Our First Heat Related Fatality
Like much of the country, we’ve been under a heat advisory off and on for several weeks. Yesterday, the heat index topped out at 108. Around noon I drove the mower down to the sheds to check on water levels. The chickens are panting and walking around with their wings open but everyone was alive and well. I went around the fence checking for weeds that might be grounding out the electric fence. I stopped once and pulled a few then headed to the house. Just in that short amount of time, without any physical exertion, my clothes could have be wrung out and the sweat poured into a tall glass.
When I went down in the evening I started as usual by first feeding the steers their milk buckets. While they slurp their supper I walk fast to get their feed ready. As I started to get the feed out I noticed one of the chickens laying in front of the nesting boxes. When it’s hot they tend to dig themselves a little hole in the ground and sit with their breasts in the dirt in an effort to to cool off – although in front of the boxes was an unusual place. Without a clear view I was uncertain of what was going on and had a bad feeling about things. At that point, with all the milk devoured, the calves were attacking me. I got them under control so I could enter the chicken side of the shed. Instead of laying breast down the chicken was on it’s side and dead. I picked it up and managed to get myself out of the pen before being mugged. It was one of my hubby’s grandma’s birds so it was probably fairly old. I’m just glad it wasn’t a young one!
I brought it out of the shed and started to walk out of the pen when Willis saw it. Here was the conversation…
Willis: What are you doing with that chicken mom?
Me: Well, honey, it died so I need to get it out of the shed.
Willis exclaims with joy: Oh, good, can we eat it now??
Such a sensitive child…NOT.
Try to stay cool where ever you all are located & drink plenty of water!