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How to survive Summer heat when on holidays

I'm going on a holiday this week for 6 nights and the temperature is going to be 40 degrees c (104f) in Australia its summer now. I'm just wondering if anyone can give me tips on getting my chickens though hot weather which is going to range from 30-40celcius. There is sand in the run also. The coop isn't in direct sun and is shaded. I need help

Key would be having someone who knows chickens well and knows how to spot heat stress and what to do if they get heat stressed keep a watch over your flock while you're gone.

There is lots of discussion on chooks and hot weather here at BYC,

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Quote:
Originally Posted by lachie27

I'm going on a holiday this week for 6 nights and the temperature is going to be 40 degrees c (104f) in Australia its summer now. I'm just wondering if anyone can give me tips on getting my chickens though hot weather which is going to range from 30-40celcius. There is sand in the run also. The coop isn't in direct sun and is shaded. I need help

With plenty of fresh water they will be fine.  A chickens internal body temperature is 105 degrees f so if they have shade and cool water they will think that there is a cold snap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chickengeorgeto

With plenty of fresh water they will be fine.  A chickens internal body temperature is 105 degrees f so if they have shade and cool water they will think that there is a cold snap.

I - don't - think - so.....well, maybe if you're in the desert with very low humidity.

My bird start panting at about 85F, but it's humid here, RH number usually equals temp number.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Quote:
Originally Posted by aart

I - don't - think - so.....well, maybe if you're in the desert with very low humidity.

My bird start panting at about 85F, but it's humid here, RH number usually equals temp number.

Chickens don't have sweat glands so they lose excess heat through respiration.  The domestic chicken is descended from the Red or the Gray Jungle Fowl.  Jungles are humid rain forests not dry deserts.  Hot and dry is the perfect way for a chicken to die from heat prostration.  Humid air on the other hand carries more heat away than dry air can.

Edited by chickengeorgeto - 12/25/15 at 5:44am
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickengeorgeto

Quote:
Originally Posted by aart

I - don't - think - so.....well, maybe if you're in the desert with very low humidity.

My bird start panting at about 85F, but it's humid here, RH number usually equals temp number.

Chickens don't have sweat glands so they lose excess heat through respiration.  The domestic chicken is descended from the Red or the Gray Jungle Fowl.  Jungles are humid rain forests not dry deserts.  Hot and dry is the perfect way for a chicken to die from heat prostration.  Humid air on the other hand carries more heat away than dry air can.

<grunts>huh

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

I love science stuff. This is sort of like the question about which freezes quicker, hot water or cold water. (Use your common sense. The answer is obvious.)

The problem of keeping chickens cool in either hot, dry, desert climates or hot humid climates depends on their ability to dissipate heat from un-feathered surfaces such as wattles and combs and panting which brings air across the moist surfaces of the trachea, thus cooling by evaporation in the latter.

Therefore, while chickens don't sweat like humans do, they still have a mechanism (panting) which helps them cool down by evaporation, and evaporation is more efficient in dryer air than very humid air.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lachie27

I'm going on a holiday this week for 6 nights and the temperature is going to be 40 degrees c (104f) in Australia its summer now. I'm just wondering if anyone can give me tips on getting my chickens though hot weather which is going to range from 30-40celcius. There is sand in the run also. The coop isn't in direct sun and is shaded. I need help

Can you have someone check on them? If not twice, then once a day in early afternoon? They can wet down the run (If yours is a hot dry climate you can wet sand down; it won't last).

Add some ice cubes to the water dish? Feed them some watermelon that you've provided? Things like that?

It's true if your coop/run is in the shade, and there are shrubs or other objects to go under and dig in the dirt/sand, that will help.

Note: We got very hot for the PNW (95-100f) for 2-3 weeks last summer. I had the tubing, so added a misting system on the outside of the run (so it wasn't misting right on them). They were scared at first, then forgot about it.  It really did lower the temps nicely. (You'd need low humidity for this to work). Not sure if you have time to get this set up, though.

Setting up a box fan toward the run can also help, but you'd need someone to turn it on and off.

Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by azygous

I love science stuff. This is sort of like the question about which freezes quicker, hot water or cold water. (Use your common sense. The answer is obvious.)

The problem of keeping chickens cool in either hot, dry, desert climates or hot humid climates depends on their ability to dissipate heat from un-feathered surfaces such as wattles and combs and panting which brings air across the moist surfaces of the trachea, thus cooling by evaporation in the latter.

Therefore, while chickens don't sweat like humans do, they still have a mechanism (panting) which helps them cool down by evaporation, and evaporation is more efficient in dryer air than very humid air.

After reading your information it is evident that it is about commercial chicken production.  There is a lot of latent heat in a commercial chicken farm building where 20,000 or more birds may all be producing heat in close proximity ..... as well as a huge amount of moisture.  All this panting that you mentioned is designed to vent heat.  Most commercial poultry farms in warm climes have side curtains instead for walls so that the heat and moist air exhaled is not trapped but can be easily exchanged by raising the side curtains and turning on exhaust fans..  It also seems that the value of a good supply of cool water is overlooked.

I have kept 1,000s of American Game Roosters, a lot of them on tie cords, each with only a few square feet of moist shaded ground but with 200 square feet of green grass to live on and they liked the arrangement just find.  However you had to manicure the land carefully.  If you allowed annual rye grass to get a start, then when you cut it, the rye grass would form a knot at ground level that would tangle the tie out cord.  This could result in a rooster dying from heat prostration in as little as 5 minutes depending on the temperature and strength of the Sun.  Of course this would only happen in hot, full, bright Sunlight.  Sunlight like you usually see in the Desert South West but also in the Southern United States during heat waves accompanied by stretches of severe dry weather.

Chickens are not humans and neither are humans poultry.  Very little in a humans' experience is applicable to a chicken.   A human who is panting is in heat distress, (likely because of dehydration) but it is how chickens naturally shed or lose heat.  Think of freezer burn or the relationship between heat and relative humidity and the link between cooling and moisture will become obvious to you.  Also remember that humid air retains or can absorb more heat than dry air.

I suggest that you observe your birds during periods of heat waves and drought and notice that your chickens will walk 10 times as far just to avoid areas with little or no shade.  Keeping to the shady areas even if these shady areas are no larger than your PC's key board.  Arid or desert areas have little natural shade.