How do y'all keep your birds cool in these cauldron-like summers? And, what measures do y'all take for mosquitoes and gnats?
I am going to have some eggs in the Hideous-Bator very soon. Finally!!! Anyway, y'all know it won't be long before the chicks are old enough to live outside.
My question is concerning the coop and run during the dog-days of summer. I know about the frozen bottles in their water. I plan on having very good ventilation in the coop covered by hardware cloth. If you've ever watched NFL football games in hot climates, they use VERY FINE misters with fans to cool the players. I had an irrigation business for years and used these misters in customer's backyards to lower the temps around 10 degrees on brutally hot days. So the chickens will be able to get into the mist if they want to cool off. Of course, I will provide some shade for them. Any other ideas for keeping the ladies cool?
I've already mentioned how bad the gnats and mosquitoes get here up against the marsh. So, I was thinking of hanging rags with some sort of repellent soaked on them. Hoping the chickens will walk through the hanging rags, swiping themselves to rid themselves of the tormenting bugs. As I've written here before, we used this method in the "olden days" on our cattle and they would walk in a huge circle head-to-rump, round and round through oil soaked sacks to rid themselves of biting flies. Think it'll work?
Thinking of putting a high CFPM (cubic feet per minute) fan with a timer inside the coop to help keep the gnats and mosquitoes at bay during dawn and dusk when the bugs are at their very worst. What do you guys do for biting bugs?
Trying to keep 'em cool and bug free? .
You've already had some replies, but here's my two cents. lol. Permethrin10 eradicated the gnat and mosquito problem for my chickens, and we live in the middle of woods. As far as keeping cool, I use shallow pans filled with water for them to stand in. It gets changed daily, because it will become disgusting and attract bugs despite anything you are using to ward them off. Shade is an absolute must. If you put a fan on the coop it will double as cooling and a bug repellant. I would be careful with the mister and be sure it isn't soaking the ground. A wet coop or run attracts bugs.
In my opinion, if my birds are in a coop and run that is covered, with a water dish to stand in, they typically fair very well. If they get a fan in their coop I believe they set for the summer. I find bugs more of an issue than the heat, because bugs will drive the chickens crazy and work them up to where they can't stay cool. I keep my coops and runs extremely clean. The heat amplifies all of those lovely chicken smells and seems to draw the bugs in more than anything.
I just bought some permethrin. I want to be sure I don't kill my chicks. When you sprayed the yard, did you keep them off of it for a certain amount of time? I noticed the ratio is 1:200 to spray directly on the chicks and 1:19 to spray coop and yard. Is this the amount you used?