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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:48 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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With lots of posts about chooks affected / dying due to excessive heat, I thought I'd post two thumbnail pics (click on them to see larger pics) that I took of MyShell, my Australorp bantam pullet suffering on the first hot day of spring. This is so that if you see your chook/s doing this, you know that they are too hot, and you must act immediately to relieve the heat. How to cool them down safely is discussed in other threads, and if someone would be kind enough to post some links to such threads in this one, I would appreciate it.

Note that the other five Australorp bantams, of similar age, and two of the same colour, were showing absolutely none of the signs that MyShell was. None of them were panting & none of them were holding their wings out. Apologies for the blurriness of the photos. I do hope that I don't get the opportunity to take similar photos of her (or any other chooks) again.

Image
Image

Since these pics were taken, I put a large Decor container into their run every hot day (and some not-so-hot days) that has been filled with water & put in the freezer overnight. As well as their nipple waterers in the run, they have a few bowls of water in shady places throughout the garden (as they free range all day). On particularly hot days, I put a second Decor container next to one of their bowls of water under the trailer, as that is where they spend most of their time on extremely hot days.

Oh, and yes, MyShell is fine. Since that one day when she was very affected by the heat, she has not shown any signs of heat stress, even on days 10 degrees hotter than that one.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:23 pm 
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Golden Swan
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What topics were you wanting linked, Winglet? This is the only one i can think of How to Keep your Chooks Cool during this summer

I've added a link to this thread to the husbandry Index under 'Heat Stress'.

NellyG

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:10 am 
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Superior Bird
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Well, I have to admit that out West here, I seem to see that pose very often. We get VERY hot here and the birds to a certain degree have to learn to cope with it. They all have fresh water in the morinings, the ladies get freerange at the moment, but the broody, the boys and the youngsters are inside. All get some mud to 'wallow' in but I am at work all day and they are on their own. All pens are in a big, shady shed with good ventilation but any ice here would only last a short time.
I think some breeds seem to cope better than others and birds that are to fat have the most difficult time.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:42 am 
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Mine too are on free range during the day so have the option to find cooler spots. Though on days of extreme heat that is not always possible. Think I have just found the ideal spot to plant that tree that is sitting in a pot waiting for a home - on the western side of the future chook run ..


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:57 am 
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Discerning Duck
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I had workers here recently so I locked my girls in their run some were standing like that then some others were laying down with a wing stretched out sunbaking :roll:. They have plenty of tree cover in their run but it was just a stinking hot day.
I let them out so they could cool down near the sprinklers.
Your thread is a good idea as new chook owners may not recognise the signs.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:58 am 
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I think that's it's a good idea to post these pictures of a chook in the early stages of heat stress. It will help new chook owners to recognize the signs and, as Winglet says, act quickly to prevent it worsening. Of course, we can't all keep an eye on our chooks all day and those with large numbers will find it hard to introduce a mass chook cooling regime. But better to recognize the signs and act if you can than never even notice at all.

Other behavioural signs of heat stress include rapid breathing with an open beak and a stretched out neck.

Must say though that when initially I read the title of this thread I thought I was going to get pics of a smokin' 'hot' Australorp in short shorts, big sunnies and heels.... Or maybe that's just me :roll:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:43 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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70%cocoa wrote:
Must say though that when initially I read the title of this thread I thought I was going to get pics of a smokin' 'hot' Australorp in short shorts, big sunnies and heels.... Or maybe that's just me :roll:


Here was I thinking Tandoori, Honey Soy, Sweet Chilli....

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:04 pm 
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A thread on "how to cool down chooks when water is at a premium" would be VERY well received in this neck of the woods. Currently 38 on our front verandah. Mind you, the weather forecast was for 32 ................. :shock:

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Last edited by mittymoo on Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:19 pm 
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Golden Swan
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Yes, I agree with the others who have said that chooks who look like that may just be hot and not heat stressed. They cool themselves by panting with beak open (rather like a dog) and holding the wings out so air can circulate. They are still good pictures though.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:45 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
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This is a fairly typical pose of a hot, but not excessively overstressed, rooster:

Image

Notice the dropped wings and spread flight feathers.

The daft idiot was running around in the heat chasing invisible enemies. He's more sensible now:

Image

Note opened beak and dropped wings again. He was a little distressed but got a nice hosing after the picture was taken.

Same dropped-wing pose on the other rooster, taken at the same time:

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:28 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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One of my chooks was doing this the other day (42). I read that chooks shouldn't be immersed, so I wrapped her in a wet towel, which she seemed to appreciate for a short period. I also hosed the run and trees so it 'rained' on them.
Is it ok to hose chooks? (gently) or put the sprinkler over them? will they cool off in trays of water- like a dust bath?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:05 pm 
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Golden Swan
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You can spray them with a hose but they may not appreciate it too much! It will cool them though whether they like it or not, but misters are better. Having trays (cat litter trays are good) full of cool water is good. The will often go and stand in them if they are really hot.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:47 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Thanks Nelly... yes, that would have been the link I was after (having had a very long week I was too tired to look myself).

I agree with those stating that your chook may just be coping with being hot, rather than actually 'heat stressed', when they are panting & have their wings held away from their body.

As MyShell was young (well, still is) and it was the first hot day for her that I'd seen, I think it was more important to see those signs as distress rather than just coping with the heat. Also, because the other four were fine, and quite active, she continued to be active with them... to her detriment. She was fairly lethargic, too.

I think that as the summer heats up & she gets older, she will learn to cope with the heat better, by lying in the cool rather than following the others about (amongst other coping strategies).

Obviously not everyone has the time or water resources to do a great deal... whatever each person can do to alleviate the signs of a chook being too hot will always be appreciated by their chooks.

I guess that, more than anything, as cocoa70% stated, the photos are there to show people who haven't had chooks before (like me) what to look out for.

I appreciate the other photos people have posted, too. There is plenty of information on what to do about the heat, and about overheated chooks, but not so easy to find photos. It's a bit like some of the pics of chooks with problems... I think many people would not want to post pics of their chooks in distress in case it reflects on them in some way. I'm very grateful to those people in BYP that post their sick & injured chook pics, as pictures tell you so much more than words.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:18 pm 
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70%cocoa wrote:
Must say though that when initially I read the title of this thread I thought I was going to get pics of a smokin' 'hot' Australorp in short shorts, big sunnies and heels.... Or maybe that's just me :roll:

Um. . . That would be hot chick. . . :thumbs: :rofl:
Cheers julie

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:22 pm 
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Discerning Duck
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I'm not sure if one of my hens had a heat stroke this morning. I was letting them out at 5am she stayed in the coup as she is clucky. I heard her give a loud sharp squark and I ran in she was laying on the ground twisted and her neck was moving like a fit or stroke.
I initially thought a snake had bitten her, I couldn't see a snake so I grabbed her up and ran for the tap. I splashed her head and chest with the cool water. She was still twisting her neck really strangly but fighting me as well so I sat her on the lawn. She took about two steps twisted then rested then she got up and is now back to normal. It was freaky.
Is this what happens with heat stroke it is very hot here now and my young ones are very quiet resting under the trees where they are getting a breeze, well at times its cyclonic as were expecting a storm this afternoon. I know when they are really hot, but I have never experienced this type of strange behaviour what do others think.

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