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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:56 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:15 pm
Posts: 541
Location: Two Wells, SA
I have a big problem and it is nothing anyone can change but any helpful hints and ideas would be great.

The problem is the intense heat wave we are having here in SA - It is day 5 of 38+ degree weather and there seems to be no end to it - well, our 7 day forcast is all above 36 degrees. My chooks are handling it well so far as the are allowed out in the morning and usually make a bee line straight for under the verandah where they camp out all day and then go home at night.

I am however very worried as they are starting to show signs of heat stress - panting even in the morning when it is still under the 30 degree mark. Our overnight lows have been around the 25 degree mark and this is around 5am in the morning, at midnight last night it was still 32.

So how can I cool them down??

They have a well shade position under the verandah for the day time and I keep the floor damp, they have a constant supply of cool water and at night I put frozen vegies out for them to peck up - I do not feed them during the day at all.

Is there anything more I should be doing? Should I expect to lose some chickens from heat? argh this is so frustrating when you can not change the problem.

All help would be greatly appreciated!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:10 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 11:44 pm
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Location: western sydney,nsw
I find my birds manage the heat best themselves when allowed out as yours are they will find the shade, the coolest spot themselves----make sure they have cool water(as in out of the sun) and try not to feed them warming grains(like corn) -----if u do loose any it is usually the older , weaker birds----or very young ones-----have rarely lost any , except a few years ago when they ran out of water while I was at work :?


some people recomend putting up hessian or cloth of some sort and trickle water on it----evaporative cooling

they may "go off the lay" by the way, cheers pam

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:13 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:15 pm
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Location: Two Wells, SA
Thanks Pam - I bring my chicks inside during the day - but they will soon be too big and the O/H will start complaining!!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:09 am 
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Proud Rooster
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:32 pm
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Location: Southern Downs, Qld
an electrolye mix will help the chooks maintain body function & ward off effects of heat stress.

regards

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:04 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 4:42 pm
Posts: 239
Location: within sight of a volcano
Hey I know how you feel. Where I am located (Riverland) it's always 3 or 4 degrees hotter than Adelaide. Only thing I can do is make sure all chooks have plenty of water. They freerange all day so can find plenty of shade in the orchard. I have cut down feed to just one at night. Still I will lose chooks out of this rotten heatwave I just know it.
We spent over $500 to insulate the chook shed with something called airfoil and used reflective light coloured paint on the outside of the shed - nothing will cool it. We even tried sprinklers on the roof - no change to temp in shed. Always same as outside temp. So if 40 deg outside 40 in shed. Poor chooks, they just have to be tough. Weird though I'll sometimes get a youngish one die while the very old ones seem to keep going on and on and on...........

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:34 pm 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:26 pm
Posts: 93
Location: Adelaide, S.A.
Hi, I am also in Adelaide and the heat is terrible :evil: Our chooks ( various ages and breeds) free range during the day and in the heat at night also. Their favourite place in the heat is under the lemon tree that we soak in during the day (with water bowls etc WATER RESTRICTIONS!!!) They have plenty of shady places but this is their favourite.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:37 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 128
Location: Adelaide
yep my littleuns are suffering as well but they are still under 6 weeks so are currently trying to keep cool in the Laundry (coolest place in the house). They were panting earlier so even in the house there is no escape.

I have just heard the forcast and we still have at least another week of this :(

Anyone know how to do a rain dance ?? you never know it might work if we all do it. :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:59 pm 
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Discerning Duck
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Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:50 pm
Posts: 1703
Location: Ormond, Vic
I feel sorry for you guys in Adelaide, the heat is hotter there. I know i sound crazy but because it is a dry heat, it feels alot hotter. (used to live there) we had 37 in Melb today but a cool change, tomorrow 26 then a week around 35 so good to get some tips like the frozen vegies, i would have never though of that. Hopefully there are some drought breaking rains on the way (wishfull thinking i know)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:13 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:15 pm
Posts: 541
Location: Two Wells, SA
Quote:
Anyone know how to do a rain dance ?? you never know it might work if we all do it


I am stomping now!!

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 Post subject: re heat
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:36 am 
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Clever Cockerel
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Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:02 am
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Location: Warrnambool.Victoria
I also am having same problem with the temps being over 30 degrees at the moment, but a lot cooler today not going to last though, as forecast for next 3 days is over 35 degrees, so am not looking forward to that as the other day lost both my buff orps hens to the heat, now only got the roo, so need to get some buff hens to replace them, also lost a baby buff and leghorn baby as well.
Regards.
John.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:18 am 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:47 pm
Posts: 9
ours summers are normally over 40oc & we have had 48oc, if we want cool water that is at about 30oc we have to run the tap for half an hour and as water is scarce it is not an option,

best advice I can give is:
free range chooks where possible
ensure their water dishes are large at least 20litres in size & on the ground or half burried in the ground
good shade is essential
shed design is crucial, air flow must be able to freely travel through the shed in the front & out the back, our sheds have a one foot gap in the back up high which sucks the air through the shed due to thermal air movement

if you have plenty of water - soak the ground in a shaded place which has loose dirt - if the birds can dust bath in cool damp ground they can easily cool themselves.

I am now resorting to using a proven paint that will cool the sheds & it works well it has made a very noticeable difference (from chooks being highly heat stressed & dieing to not even panting) Most sheds offer shade but especially tin sheds (all ours are tin) radiate heat which is the killer,

the paint is very expensive but goes a long way ( I am not trying to sell the paint) but it is called solacoat & is available from places that sell solar hot water services etc. correct application is the key. Other people may have tried it & found it no good - but I have found it very good.

Another trap to watch out for is the sun direction on the sheds, unless you have a large roof overhang, often the sun will directly heat the inside of your sheds at certain times of the day, ie the roof is not keeping the sun off your shed. We used a shade clothe construction (verandah) to stop the sun entering directly into the sheds, it has worked well also.

Insulating roofs can be a trap, insulation only works well if there is a large air gap between the insulation & the roof itself - I know this
as our laundry used to be an oven until I painted the roof with the above mentioned paint.

I hope this helps,

i you find a really heat stressed bird, put them in cool water straight away (not icey - you could give them a heart attack), & completely soak them, you may have to change the water a few times to keep it cool, we have saved many animals not just birds this way).

I hope your chooks survive


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:24 pm 
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Discerning Duck
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Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:50 pm
Posts: 1703
Location: Ormond, Vic
I am at work stressing about my poor little chooks, currently 36 degrees and climbing. I gave them electrolytes in their water this morning and have a few tins of tomatoes in the fridge to give them when i get home. Should i give them some more electrolytes when i get home? 30 degrees tomorrow followed by three days above 35. I also have some mince patties defrosting in the fridge, should i give them some of this as well?
oh man, poor little things. i hope they are okay


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:41 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:39 am
Posts: 10113
Location: Tarago, near Goulburn
Huh. Do chooks like tinned tomatoes? I hadn't thought of that as a potential chook mash addition!

Bear in mind that tinned tomatoes often contain sugar and salt so diluting the liquid that comes with the tomatoes may well end up as a basic electrolyte sort of a mix. Ie, add more water and maybe you're effectively rehydrating your chooks already.

Mine seem to be coping ok in 33C but they have a lot of shade to choose from and can pick breezy spots for best coolness. I refilled the water containers this morning. I've also heard of people adding icecubes to the water, and I just realised I left some of their morning mash in a semi-frozen state (just grated carrot mixed with steamed oats), which might be nice for them in the middle of the day if one can get there.

Otherwise, a quick feed of frozen grated carrot as soon as you get home could be a quickish way to cool a chook down without actually dampening them. (Or is frozen stuff in a chook's crop a bad thing?).


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:48 pm 
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Discerning Duck
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Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:50 pm
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Location: Ormond, Vic
Mine go nuts for tinned tomatoes. refridgerated them this morning so they would be nice and cool for them. I tried to give them frozen peas the other day but being bantams and some of them still not fully grown, only two of them could physically eat a whole pea! what a waste. Will mix in extra water and put it on a couple of plates for them when i get home.
I was actually a bit naughty this morning and watered under the trampoline as it is nice and cool under there for them so i thought the water evapourating will help too. I have some three week olds outside and i probably should have brought them inside, they have fresh water and again had some electrolytes this morning. hopefully the 'cool change' comes through soon.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:04 pm 
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Hatchling
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Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:37 pm
Posts: 8
Location: NSW
Last summer, when days got a bit too warm, I started freezing ice cream containers full of water to place around the chicken coop. It works the same as evaporative cooling, and ensured a cooler water supply later in the day. Fortunately this summer has been very mild. We even had some light frosts last week :o . I hope It cools down for you soon


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