Spring has now past and we are creeping forward into the summer. Whilst this is great for most of us as it means holidays and great weather, spare a thought for our two legged friends who often struggle in the heat. Even if birds are not sick, these are serious matters for the farmer because he knows by experience that production falls in direct proportion to the bird’s temperature and discomfort. With no treatment and worsening conditions the birds will die. When the body is heat stressed, the bird drinks more and eats less. (Appetite is depressed by 1.5% for each degree of environmental temperature rise above 20°C (68 °F). A chicken’s normal body temperature is between 40ºC and 41ºC (104ºF and 107ºF) but they do not have sweat glands, and there are limits to a chicken’s ability to regulate their body temperature. Cold isn’t really a problem – they have feathers to protect them – but heat can be a very serious issue. In areas of high humidity (above 50%), ambient temperatures which rise above just 20ºC (68ºF) will cause some mild heat stress; above 25ºC (77ºF) heat exhaustion  will increase rapidly and at 30ºC (86ºF) the bird will not be able to lose heat fast enough and is likely to suffer a stroke brought on by the heat. In areas where humidity is not an issue chickens can survive (but not necessarily be comfortable) until the temperature reaches 40 ºC (104 ºF), at which point problems can become severe and quickly lead to heat stroke – which generally proves fatal – if not managed properly. It’s in those circumstances you should be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and know how to deal with it. Some breeds can deal with extremes of temperature better than others.  Those birds originating in cooler, more temperate climates have more difficulty in dealing with extremes of temperature.  This will become an important factor when we look at ways of managing heat stress. Older chickens can sometimes adapt if the temperature rise is gradual, but if it’s quick they won’t be able to and they are likely to suffer the most. Heavy breeds will be next in line and broilers – birds bred for their meat – will show signs of heat exhaustion more quickly than layers.  Broiler chicks between 6 and 8 weeks old have been shown to be even more badly affected by heat exhaustion than adults.

Let’s take a look at how you can identify when your chickens have heat stroke and then many ways to cool them down during the summer.

Visible Symptoms

Some breeds of chicken cope better than others in the heat, however when the temperatures get up and over the 80 Fahrenheit mark, any breed of chicken will start to suffer. This suffering can range from going off lay all the way through to, in extreme cases, dying. You will probably notice as the temperature gets over 90 Fahrenheit their egg production will slow down and eventually stop as temperatures exceed 100 Fahrenheit. Apart from this following are the signs which are clearly visible

  • Walking around with their beaks wide open.
  • Lying on the ground with their wings spread.
  • Eating little amounts of food
  • Gasping, panting, panting respiration – up to 250 breaths/ minute – mediating evaporative cooling from the surface of the lungs (80% of heat is lost this way)
  • wings spreading
  • Stupor, staggers and terminal convulsions
  • Slowness and lethargy.
  • Increased cannibalism
  • Light body weight, poor colouring and rough skin.
  • Egg production drop for no apparent reason
  • Reduced egg size, poorer egg shell quality
  • Increased mortality
  • Increased output of urine – further loss of electrolytes
  • Wet droppings develop
  • Thirst increases- many times
  • Ascites incidence increases
  • Immunity to intercurrent disease is lowered
  • Appetite is depressed, there is some indigestibility of feed and gut motility is slowed. Nutrient deficiencies may occur.
  • There is loss of body weight
  • Fertility is lowered
  • Growth and growth rate are depressed
  • Replacement pullets are lighter, lay later and lay fewer eggs
  • Egg weight decreases
  • Egg downgrades increase
  • The absorption of minerals is altered wing spreading, and squatting close to the ground.
  • Birds grow unevenly
  • Force feeding for higher consumption levels leads to greater
  • In Breeders, reduced fertility, due to less mating, poorer semen quality and female infertility


  • pH of blood plasma rises
  • pH within the cells falls
  • Urine output increases and so does electrolytes
  • Bicarbonate (HCO3) is lost
  • Stress hormones appear in the blood
  • Gene function is disturbed
  • Resources being diverted to unproductive efforts by the animal (bird) to restore balance (homeostasis)
  • Heat shock proteins are activated to shut down metabolic reactions and to protect heat-sensitive tissues.
  • Responses to intercurrent diseases or pathogens decline rapidly.
  • All production is stopped due to loss of homeostasis


When deep body temperature is elevated for prolonged periods, biochemical and physiological changes damage vital body organs such as the heart, lung, liver and kidney.

At post-mortem obvious signs of organ damage present with the following characteristics:

  • The heart muscle increases in size at the right atrium with significant blood accumulation.
  • Congestion and build up of fluids and blood is common.
  • Colour changes to a pale yellow and is congested.
  • Kidney Swells and is inflamed, water blood and urine accumulates.
  • Muscles are dry and sticky to touch.
  • Blood is thicker and darker than normal.
  • Crop and gizzard are empty and dry. Gizzard lin­ing peels off easily.

The above clinical signs emphasize the need for poultry producers to do everything possible to minimize the increase in deep body temperature .

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  1. Cool Their Water

The first and easiest thing you can do is to sort their water supply out. Make sure to keep the water tanks covered with wet jute sacks if possible and also keep water tanks in shed to prevent them from direct sunlight. It is not enough to give the bird water alone. This only increases the problem, by further stimulating the loss of electrolytes. This problem can be improved by adding ‘Cool-A-Chick’ in water.

  1. Make sure their coop has enough space.

Putting too many chickens in too small of an area, can cause the coop to heat up quickly due to excessive body heat and moisture and prevents them from staying cool. It is recommended that the coop have 4 square feet per bird. Also consider adding a thermometer to see what the temperature is.

  1. Spray around the coop with solution of ADS Plus and water.

Spraying around the coop and the roof can cause evaporative cooling for your chickens. Add ADS Plus in water for spraying which acts as Acidifier Disinfectant and Sanitizer to prevent the chicks from any kind of infection.

  1. Appropriate Feed Once you’ve sorted their water supply out the second best thing you can is feed them in a right manner Don’t feed them Maize (diced corn) or scratch as this takes them a long time to digest and causes their body temperature to rise.
  2. Ventilate Their Coop

To keep your chicken coop cool you need to allow for ventilation. The simplest way to do this is to fit a window into your coop and leave the window slightly open when they go to roost. This will give your chickens nice cool air throughout the night.Read how much room do chickens need for more advice on chicken coop design.If you’re concerned about predators you can place a steel window guard on the outside of the window. Another great way to reduce the temperature is to install a fan in their coop and run it during the daytime. This helps keep the coop cool so it isn’t hot when they go to roost in the evening. Finally, make sure you only have a very thin layer of bedding (sawdust) down on the floor of the coop. if you have too much chicken bedding inside your coop during the summer, it will act as an insulator and keep some heat inside the coop.


To stop this vicious cycle a scientifically balanced electrolyte which remedies dietary electrolyte balance ‘Cool-A-Chick’ must be added to the drinking water.


‘Cool-A-Chick’ is a unique herbal product specially made  for chicks to make them cool in summers. It is a powerful coolent with probiotics and asprin extracted from willow bark fortified with vitamin C Stress reliever in summer Save your Flock with ‘Cool-A-Chick’ Drops. This product is a versatile and has diversified benefits which are as follows

  • Allows to combat heat stress
  • Prevents dehydration
  • Provides ready source of energy
  • Improve Immunity
  • Enchances intestinal microflora depleted due to heat stress
  • Maintains calcium-magnesium level, essentall for egg shell formation
  • Prevents mortality due to heat stress
  • Maintain performance and production
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