Suspected heat exhaustion, anything more I can do? Anything else it could be?

KeriMK

In the Brooder
Apr 7, 2020
11
19
39
Bay Area, California, USA
Hi all you wonderful chicken people. I have a chick that I suspect has heat exhaustion, but I wanted to run it by this awesome community since I have learned so much from you all recently:

It has been hot here the past 3 days, with temps in the mid to high 90s and lows in the mid 60s. Humidity is not particularly high, around 40%.

Yesterday, our 6 week old EE (I’m pretty sure; they said she was a blue Ameraucana but I’m skeptical) was looking pretty hot and miserable, panting a lot, but eating and drinking and keeping up with the other 2 birds in the flock (different breeds, same age, all vaccinated for Marek’s). They had cold water freely available, and frozen snacks throughout the day, and plenty of deep shade and dirt.

This morning the EE came out of the coop looking lethargic and sluggish. She nibbled some chick starter and then sat down inside the small run where we keep them for the first couple hours of the morning. I let them out to free range around 8AM, and she came out with the other 2 (different breeds, same age). She scratched around a bit and tried to keep up, but was much slower than usual and kept sitting / laying down. Eventually she just laid down in some deep shade and didn’t move. I hadn’t seen her drink any water up to that point, so I mixed up a little electrolyte solution. She wouldn’t take it on her own so I dripped a little at a time into her beak. I also noticed that her left eye has been almost always shut all day, even when her right one is open.

By about 1pm I was seeing no improvement and getting very worried as it was just getting hotter, so I brought her inside and gave her a cool bath. She’s been roosting on the side of their old brooder ever since (it’s 7pm here now). She has eaten some cold scrambled egg made soggy with some plain water from my hand now and then, and seems hungry when she does. She also nibbled a little watermelon. She still won’t take fluids on her own. Just about 20 minutes ago she was panting again (first time since coming inside), so I gave her another quick cool bath. She’s back on the side of the brooder with a fan pointed at her.

Poop has been very watery with some greenish solids. See attached photos. I'm including a photo of my sad panda here too; she's damp in the picture so her feathers look a little funny.

Housing/bedding: 42” x 72” coop/run combo, with the coop being about 42” x 36”(all they do is sleep in that part). They have been in the coop/run for about 2 weeks, and have been allowed to free range for the past 3 days on about 1/8 acre. Bedding inside coop is pine shavings; run floor is mulch consisting of dried leaves and pine needles from the property to a depth of approx 4” (we’re trying a deep litter method in there).

IMG_8578.JPG IMG_8579.JPG IMG_8584.JPG

Is there anything else I should be doing? My plan is to keep her inside tonight and see how she is in the morning; other than that and continuing to give her fluids regularly and some food once in a while I’m kind of at a loss. Thank you for any help you can provide!
 

KeriMK

In the Brooder
Apr 7, 2020
11
19
39
Bay Area, California, USA
Also I should add: She can open the squinty eye if she wants to, for instance if she hears a sudden noise. There is no discharge/swelling/injury to the eye that I can see.
 

KeriMK

In the Brooder
Apr 7, 2020
11
19
39
Bay Area, California, USA
Can you post some close up pictures of her eyes?

The room she is in doesn't have good lighting and her left side is turned away from the light, but I did my best. The first photo is her right eye (normal). The middle is her left eye closed, and the last is her left eye open (for the split second I could get her to open it.
IMG_8586.JPG
IMG_8588.JPG
IMG_8589.jpg
 

KeriMK

In the Brooder
Apr 7, 2020
11
19
39
Bay Area, California, USA
Update: My Chonky Chicky is back to her old self this morning! She started to perk up around 9pm last night and scarfed the rest of the egg I made her plus some watermelon. She was opening her eye more and flew from her perch that she'd been on all day to the back of my chair, chattering away. We flushed her eye with a little water and gently wiped with a cotton pad; that seemed to help. We decided to put her outside in the coop for the night. This morning she was the second out of the coop as usual, bee-lined straight for their morning feed, and has been scratching and pecking around the yard with her normal vigor. Her eye is no longer shut. She had one big watery poo when I first let them out into the yard. Since then she has had one other poo, normal in appearance but smaller than usual. I'll continue to monitor her throughout the day but I'm hopeful yesterday was a case of heat exhaustion that we caught in time. In the future we'll keep a close eye on our delicate flower when the heat rises. Thanks!
 

nao57

Crowing
Mar 28, 2020
1,418
1,429
288
If there really is heat exhaustion damage, etc., then you you will need to give it several days, maybe half a week of extra care not just one day. Maybe even the full week, if necessary.

You can do other options that may help like more isolated shelter that's more temperature control, etc. More checks,... stabilize environment better. More shade around the pens ( you could hang up spare bedsheets to create more shade, or just do cheap stuff. You don't technically have to buy stuff.)
 

KeriMK

In the Brooder
Apr 7, 2020
11
19
39
Bay Area, California, USA
If there really is heat exhaustion damage, etc., then you you will need to give it several days, maybe half a week of extra care not just one day. Maybe even the full week, if necessary.

You can do other options that may help like more isolated shelter that's more temperature control, etc. More checks,... stabilize environment better. More shade around the pens ( you could hang up spare bedsheets to create more shade, or just do cheap stuff. You don't technically have to buy stuff.)

Thank you for the advice! About 3/4 of the entire yard is shaded, even in the height of the day. Temps here for the next several days are not supposed to get above low/mid 70s, so we're all happy for the reprieve. I'm working from home right now so I've set up my "office" on the patio so I can keep an extra close eye on her and make sure she's doing okay. I'll give her electrolytes through the weekend as an added measure. Here are some shots of the yard to give an idea of their environment. Thanks again!
IMG_8592.JPG IMG_8594.JPG IMG_8593.JPG
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom