Overheated Silkies?


8 Years
May 24, 2011
I came home yesterday from work and found 2 of my Silkies laying on the ground panting. They are around 6 weeks old. They would not walk. I picked them up and got one to the waterer and she drink a little but the other one wouldn't. I got them inside in the a/c, put water on them and gave them some watermelon juice that I had. They will not walk and have their legs out in front of them. They are holding their wings all of the way out. I checked this this morning and they are breathing normal and look alert when I pick them up but still can't walk and they still pop their wings out. I gave them some Gatorade and have just been keeping them cool. Is this heat stroke or something else. I have never had a chicken do this and I want to make sure I am doing everything I can for them!
Chickens do "pant" with their mouths open and will spread their wings to try and cool down. The thing that concerns me is that today they still can not walk. Hopefully someone with experience with this will comment. IMHO it sounds like they may have gotten some kind of brain trauma from a heat stroke. I think electrolytes and mabe some polyvisol vitamins (not with iron) might help. Really sorry, wished I could help more. Do you have them inside still where it is cooler?

I forgot...
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Keep inside, gatorade or pedialyte, extra nutritious foods. Don;t put them back out until they have ben completely normal for about a week.

Make sure there are several waterers, and that they are in places that remain shaded. Make sure the birds have plenty of shade available, and if excessively hot, either turn on a mister (works best in very dry climates) or a fan. Fill large soda bottles and freeze, then place the frozen bottles out fo them to lay agains--or place in fromt of the fan: instant air conditioning. You can run puddles of cool water for htem to stand in. Plenty of coolish water and shade are the biggest things they need in hot weather.
You can also put ice in drinking water to help keep them cool. The small, inexpensive kitty litter boxes can make nice little wading pools for them.
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Thank you for the responses. I still have them inside. They are alert. Both are eating(have to put the dish right in front of them). One drinks freely but the other I still need to use a dropper. She refuses to drink on her own. I was wondering if maybe they had some kind of "brain trauma" too. They seem fine in every other way, just can't walk. Hopefully they will come around with the extra care they are getting. Would hate to loose one of our "babies". We love them too much!!
Almost forgot- my other Silkies seem fine but I have taken measures to make sure they stay that way. I put a fan out there with them and froze some bottles for them to lay against if they like. Thanks for the suggestions. We didn't have this happen with our RIRs and Barred Rocks last summer. I guess the Silkies need that extra care with their fluff!

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