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Are my chickens too hot?

 
steward
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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I know this is a silly question since I live in northern Wisconsin.  But today it was a very unusual (for us) 94F and humid.  My chickens are designed for the cold.  The chickens had their mouths open and were panting from time to time.  They're free range so they spent most of their day in the shade in the woods.  The coop has both windows open at night (there is a breeze) but they were panting a bit when I shut them in for the night.

They have plenty of water and food.  I gave them a big bowl of cold water with some ice packs in it and I saw a few drinking it.

Is the panting normal or should I do something?  If so, what?  

It's supposed to be hotter than hell like this for the next week.  I'm thinking I'll have to move further north....
 
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Location: Winters, California
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My flock was dealing with 100 degrees today. Yes, the panting means that they are hot, and they'll also hold their wings out from their bodies to help dissipate body heat. As long as they have shade, cool water, and the ability to scratch into cooler soil, they should be fine. I did have a couple of hens die from heat exhaustion last year when it got up to 110 for a week, but after that I installed a little sprinkler in their run and turn it on when it's above 90. They walk through the cool mud around it and drink from it, and that seems to help. No deaths since then.
 
Mike Jay Haasl
steward
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Thanks Juniper!  I'll have to see if I can rig up some moving water for them.  Maybe a cookie sheet with water slowly dribbling into it that they can drink from.  Its overflow could be the cool wetness for their feet.  So far I haven't noticed them holding their wings out but they aren't used to the heat and maybe still need to learn that trick
 
Mike Jay Haasl
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I ended up giving them cold water to drink which they eventually took to.  I've seen them pant since on less hot days so I guess I'm getting used to it.  Thanks everyone, the birds all survived
 
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