Managing Extreme Heat & Chooks - 104 degrees+ for the next 4 days!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NewAussieChook, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. NewAussieChook

    NewAussieChook In the Brooder

    Jan 24, 2014
    Hi all,

    We're over in sunny Adelaide here - where it is over 104 degrees (over 40 degrees celcius) for the next 4 days!! It was just over 100 (38 degrees celcius) yesterday too. This is CRAZY weather for this time of year.

    I have my dogs and birds inside and usually manage the heat with my chooks - just 4 of them (suburban set up) by cooling them down with the mist setting on the hose (they love this) regularly during the day and providing cold watermelon and corn kernel iceblocks all day. They have a shaded place in the run they dig a hole in the dirt and sit.

    Just went to check on them a while ago and my Wyandotte is in real distress. Never seen her that distressed. They 'puff' in the heat but she is 'panting' and floppy. She usually doesn't let me hold her but allowed me to pick her up and examine her. The other 3 are distressed too.

    I've put tarp down on my laundry room floor and covered the washing machine and such with sheets and they are inside with a fan on. We only have cooling in the lounge room - the rest of the house has nothing.

    Will they be ok in there? Is there anything else I can do for them? They are obvious stressed, as their poops are all watery too.

    They just had some cool corn kernels from the fridge and have a big bowl of water there (they are not used to a bowl, they have a drinker in the run).

    Any suggestions would be appreciated, I'm real concerned for them.

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2015
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    You can put shallow pans of water to stand in, and run a fan for them, plenty of shade, heat is bad on chickens, people are worried about the cold here in the USA, but I never seen a chicken die from cold but I've seen them get heat exhaustion and die. Sounds like you are doing all you can.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    The watery poop is from them trying to shed the heat from their bodies by drinking more water.

    When I've had a bird in heat distress I set them standing in a shallow pan of ice water about an inch deep,
    they fought it for a minute until they felt the coolness, then I swear I heard the chicken sigh with relief and her whole body relaxed. So I put that pan out in the afternoons during hot weather. But I'm only talking high 90'sF.

    If they are near to dying and nothing else has helped, dipping their whole bodies in a bucket of cool water, not ice or really cold as the shock could do them in, can save them.

    Bringing them inside should help but keep in mind they have to go back out eventually,
    so a huge change in temp would not be advised.

    Best of Luck.

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