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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:47 pm 
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Clever Cockerel
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I have just found one of my RIR with obvious heat stress. I have bought her inside and put her in the bath with the air con on. I have poured cold water all over her and she seems to be responding. I know she's not out of the woods yet, but was wondering what else I can do.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:49 pm 
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Stand her in cool water - just up to her knees. Not cold - just cool. Heat stress is a form of shock, so sudden dunking isn't a good idea. You need to gradually get her body temperature down.

What symptoms does she have exactly? Runny droppings? Lying down? Congested?

FYI the symptoms of heat stress that you might be seeing are:
gasping, panting, wings outstretched
Stupor, staggers and convulsions
Slowness and lethargy
Light body weight, poor colouring, rough skin

Depending on her state, electrolytes might be helpful. I would give her a chance to cool a bit, then in a while trickle a few drops of water with electrolytes in it into her beak (not down her throat). Then leave her in peace and quiet to recover.

You can use commercially made products, gastrolyte, gatorade, or even homemade. I would use the electrolytes only for 24 hours.

Quote:
Homemade electrolyte recipe:
1 cup water
* 2 tsp sugar
* 1/8 tsp salt
* 1/8 tsp baking soda
Combine all ingredients and warm slightly.
Mix 1 teaspoon in one litre of water.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:52 pm 
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mittymoo,

Little else you can do, other than stand the chook in some water (enough to cover the feet) also pour water over the back of the neck. It can also help to wet the head with a damp cloth especially on the comb.

J

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:53 pm 
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Thank you both! Off to do that now!!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:56 pm 
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don't have a fan on her while she is wet... she will chill

Put her on to a wet towel on the floor and in to an area that is cool not cold... and she will be fine... put some fresh water and food nearby when she is ready she will drink and eat..

Keep her quiet and keep people away from her let her rest.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:03 pm 
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The air con is just circulating air through the house. She is standing in the water in the bath tub.

When I found her, she was lying under a tree, legs out to one side, head drawn back over her back and was gagging. Her feet were almost burning to touch, so I bought her inside and put icy water on her feet and on her back. She seems to be responding, trying to stand up and "bar - bar - bark" ing. I will keep her in there until the temperature drops or until ...... well, I don't even want to think about that..........

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:07 pm 
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Oh dear, she must have been in a state. Mittymoo, it sounds like she was convulsing. This could go either way, as you obviously realise. Sometimes they get brain damage and organ damage. Hopefully that's not the case and she will gradually improve. Best wishes.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:35 pm 
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Thanks for all your help!! I really appreciate being able to ask questions and get a quick answer.

She is on a towel on the floor in the bathroom. She hasn't tried to get up and keeps closing her eyes, but looks OK, so far. I know it can go either way, but I just want to know that I've done all that I could do for the poor old girl. Being a RIR, she is a BIG chook, heavy and well-fed. I was going to use some Vy'trate for her - would that be OK???

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:34 pm 
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I think it would be fine. Vy'trate is basically sugars and salts. Just follow the dilution instructions and give her small amounts. I think she also needs rest in the dark and quiet. She doesn't sound that good yet.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:37 pm 
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I have closed the door to the bathroom, and just keep checking on her every half hour or so. I will make up the home made electrolyte solution suggested and try her with that. She has pooed; very runny, with some dark brown solids. She doesn't seem to want to eat or drink yet; I shall keep her in the bathroom overnight; I have a fire guard around her to stop her from running around too much!!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:49 pm 
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When the bird first gets heat stressed, they pant a lot trying to cool their body. They lose water in the breath trying to cool themselves by evaporation from the surface of the lungs. Excess waste acids are produced and build up, throwing the body's chemical balance off. Then birds drink a lot of plain water because they are hot and thirtsy and their metabolism works a lot faster. The amount of wet droppings increases and the diarrhoea speeds up the dehydration and the electrolyte imbalance. It's a vicious circle.

Hopefully you'll see gradual improvement, but I'm a bit concerned about her current state.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:59 pm 
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Well, she is still with us. Although I haven't seen her drink, she is feisty enough to resist me dribbling some electrolyte fluids into her beak.

I will keep her inside tonight, and if the temperature looks like going through the roof again tomorrow, she can stay there until we get a cool change. She is sitting down, but can stand up if prompted.

The cat is quite intrigued with the presence of a large "bird" in her bathroom. She sat and watched as I changed her towel tonight, but had no inclination to touch her. I will keep the door shut in case the temptation gets too much!!

Thank you to everyone who made very helpful suggestions - I am very grateful for your experience and advice.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:37 am 
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Glad to report that she seems to have got back on her feet again, to the point that she was trying to get out of the bathroom and feed and water all over the floor.

I took her back down to the "geriatric unit" this morning (thinking that she might like to ease back into the rigours of flock life) and she paced the fence for the whole time that I was feeding the other pens, so I relented and put her back with her mates. She went and had a long drink, a good feed and was "greeted" by the rooster. I will watch her today; if the temps get back up, she's coming back inside!!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:42 am 
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That is fantastic mittymoo. Any signs of the wet droppings still? Keep a close eye on her, she won't have the same stamina as the other birds today. I hope the weather cooperates for you.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:03 am 
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Cathy, she's passing wet, dark green droppings. She isn't 100%, but she's a hell of a lot better than she was!!!

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