
    what happens is that some gasses build up, while others aren't "metabolized"..or properly "exchanged".
    the heat distress promotes this..
    giving electrolytes helps stabilize the system and can help prevent prostration..
  7. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    birdy_num_nums, sounds like you are doing a good job keeping your girls as cool as possible! I agree with sammi about the electrolytes ~ my girls love the taste of electrolyte water (make sure they will drink it if you're just putting it in the the first time), and you can get the powder from a feed store/co-op in big packets. We also freeze big jugs of water and leave them in the coop and in the pen during the day. The hens will even sit on the flatter ice containers!

    My Gail Damerow Chicken Handbook indicates that chickens will begin panting at around 85 degrees F (and I have found this consistent with mine) ~ and also claims that death is possible beginning at 104 degrees. We have not gone over 100 yet here in TN, though, and I am comforted to hear that other folks have birds that will tolerate 112! I am sure humidity ~ and the general care of the birds ~ has a lot to do with it.

    Good luck!

    Jen in TN

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