It's been a brutally hot week here in the upper Midwest, over 100 degrees Fahrenheit for days. My four hens have done reasonably well in the heat by scratching wallows in the dirt and staying in the shade.
Last night the heat was unrelenting, still over 90 degrees at 10 pm. We placed a fan outside the hen house, hoping that a little breeze would provide some relief. Squill (the Speckled Sussex) was panting so fast and loudly that she may not have gotten any rest.
This morning (a mere 80 degrees at 7:30 am) Squill was showing distress. She was panting loud and fast, stopping only to open her beak wide and gulp for air. By 10 am I couldn't risk it anymore. I brought the girls inside and settled them on the cool tile floor of the basement bathroom. They have food, water, and a couple of garden trugs with hay. They're resting quietly in relative darkness. Let's hope the poor things survive the summer.