The chickens managed to survive Christmas with me away, and also a brief New Year with me away, but the hot weather is what has brought my poor babies low.
Today was a scorcher of 39 - and I had put plenty of water out - but I rushed home to find my chickens sitting in the shade, panting. All of them got up to great me, bar Spotty. Spotty was sitting on the grass panting, and looking like she was having difficulty breathing.
When I picked her up, her bare butt was even more obvious than it usually was, and it was a soft swelling and bulging. I put her into a bucket of water, and she must be sick because she let me pick her up and sat there in the water for a while. Usually Spotty is the most skittish of all the chickens.
She looked very unsteady on her feet and was even closing her eyes, so after leaving her to sit on the grass a bit more and finding ants crawling all over her, I decided to dropper feed her some water as she wasn't drinking water.
I only managed to get 100mL in I think, and she swallowed it all. However, I have put her in the isolation cage that I bought for Snowy's broodiness.
Spotty had been well, as she was eating from my hand yesterday and running around as usual and also laid an egg. I am sure she is suffering from heat exhaustion.
Tomorrow will be a bit cooler but it's another scorcher, even hotter, on Friday. I don't know if I will have a dead chicken by then, but at least I will be home the next few days to help look after them. I might have to leave out more buckets of water for them the cool themselves down with this summer. I have also made some iced bottles to put in the water to keep them cool.
Fingers crossed, and praying for the recovery of my dear Spotty.