Overheating Chickens & Chicks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Picky Chicky, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. Picky Chicky

    Picky Chicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 22, 2008
    Holly Grove, VA
    I started my chicken venture last fall and this will be my first summer managing my flock. I'm concerned because today the temperatures have soared into the 90's and both my hens and chicks are panting. My hens have the ability to go outside and cool down, but I don't currently have a set up that would allow my chicks the same - I can take their "home" outside for fresh air, but I don't want to leave them unmonitored.

    I dipped everyone's feet in cool water and lightly wet their feathers. They're still panting. Right now I have a fan set up for my chicks.

    My husband will not allow anyone to come in the house... am I keeping them as comfortable as possible??

    Another question - the chicks are opening the mouths up real wide - almost like a big yawn, and then going back to panting - what is that about? I'm worried.
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    The fan is a good idea. You can also freeze milk jugs or 2 liter soda bottles filled with water and put it in their pen. They will learn to lay against them to cool off.
    Adding poultry electrolytes to their drinking water is another way to help them cope with the heat.
     
  3. Picky Chicky

    Picky Chicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 22, 2008
    Holly Grove, VA
    I like the freezing the milk jug idea. If we're only in April and it's hitting the 90's I'm worried about what the rest of the season will bring.

    Any thoughts on the chicks with the yawning looking actions? I'm not sure if it made sense the way I described it.
     
  4. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Last summer my chicks wouldn't use the frozen water bottles.

    They wanted their ice cubes in pie pans so they could stand in them and cool off with the fan blowing the hot air over and off them. I changed those ice pans 3 or 4 times in the afternoon on days it was over 90.

    How old are your chicks and how many? Do you have a tractor or wire cage to put them out under a tree or in the shade on the grass in the heat of the day. Open mouths and panting means they are to hot. You have to figure a way to cool them, summer hasn't started yet.

    I start my day old chicks in tub brooders in my bathroom for their firtst 2 weeks, then out they go to the Brooder house. I put an inch of shavings lined with the rubber shelving liner and cover with paper towels. Changing the toweling 2-3 times a day. The rubber shelf liner basically cuts out the smell and dust from the chicks. That was my DH's objection, Now he's fine with them and goes in to check on their wing color changes himself. About one roll of paper toweling per a 25 chick batch.

    Good luck
     
  5. Picky Chicky

    Picky Chicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 22, 2008
    Holly Grove, VA
    These chicks are actually going on 5 weeks old - they've ditched most of their chick fuzz (with a couple exceptions on bellies and tops of heads) for feathers.

    We're in the middle of trying to finish up the new coop where I can adequately house them, but until it's finished I'm stuck to keeping them in a temporary medium sized cage. They have enough room to move, eat, roost... but it's not ideal and I definitely would be too worried about leaving them outside in the cage unmonitored. I tried putting their cage in my big girl's run where they'd have extra protection, but my alpha girl won't leave them be - and wants to jump on the top... so they get stressed out. (where's the smiley smacking itself in the forehead when you need it??)

    Tomorrow is supposed to be another sweltering day (what happened to Spring), so I'm thinking I'll freeze a water bottle and put it in with them while I'm gone - have to run to town for a few hours.

    Thanks so much for the words of wisdom. I don't think I've ever worried so much about one of my pets... let alone 9!! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009

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