Welcome to Fluent in Fowl Language! Today’s topic is Managing chickens during extreme heat.

Why are my chickens panting? Is this normal? Yes. Chickens don’t have sweat glands, so they pant to regulate their body temperature. If you notice your chickens panting, make sure to provide shade and cool water. You need to provide protection from heat stress for your flock. Water, Shade and Ventialtion are the best ways to combat stress and prevent extreme heat stress in your birds.

Signs of Extreme Heat Stress

  1. Symptoms: A hen suffering from heat exhaustion may exhibit heavy panting, hold her wings away from her body, have pale wattles and comb, and may appear lethargic, limp, or even unconscious.
  2. Immediate Action: If a chicken shows these symptoms, she needs to be cooled down quickly. This can be done by submerging her body (up to her neck, not including the head) in a bucket of cool (but not icy) water.
  3. Recovery: After the immediate cooling down, the hen should be placed somewhere cool until she has completely recovered.

Remember, it’s always best to prevent heat stress by providing plenty of shade, fresh water, and proper ventilation for your chickens during hot weather. If symptoms persist or worsen, it’s important to seek veterinary care.

Options for cooling:

Offering shade in the run. This can be achieved by adding tarps or shade materials, think of how the sun will travel during the day. Make sure that you add shade in the western part of the run so the chickens will have shade during the hottest times of the day. Preferably bring your chickens into their run or make sure that the chicken house is well ventilated. Fans can help, either alone or in conjunction with foggers or evaporative cooling. Some other things you can do to help cool down your chickens:

With a little forethought, your chickens will make it through the summer non stressed!



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