Despite our best efforts to keep our chickens cool and comfortable, you may need to cool down chickens quickly in order to prevent heat stroke. Learn the signs of heat stroke in chickens, how to prevent it, and what to do if notice it in your flock.
Keep your chickens cool to begin with
The best way to deal with heat stroke in your chickens is to prevent from happening in the first place.
The three things chickens need the most are shade, water, and air flow. Those three components will prevent a lot of problems from occurring in the first place.
If you live in a hot climate, here are some tips you can follow to design and situate your coop. If you have drastically different temperatures throughout the year you could even have a cool weather coop and a warm weather coop.
Give them ways to cool themselves
Chickens will do their best to keep themselves cool by wading through mud or dust bathing. You can also give them frozen treats to eat. Here are some ideas on how to help your chickens cool themselves down.
When should you cool down chickens quickly?
If your chickens have their beaks open and are panting, you know they are too hot. Their combs may also become pale, and they may hold their wings away from their body. You may also see neon green stool. If your chickens have gotten past that point and are laying on the ground you need to work quickly.
The best way to quickly cool down a chicken is to grab a five gallon bucket of water and fill it with cool water from a hose. Pick up your chicken and submerge it in the water up to its neck. You are attempting to get the core body temperature of your chicken down back to a safe level. You may need to rub the water into the chicken past the feathers so it reaches the skin.
You should also give your chicken electrolytes. Pedialyte or will work just fine for chickens. You could also make your own by dissolving a 1 teaspoon each of baking soda and salt and a 1 tablespoon of sugar in a gallon of water.
Keep your chicken in a cool location and keep giving it electrolytes until it is acting normally. At that point you can return it to the flock.
The best way to protect your chickens during the heat is by preventing them from overheating in the first place, but hopefully you will be able to cool down chickens quickly if they are having a hard time.
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