Worried about my 5 girls

RAsChickens

Songster
Apr 8, 2017
320
356
156
Chehalis, WA with my chickens
It is 85 degrees Fahrenheit here. I'm very, very worried about my 14 week old girls, 4 Buff Orpingtons and one Barred Plymouth Rock. I'm especially worried about Gidget (BPR) because she has partially black/grey feathers. I've tried everything this article from my favorite chicken website suggested except for the fruit smoothie and eggs

http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/04/beat-heat-helping-chickens-survive-high.html?m=1

I also added a frozen milk jug full of water and they have 4 water sources in their 15'x4' run. They have been dust bathing and drinking under the coop all day. Does anyone have any more ideas?
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
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Oregon
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Relax -- they are doing what they need to do to stay cool and handling this all just right. It is easy to become overly concerned about them, especially your first time around, because you can find a lot of "horror story" sort of information online. 85 in the PNW climate is not a dangerous temperature for the health and safety of poultry.
 

Poultrybreeder

Crowing
Apr 21, 2017
1,502
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New Mexico
It gets over 100 degrees where I live in the summer, all of our chickens are fine as long as they have shade and cold water, I wouldn't worry too much, if you really want to, get some ice packs, lay them in the coop for the hens to relax by, get enough ice packs so that you can change them out with ones fresh from the freezer as they warm up
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
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WA, Pac NW
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85 isn't that bad, they may be panting a bit but shouldn't be in danger, especially if you have shady areas they can access for relief if they need it. If you want you can put out a foot bath for them (I use a large planter saucer with clean cool water), mine seem to like that.
 

ChickenMammX4

Songster
Mar 17, 2015
1,044
243
161
SW Ohio
85F really isn't that hot. We usual summer temps are 90s sometimes 100F. I have Black Sex Links and they do fine as long as they have shade, water and ventilation.

They may pant, but so does my dog. I wouldn't worry.
 

RAsChickens

Songster
Apr 8, 2017
320
356
156
Chehalis, WA with my chickens
85 isn't that bad, they may be panting a bit but shouldn't be in danger, especially if you have shady areas they can access for relief if they need it. If you want you can put out a foot bath for them (I use a large planter saucer with clean cool water), mine seem to like that.
I bought a few trays at dollar tree and put them in the run! They love standing in them and drinking the water!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
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Deep all day shade is the best....under your coop might provide that.

The panting is alarming and it takes some experience to know if they are truly heat stroked...I base it on mobility, if they respond to some treats thrown out, they are probably OK.

Panting and holding wings out is normal,
they will also drink a lot more to shed heat from their bodies
and have loose poops because of it.

I did have a heat stroked hen last summer, she was not acting right, found that she couldn't see and was not eating or drinking.
I isolated her and gave her electrolytes(ChikSaver) and she came around.
Now I put out a dose of electrolytes for the whole flock once a week if it's really hot.
Mix up a half gallon worth and leave it out for a few hours so everyone gets some, seems to help.

Lots of other ideas:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/search/105659/?q=hot+weather&o=date&c[title_only]=1
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,954
11,353
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western South Dakota
Shade and water is what they need. It does not have to be cold water, just water. As for shade, take a look in the late afternoon, and make sure you have a vertical wall on the west to produce a shady spot. A pallet leaned up is enough. Good air flow is important too.

Dunking a heat stroke bird in cold water, could shock them into dying. Shade and water to drink is best.
Mrs K
 

Peeps61

Songster
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
1,369
974
236
NW Florida
I live in NW Florida, and we routinely get temps at or over 100 degrees in the worst part of summer. We've been averaging between 85 and 95 degrees already. My hens are free ranged, so they find shady spots to hang out in and of course they have plenty of water, whether from their waterers or from around the horse trough where it gets splashed out and stands. Ventilation is not a problem. The do pant and hold their wings out, but do just fine left to their own devices.
 

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