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How to keep chickens cool in the heat. Tips wanted!

post #1 of 108
Thread Starter 

The temperature I've read that chickens start to be in danger of overheating is 90 degrees. There is a major heatwave that is pushing the heat index past 100 degrees! So I was wondering if anyone had tips on keeping chickens cool because I do have two Buff Orpingtons that are starting to molt a little because of heat stress. Imagine wearing a winter coat in over 100 degree heat! Whew, makes me sweat thinking about it. hmm  My chickens are free-range and don't like getting wet anywhere except their feet so I've been filling a pan of water and setting it on the ground for them to step in. Most of them don't step in it but one of my two Silver Laced Wyandottes will put both feet in the pan and actually start scratching in it as if it were dirt. I've also been feeding them cold watermelon. All tips and ideas for keeping chickens cool will be greatly appreciated! big_smile

I am a Roman-Catholic Homeschooled Chicken Girl and proud to be one! Proud owner of 1 Easter Egger rooster, 2 Buff Orpington hens, 2 Silver-Laced Wyandotte hens, 1 ISA Brown hen, 3 Cherry Egger hens, 5 Barred Plymouth Rock hens, 1 white Silkie pullet, 2 Easter Egger pullets and a cockerel, 1 Mille Fleur d'Uccle cockerel, 1 Porcelain Booted Bantam pullet, and 1 spunky Black Star hen!
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I am a Roman-Catholic Homeschooled Chicken Girl and proud to be one! Proud owner of 1 Easter Egger rooster, 2 Buff Orpington hens, 2 Silver-Laced Wyandotte hens, 1 ISA Brown hen, 3 Cherry Egger hens, 5 Barred Plymouth Rock hens, 1 white Silkie pullet, 2 Easter Egger pullets and a cockerel, 1 Mille Fleur d'Uccle cockerel, 1 Porcelain Booted Bantam pullet, and 1 spunky Black Star hen!
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post #2 of 108

I feel your pain. Im in WI, and it has been REALLY HOT around here. like between 95-105. I have been freezing milk jugs full of water and putting them in the coop- they love to sit on them. I also sprinkle their run with the sprinkler so when they walk through the weeds they get damp. If you have a fan, I would put it in their coop. I bet they would love that! Yesterday I fed them some cold oatmeal. They really enjoyed it!

 

A trio of HERATAGE Buff Orpingtons, 5 orp/production black chicks, always have eggs in the Bator :) 

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A trio of HERATAGE Buff Orpingtons, 5 orp/production black chicks, always have eggs in the Bator :) 

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post #3 of 108

I just have a small fan in the coop blowing out thru a vent and have a large fan in the run, but here in Tulsa the temp hasn't dropped below 105 & the heat index is around 115, and it's been like this for over a month and no clouds or rain, the grass is all brown and the trees look like they are dying everywhere!!!! But my flock just pants thru it and seem to be ok.

Cole
___________________________________________________________
I love OU, OSU, & TU, but love the Bulls the most !!!! I bleed Green & Gold!!!! USF #1!!!!!
All LF, 10 SPPR, 6 BR, 7 SLW, 2 GLW, 3 CW, 10 EE, 2 SS, 2 SRO, 1 SSH, 4 Wel
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Cole
___________________________________________________________
I love OU, OSU, & TU, but love the Bulls the most !!!! I bleed Green & Gold!!!! USF #1!!!!!
All LF, 10 SPPR, 6 BR, 7 SLW, 2 GLW, 3 CW, 10 EE, 2 SS, 2 SRO, 1 SSH, 4 Wel
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post #4 of 108

I've been going out every hour or so to throw ice cubed into their water, give them some cold fruit from the fridge.  I also set up a nice dry dirt area for them to dust bathe in.  It's in the low-mid 90s here with the heat index pushing it up to close to 100, and my white rocks are doing well.

Mom of two little boys (ages 3 & 4), 2 labrador retrievers, 3 cats, and 6 white plymouth rock backyard chickens.
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Mom of two little boys (ages 3 & 4), 2 labrador retrievers, 3 cats, and 6 white plymouth rock backyard chickens.
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post #5 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-12 Chickens 

The temperature I've read that chickens start to be in danger of overheating is 90 degrees. There is a major heatwave that is pushing the heat index past 100 degrees! So I was wondering if anyone had tips on keeping chickens cool because I do have two Buff Orpingtons that are starting to molt a little because of heat stress. Imagine wearing a winter coat in over 100 degree heat! Whew, makes me sweat thinking about it. hmm  My chickens are free-range and don't like getting wet anywhere except their feet so I've been filling a pan of water and setting it on the ground for them to step in. Most of them don't step in it but one of my two Silver Laced Wyandottes will put both feet in the pan and actually start scratching in it as if it were dirt. I've also been feeding them cold watermelon. All tips and ideas for keeping chickens cool will be greatly appreciated! big_smile


I have one of those personal misters set up, and the chickens were all afraid of it for a few days.  Now they love it!  They will go stand under the mist for a while and get all wet, then wander off.  It also makes the corner of their coop wet, and they go dust bathe in the damp sand.  It's aimed so half of the mist is in the run, and the other half is in the end of their coop.  When we first put it in and they were afraid, we put it about 6 feet from their coop.  Once they started acting like it was part of the scenery, we moved it closer.

Before that, I was just spraying down the coop and the shade cloth every couple of hours ... this works better smile

One awesome hubby and son (6 1/2 yrs old) ... 2 chihuahuas, 1 lab, 1 bengal cat, 1 brown headed parrot, fish, 3 russian tortoises, 2 Crested Geckos, and ... 7 sweet big chickens (1 RIR, 1 BO, 1 SLW, 1CM, 1 Austraulorp hen, 1 Blue Ameraucana hen, 1 silkie hen, 5 super cute older Seramas and cute chicks
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One awesome hubby and son (6 1/2 yrs old) ... 2 chihuahuas, 1 lab, 1 bengal cat, 1 brown headed parrot, fish, 3 russian tortoises, 2 Crested Geckos, and ... 7 sweet big chickens (1 RIR, 1 BO, 1 SLW, 1CM, 1 Austraulorp hen, 1 Blue Ameraucana hen, 1 silkie hen, 5 super cute older Seramas and cute chicks
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post #6 of 108

Ugh! I know! In the 90's today! When it's hot I give them watermelon. It helps to keep them hydrated (and they love it!smile)


Edited by BarredRock971 - 7/21/11 at 11:46am
~*~"Horseback Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground." -Author unknown~ *~
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~*~"Horseback Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground." -Author unknown~ *~
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post #7 of 108

I make honkin' huge "ice cubes" from small buckets in my deep freeze & put one in each waterer.

I also feed frozen veggies - the kind that come in a box, so it's a nice, neat cube (to begin with).  Frozen watermelon rinds, etc.  The heat has been really bad, but for my area, today is the last day of 90+ temps for awhile - yeah!

SPECIALIZING IN:  Jersey Giants.  Black Copper Marans. Blue Marans. Silver Penciled Plymouth Rocks.  

Click to view my website.

Just for fun:  First & second generation "olive eggers," and a few ducks - Welsh Harlequin, Black Swedish, Black Runner.

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SPECIALIZING IN:  Jersey Giants.  Black Copper Marans. Blue Marans. Silver Penciled Plymouth Rocks.  

Click to view my website.

Just for fun:  First & second generation "olive eggers," and a few ducks - Welsh Harlequin, Black Swedish, Black Runner.

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post #8 of 108

Many great threads here on BYC about this. Using "Search" feature above, search by topic and you will find great lists of tips, including fans, AC, cold water available at all times (blocks of ice can keep water cold for longer periods than ice cubes), ample shade, cold fruit treats (can freeze some watermelon for an hour or so and then put out - it will stay cool for awhile)....

JJ

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" ~Ghandhi

"Procrastinate now. Don't put it off." ~Ellen Degeneres
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"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" ~Ghandhi

"Procrastinate now. Don't put it off." ~Ellen Degeneres
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post #9 of 108

I've read that grains heat them up, so I've been giving them feed before bed-when the temps are dropping.  During the day, I only offer cold items.  I even went to a friend's house and collected Japanese Beetles.  I froze them and offered them as a protein snack.  During the hottest part of the day, I've been putting cold water jugs around the coop and frozen water jugs.  I point the fan towards the cool jugs and it blows cooler air around.

Bawk BOK!!
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Bawk BOK!!
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post #10 of 108

Something I did recently was use a spray bottle to spray some water under their wings. This I'm assuming would help chickens keep cool via evaporation when they hold hold their wings out to the side like they do when really hot.

However, this would be a work-intensive effort. If you have a small number of chickens or a couple that are particularly overheated, it may be of help, though. thumbsup

I happened to be handling a couple chickens on a hot day & they got a bit extra-stressed, so I gave them a cooling few sprays before I put them back in their coop.

 

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Please visit SOCIAL ISSUES page.

 

Chickens are a joy.

 

www.PoultryPedia.com  ~  HOW TO:  Treat Leg Problems  •  Choose & give Chicken Medicines  •  Super-Glue Wounds  •  Remove Rooster Spurs  •  Identify Breeds  •  Promote Peace in Your Flock  •  & More

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