Today we lost 3 chickens and are clueless why. It is hot, very hot, 108 degrees hot today. Could they be getting cooked from the heat? We had 17 (several different breeds) and were getting around a dozen eggs a day. The three that lost their life today were all found in very different areas of the yard: one in a barn (shady), one in the hen house (shady) and one under a shade tree in the goat pen. They all had access to fresh water and were all well-fed. We are stumped!
I would have to say yes, it could have been the heat. That is just my guess. 108 degrees is HOT !!
I'm in the panhandle and we were 105 today. My chickens were panting. I hooked up a mister for them, but only the three dominant hens took advantage of it. The rest were in the garage panting. I didn't realize it was 105 until I checked just now. No wonder they were panting. Was hoping this summer wouldn't be so bad.
I have been locking my broody chickens in a dog kennel. That coop is just too hot for them to be sitting in a nestbox during this heat. Those hens will sit there all day on unfertilized eggs if I let them. Poor things.
I lost a hen last year to heat. Not a good feeling. They say chickens can take cold much easier than they can heat.
You can freeze your own ice in gallon jugs or liter bottles or whatever you have and put in with them. That is one solution that might help.
Maybe I should set the sprinkler up for my hens tomorrow and see if it will help cool them off. This heat is getting serious again.
good advise LFJ. You can also put out shallow pans of water like plant pot bottoms about 2" deep they will stand in them, can put ice cubes in the water too. wet the ground in the shady areas they will scratch out a hole a lay in it. I have small cheap fans in my pens but haven't had to turn them on yet. Hot as heck but pens are in very shady areas and no one panting yet
Yesterday I bought about 100 lbs of ice, and used it to try to keep my chickens and ducks alive. The ones that were loose I figured are fine, but those that can't free range needed help. I half-filled cat litter boxes (new:) with ice cubes and turned the fans so that they blew across the ice into the pens. Seemed to help. Put a bag of ice in the ducks pond, which stayed cool all day. Did find I needed more after 8, so will replenish as needed.
:). Yesterday I re-iced at about 4, and that was enough, the temps dropped by 9 pm to the lower 80's. Round one is in for today, but I suspect it will be a 3 fill day. Temps are forecast to still be 100 at 9 pm. Can't close up the shed while it's that hot, so it may turn into a veeeeery long day.