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Raising chickens in South Texas heat!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I need some advice! I live on several acres with NO trees!
I want to raise chickens again for the wonderful eggs and meat,
and I want to use a 10Ft. square, very sturdy, chain link dog kennel.
I need to know whether since I cannot provide shade for them from
trees, can I provide "artificial shade" by using shadecloth on top and
two sides? Or tin on the top and fiberglas on two sides? Or what???
I can put a childs wading pool in the enclosure for them and frozen
bottles of water, but I need to know if they can be successfully raised
in this hot South Texas (Bryan/College Station area) weather???
Thanks for any advice or discussion! Charline


Edited by Charline - 8/12/10 at 4:09pm
post #2 of 10

Sure you can raise chickens here!   I would highly recommend getting an area set up so they can find shade; a shade cloth would work great.  Mine spend most of their time under the trees - I make sure there is enough room that they can dust bathe efficiently also because that really seems to help keep them cool.

You can also set up misters for them or a fan (although not until they're fully feathered out).  You might have to have a few extra precautions because you don't have trees, but it definitely can be done. 

Good luck!

ETA - with a 10ft square dog kennel, you'll have about 100 square feet.  If you don't let them out to free range, that's a maximum of 10 chickens (IMO).  You'll also want to make sure they have adequate shelter from the rain.


Edited by SpringChickens - 8/12/10 at 4:15pm
I have an amazing husband, a wonderful daughter (5) and now an incredible son, born 8/27/11!
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I have an amazing husband, a wonderful daughter (5) and now an incredible son, born 8/27/11!
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post #3 of 10

And you could always pick breeds that do better in the heat.  Some are more heat hardy than others. 

I live in East Texas where the past two weeks have been triple digit heat, no rain, and lots of humidity.  I have been putting frozen jugs of ice out with my 5 week old peepers, and they love 'em!  I put a small tub of water out today at lunch, and I think so far only 2 of them have figured out that standing in it cools them off.  Guess the others will come around eventually.  If this heat keeps up I'm seriously considering putting a small window a/c unit in the coop. 

btw  I'm in Lufkin, which in Texas terms ain't too far away.  smile

Rachel

Proudly owned by 9 Welsummers, 5 Silkies, 3 RIR's, 2 New Hamps, 3 Delawares, 2 Ameraucanas, 6 EE/who-knows-what mixes, 3 Delaware mixes, and 2 Ameraucana/Welsummer mixes.

Mama always said I was a mother hen, but I may be taking it a bit too far.
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Proudly owned by 9 Welsummers, 5 Silkies, 3 RIR's, 2 New Hamps, 3 Delawares, 2 Ameraucanas, 6 EE/who-knows-what mixes, 3 Delaware mixes, and 2 Ameraucana/Welsummer mixes.

Mama always said I was a mother hen, but I may be taking it a bit too far.
Reply
post #4 of 10

I noticed that you hadn't received any replies in a while, so I thought I would 'wade in' with one.  I raise chickens. Raised them when I was a kid, still love the meat and eggs, plus the added benefit of getting rid of a lot of bugs that the chickens gladly dispose for me.  There was an article in a mag that outlined a 10 by 4 by 4 (mobile) pen that would allow for your flock to 'free range' with out actually being totally free.  You simply put the flock in the pen, place it where you want the chickens to scratch for bugs, and move it as the area depletes of either food or grass (your choice), and you can always move them to the coop to put them up at night if you arrange a method of exchanging them from the pen to the coop with out letting them escape.  I like a sliding door on the pen and coop that match in height and width, and simply roll the pen back into the coop and draw the doors to allow the chickens back and forth.  The mobile pen has a four foot section at one end that is plywood sheltered for shade so that the hens can move into and out of shade as they choose.  This won't work for a large number of hens unless you have more than one pen, but it is efficient for a small flock.  I live in central Texas - in Limestone County (just a little north and west of where you say you are staying) and last summer was too hot for words, so I didn't have a flock then (or a garden for that matter), but this year, I am going to attempt to do both again.  Hope for the best, expect the worst, and thank God that you are at least in Texas!

post #5 of 10

i am having the same issues i live in oklahoma and last summer it was SOOOOO HOT it was nuts maybe u should check out my thread on it i got lots of suggestions cant remember them all though i want to get EE's

post #6 of 10

@ Rachel, I read that you're from Lufkin. I'm not that far and I've been thinking about getting some chickens on my own. Which ones do you recommend that will do well here in Texas?

post #7 of 10

I am in your area!  Yes, we have umbrellas in their yard areas so they can have additional shade (sink an oil field pipe in the ground and then slide the umbrella post in it), we also use misters all day when the temps are over 90 and they all do well.  On your dog run, notch out a 2x10x12 and wire it to the top and then run chain link over the top and wire down.  Then put a good tarp over that and wire it down.  If they are chicks you will need to put chicken wire around the bottom of the dog run.

post #8 of 10

We have black sexlinks, red sexlinks, SLW & BLRW and they all do well with misters on during the HOT Texas days.

post #9 of 10

im in hurst texas between fort worth and dallas and right now its 101 and my 3 hens are outside they have a coop with ventilation and and outside dog run with a shade cloth over it.. plus we have two box fans blowing in there... it is super hot and of course they dont always like the box fans but i keep moving them around to make them happy.. I have a 6 week old frizzle in a cage inside my house and the window is opened during the morning for her to get fresh air.. and then i have 14 5 day old chicks indoors as well.  they have their own room if it gets much hotter i will be bringing the other 3 indoors too but they love it outside...

post #10 of 10

I have a mixed flock of various breeds RIR, Cukoo Maran, EE's, NN's, and a frizzle. Not to mention my ducks and turkeys. I also have some CX's living in an old cat queening cage for now. I do not have misters YET! But will soon. So for now I take in their little waterers and freeze them over night. I also put ice blocks out for them and keep ice in the duck pool. I will be getting misters for them at a later date. But then I also have a large tree that shades MOST of the runs. I Live up near Amarillo. Temps this week are in the 100's and all seem to be doing well. Even if egg production is down.

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