Severe dehydration/heat stress - what else can I do?


In the Brooder
Jun 23, 2022
I have a silkie hen who is just over a year old - I found her the evening before last limp and listless…I thought she was dead! We’ve had an awful heat wave in Oklahoma and I’ve been putting electrolytes in my flocks water to help. They also have ample shade and access to dirt/dust baths.

when I found her I immediately brought her inside to cool off and began syringe feeding her an electrolyte solution (nutridrench). She is having involuntary convulsions and seizures where she cranes her neck and “summersaults”. I know she was on the brink of death, but I’ve been syringe feeding her (4-5 cc’s) every couple of hours for the past two days now. Sometimes she’ll act better and the life will come back in her eyes only for her to start convulsing again 😭

can a chicken recover from this? How many days do you think it may take for her to return to “normal”? Or am I prolonging the inevitable? Thank you for any advice…these chickens are my babies and I feel so guilty and horrible for failing her like this 😭
:welcome Sorry for the circumstances. I would continue as you are for at least several more days. There may be permanent brain damage or she may gradually recover. In my experience heat stroked birds/animals remain susceptible to reoccurrences. Good luck with her. Don't be too hard on yourself given the unusual heat such things will become more common.
I immediately brought her inside to cool off and began syringe feeding her an electrolyte solution (nutridrench).
Welcome to BYC! :frow

Sorry your hen is unwell. :hugs

Nutridrench is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids but it does not have electrolytes that I'm aware of. I always add a homemade electrolyte solution to the nutridrench when treating chicks for shipping stress. (in case you didn't mean in combo)

It sounds like it may be prolonging the inevitable. She certainly isn't experiencing quality of life right now though I can't be certain of pain level. Those who have convulsed expressed their muscles were quite sore afterwards and also they were in danger of overheating during that muscle tension process. Which might not be helping the initial heat stroke thing.

I would euthanize, due to my personal experiences. It's never an easy choice.

Please don't blame yourself. We can't control the weather and we do our best to provide. Accidents still happen and certain individuals may be more susceptible than others.

I hope this resolves quickly, with her sudden and rapid recovery. And also that the rest of your flock continues to thrive! :fl

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