Chicken Care: Staying Cool in the Sweltering Heat


| 7/22/2009 4:07:05 PM


Tags: chickens, temperature control,

A photo of Michelle HernadezWe Texans may be babies when it comes to cold, but we know how to handle heat. Well, usually we do.

This year has been a brutal summer with little relief in sight. We are in extreme drought conditions. We already have had triple digit Fahrenheit temperatures for 26 days – and summer is just getting started. We may get some possible relief from La Niña, but that is not likely until late fall.

At least most Texans can escape the heat in air conditioning in their cars, in stores, or at home. But what about the chickens?

It’s been quite sad to see the recent surge in chicken obits posted on the backyard poultry forums in my area. It has been indiscriminating as to the forum poster – some seasoned chicken owners, others new.

I had been concerned about my flock and had already tried some serious measures. If I could have A/C, I thought, I wanted them to, as well. I started bringing my flock in and putting them in large dog crates in our sun room. Between the chickens, dogs, and cat, not to mention the turkey poults from babysitting, the room looked – and honestly, smelled – a bit like an indoor barnyard. Further, cleaning the crates regularly was a bit impractical for my schedule. I quickly realized this wasn’t going to be a practical longer-term solution, so I started thinking about what else I could do to keep my chickens cool.

My birds free-range, but they do go to their coop for laying eggs, eating, and roosting in the evening. Here are my steps for a cooler coop:

lhamid
7/21/2014 2:28:36 PM

It gets quite hot here in the Sacramento Valley too (CA). For those triple digits days, I keep watermelon in the freezer or fridge. I cut off big hunks and put it out for the birds (I have about 40 chickens). It hydrates and cools them, and the LOVE it. I do the same with some of those giant cucumbers that I find hiding. They especially like the seeds.


arnaldo
5/20/2014 8:02:38 AM

Staying cool in summer is as important for you as it is for your chicken, and hence you need to make arrangement for your chicken as well. The most appropriate way is as mentioned above. But as to keep your pool in good condition you need to take help of people like http://beachwoodpools.com/ , in the same way you need to take care of the arrangement for your chicken as well.


richard
9/11/2013 3:50:45 PM

I have had chickens for many years. as few as 6 and as many as 40 hens. I am not counting the Jumbo Cornish Rocks as they end up in the freezer. it can get hot here in Southeast Kansas. My hen house was large this hen house was an old molasses house and tin. standing about 15 feet high. even with the height and plenty of windows it got too hot for the hens. I tried several things. one was to plant Morning Glories on the west side. with all the chicken poo put around them they really helped. I planted a couple of mulberry trees in the large run. that helped also and they grow fast. I was still loosing a hen or two every week. Thank God for the 75 year old retired farmer that live just up the road. He dropped by for egg one afternoon and I was complaining about loosing hens and a rooster to the heat. the next thing I knew he was back with a old rusty looking swamp cooler. with a couple new filters a an hours work we had it attached to the hen house. shut most of the windows and turned to on. with the garden hose attached to the top and the drain running in a stock tank all went well. the temp dropped the hen cooled off and no more dead ladies or gents. fun story for me to tell. needless to say Frank got free eggs for the next few years and fried chicken every other Sunday.


marie james
7/7/2012 2:49:05 PM

Thanks for the tips, Michelle! We usually have a few weeks of hot weather each year and I'm always on the lookout for new ways to keep our chickens cool!


bsmiley
7/1/2012 2:57:45 AM

Thanks a lot for sharing. Here in KY, I have already lost 4 chickens due to this massive heat! 3 last night and 1 tonight. Of course my good layers. I will try the water bottles and even some fans. We all, who have ckns. appreciate your help. God Bless and Keep all of y'all safe and cooler!


shane
7/22/2009 10:19:24 PM

Some great ideas! Thanks for sharing.





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