The heat is here...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dani & Mikey, May 3, 2018.

  1. Dani & Mikey

    Dani & Mikey Songster

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    Ok, it’s happened. The heat has hit Virginia. Just a few days after our super late last frost:rant...but that’s beside the point.
    It’s hot and I saw my chickens panting yesterday. I know this is a normal thing and have been sifting through the threads regarding hot chickens.
    Anyone who feels like dropping a link to their favorite hot weather tips threads or articles would be super awesome & appreciated. I am sure a wave of similar questions are about to hit! You know how us First Years can be...
    :oops:
    As always, thank you so much for taking the time to reply!
     
  2. staceyj

    staceyj Enabler

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    I used to live there. The time between seasons in Virginia can be in the blink of an eye!

    Be sure your birds have access to shade, fresh water at all times and in more than one location, and that your coop/run has plenty of ventilation.

    Water is key, just a few hours without it can lead to devastating results.
     
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  3. igorsMistress

    igorsMistress Crossing the Road Barefoot

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    I live in the desert and lots of folks on the AZ state thread have the same problem with the heat.
    You can freeze soda or juice bottles and take them out in the heat of the day, leave them in shady places so they can lean against them to cool off. Provide mud puddles, lots of shade, fill wide feed bowls with a little cool water to stand in. I put just a few ice cubes in because our water isn't very cool out of the hose. Some people provide misters, you can give cool treats like watermelon, cucumber, frozen grapes. I put frozen berries in a little water and freeze so they can peck at it.

    Good luck with the heat! We were 75* yesterday and up to 106* by Sunday:th
     
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  4. Dani & Mikey

    Dani & Mikey Songster

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    Thank you! I have 3 different waterers in there for them just so I can be sure they all have access to their preference of hydration. Probably overkill but I was worried. I put ice in them before I left and am about by to go do it again. This year has been crazy for us weather wise. I guess everyone is feeling that!
    We are lucky that the way the sun goes over our house and their coop we get a bit of morning sun and a good bit of evening sun but the hottest part of the day gets blocked by very large trees. It’s also lucky that we get a very nice breeze that comes across the horse field next door.
    Thank you! 106 already!? I thought we had it bad!! I will go check out the Az thread. I brought home some big empty gallon size juice containers to fill with water and freeze. Also plotting frozen treats. I saw somewhere, probably Pinterest, to freeze canned corn & water in muffin tins for treats but have also read about NOT feeding them corn & scratch grains during the heat because it takes energy to digest. Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  5. igorsMistress

    igorsMistress Crossing the Road Barefoot

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    Great about your shade, that helps a lot! I don't give any extra corn other than what's in their feed during the heat. I do blueberries and dill, chopped cukes and melon balls, stuff like that. Mint and cucumber is a favorite too. Think things that you like when it's hot that cool you off, then freeze it.
     
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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My birds are confined with no great deep shade for last half of the day so I have to be vigilant during heat waves. I do have shade cloths up on run, which helps, but still not deep shade.

    I put out large shallow pans of ice cubes late afternoon, they walk in and sit on them and sip the water as it slowly melts...used to add water but they would gorge on too much too fast, I have seen a chicken suffer from an 'ice cream headache'.

    To help cool down the coop I also have a box fan in the east window of coop, where it's shady most the day, and turn it on late afternoon...blows cooler air into coop and pushes hot air out.

    To determine heat stress levels I go by activity level, if panting and wing holding seems extreme, I throw out a few treats to see if everyone is moving well.

    Electrolytes can really help.
    Had hen suffer heat exhaustion/stroke one summer, she was standing stock still and let me walk right up to her(not at all normal for this bird). I determined she could not see out of one eye at all and the other was dicey. I started hydrating her with Qtip soaked in Sav-a-Chik solution held against the side of her beak, had to rub under her beak and the front of her neck to get her to swallow at first. Did this until she got too stressed, about 10 minutes, put her in a cage with a fan nearby to rest. Repeated this about every hour for half the day until she would drink out of a cup held in front of her. She recovered and I also gave the rest of the flock a dose of Sav-a-Chik solution in an open waterer(I use horizontal nipples on waterers), it really seemed to reduce the heat stress so now do that regularly when the heat waves are extreme and days long. Just a half gallons worth every couple days.
     
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  7. Dani & Mikey

    Dani & Mikey Songster

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    Oh, that is excellent advice. Thank you. I was worried about something like that happening with the way the heat just hit! The poor things don’t know what hit them. No time to acclimate. It’s good to know they can be nursed back to health should that happen. Heat stroke in a chicken is a scary thing! I am glad to have the advantage of everyone’s experiences.
     
  8. igorsMistress

    igorsMistress Crossing the Road Barefoot

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    Great idea about electrolyte! Can't believe I didn't think of it for my girls.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    After seeing it bring back the stroked bird, then giving the whole flock a dose and seeing it perk them all up I was sold and now give them a dose regularly when the heat gets bad.
     
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