Overheated Chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mediazeal, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. mediazeal

    mediazeal Songster

    Feb 26, 2009
    We went from 80's and 90's to 105 today. I got home at 430pm and ran to let the chickens out of their run/coop - which is under a tree and has a run with 3 sides completely open but roofed.
    I opened the door and all ran out except for a golden penciled hamburg little girl. She is a little over a year, mid-status in the flock.

    She did not rush out with the others and was hunkered down by the waterer. She did not run from me and was panting (as they all do in the heat). I picked her up and she made no attempt to get away. I got little bleets of 'i don't like you holding me' as I walked to the water to cool her off. I set her down and she scurried away, but her legs were very wobbly and she didn't go far.

    The rooster (lavender orpington HUGE) jumped on her so I sprayed them both lightly with the hose so he would get off and went over to pick her up.
    She was pathetic.
    I carried her inside with mild protest and 1 little bit of flapping; and put her in a dog crate with shavings and water in a cool room, turned a fan on to help her cool off faster. It's bout 75 degrees inside.

    She has not drunk anything that I have seen. Is still lying a litlte sideways with her legs out a bit but is at least now holding her head up.
    Still panting.

    I went back out and got eggs while she cooled and checked the rest. Everyone else was in a cool piece of dirt hanging out.
    I have 4 hamburgs and got 4 hamburg eggs so I'm assuming she was able to lay earlier in the day.

    So, I'm assuming she has heat stroke. Though I am now worried the rooster (who is gentle but young) was just too heavy for her. He's been out there with them for months though so I would be surprised if all of a sudden he was too much. Everyone else looks healthy.
    What is the best way to help her? is there anything else it might be I should look for?

    thanks for your help
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  2. mediazeal

    mediazeal Songster

    Feb 26, 2009
    Wow, I'm surprised no one had any thoughts

    She cooled off and seemed to completely revive. This morning I put her crate on the deck and opened it and then went back to the coop and let the others out.
    Turned on lots of sprinklers all over the yard to wet things down well
    and I just got back from home depot where I got a mister kit.
    I'll set them up along one end of the coop/run and turn it on when it's going to be really hot, like NOW
    so even if they are stuck in the coop and run, which is in the shade they will be cooler. At least I hope it works for them.

    That heat stroke hen was so pathetic.
  3. MyBlackHen

    MyBlackHen Songster

    Jun 26, 2010
    Upstate New York
    Hi there,

    I am glad that your hen has recovered. I don't have any suggestions - I am new to this and have been worried about the chickens getting overheated too. I have ten 7-week old pullets. Their coop is large and usually stays cool but when we had super hot weather a week ago, the inside temperature was 90 degrees! We are going to put a vent in but we haven't gotten around to it yet. In the meantime I have doors and windows open and I put a fan in the coop angled at their roost to move the air around.

    What kind of mister kit does Home Depot carry? That sounds like a great idea.
  4. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Songster

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    I'm glad to hear that your hen is doing better. I have a fan in my coop/run that is covered and it helps. They all hang out there. Sounds like you did the right thing. Sorry no one responded, but IMO all the chicken people are out with the chickens or it may be coop cleaning day. There seems to be more non-chicken random talk on here than before. That disappoints me. Just keep in mind that going into the weekend a lot of people may be gone. Or try the search button and hopefully you will find the answer or suggestion needed. Good luck.
  5. GoodyChickenShz

    GoodyChickenShz In the Brooder

    Apr 5, 2007
    The CA High Desert
    I'm also sorry no one replied. What's up with that? I don't come on here much but I needed some info re spur trimming and happened to see your post.

    I can tell you that I live in the high desert here in California and lately it's been getting up to 100F in the shade, 20 degrees hotter in the sun.

    My chickens have a coop, and a run. The run is completely open, surrounded only by chicken wire covered with deer netting. There's deer netting over the top and landscape fabric over that for shade. There's also two big trees that give lots of shade. The chickens are out in the run all day long......I would never dream of leaving them in the coop, even with the windows and doors open!

    What I do is when I go out in the early morning, I take the hose and fill up all their little dirt bowls with water. They love to dig and play in the water, and later on when the water drains away, they have a cool spot to sit when it gets really hot. If it's especially hot (like today), I'll go out mid-afternoon and refill their bowls. They also have three waterers, so if one goes empty or gets tipped over, they have other options. Misters are a good idea -- they will definitely cool things down -- just make sure the birds have space to totally get out of the mist. If your birds are like mine, they'll enjoy playing in the water but they won't like to be wet. [​IMG]

    Hope that helps & glad your hen got better!
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    What you did, misting her down and then putting her in front of a fan is probably the best thing you can do once a chicken is overheated. I learned this from my DH and it saved the lives of two of my young pullets when they were crushed and overheated at the bottom of a chicken pile-up.
    Fans and gallon milk jugs filled with water and frozen then placed about so the chickens can lie near them is about the only things I can suggest. The mister will help too.
    My flock free ranges. After I turn them out and check on their feed and water in the morning I pretty much leave them alone for the majority of the day. They find their own oasis.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  7. Terri O

    Terri O Songster

    A mister...what a cool (LOL) idea! My fan burned out in my coop today so I am off to find another for tomorrow...maybe I will have to think about a mist system too. T
  8. mediazeal

    mediazeal Songster

    Feb 26, 2009
    Hey, thank you GoodyChickenShz, ScoobyRoo and MyBlackHen. I was just surprised that no one chimed in, not offended.
    I would have been panicked if she had not come round but since I was right and it was the heat, all's well.

    GoodyChickenShz, I made my coop 3 sided and open to a 'run' area. Coop is 8 by 16. I made it for Sacramento weather. As you can see in the pics below from when it was just getting finished, it's under a huge tree. It is much cooler out there than anywhere else in the yard and protected from weather in the winter. I wanted a totally secure coop so their 'run' in also on the cement pad. Now that they are older I do let them out most every day all day, so they are better able to self-regulate for the heat by digging into the dirt and finding someplace cool under a bush.
    However, my yard is very large with a huge deck and tons of thorny bush areas. When I let them out all day I get 3 eggs in the nest box instead of 7 or 8. Which means there are stinky egg bombs someplace in my yard I can not find.
    Anyway, here is the coop and the wire end now has misters wrapped around it. I'll get a timer to turn them on around 1 til I get home from work and let them out.

    Oh and I almost forgot,there is no power out to the coop. Lights are solar, so unless I invest in a solar fan, it would be hard to run a fan for them.



    thanks again
    hen seems ok today [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  9. Leia's Chickens

    Leia's Chickens A Sunkissed Delight

    Jun 20, 2010
    Heat indexes here are 115 daily. Although free ranging over several acres, they head for and lay beneath the misters through the heat of the day. Then they go out again. We use a kit from Wal-Mart made by Ocean Breeze and it runs beneath the tree. The hose that feeds the misters are beneath boards because the water really heats up in black hose exposed to sun. This way, the water stays cool all the way to the misters.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  10. mediazeal

    mediazeal Songster

    Feb 26, 2009
    Quote:Thank you Gristar
    I can follow these suggestions too
    appreciate it!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by