Originally Posted by Sylvester017
Originally Posted by NewHen
Fixed up my little coop and hope to change my big coop's run to a walk in. They need more shade in the big run and I want to set up the nipple waterers and feeder in the run.
I live in L.A. County and for those hot days over 80o we throw ice cubes into the nipple waterer jugs. Supposedly the chickens lay 10% better drinking cold rather than warm water. Wish I had the yard space to grow our own watermelon for the chickens but its cheaper to just buy them in the summer. I like your set up - hope you get the shade worked out. If they don't free-range they'll like a wet coop floor to sit in during heatwaves. Our girls free-range and any damp soil they find they dig into it and sit and pant. Our Ameraucana is notorious for seeking out wet ground and/or shade just about any time of the year. She glories in the rainy weather but hates the heat.
We get so many tomatoes and herbs in the summer--chickens love tomatoes. We also eat 2 pints of strawberries a day, and they love the green tops. I just give them our watermelon rinds and they leave the thinnest green peel behind.
In the big coop, the hens usually spend hot days under the big coop which is enclosed with hardware mesh. I have a huge swing umbrella on the hardscaping that covers some of the run, but it would be nice to have more shade and not have to adjust it. Also, it would make it so much easier to rake out if it was walk in run. I also was thinking about putting hinges on the top of the run, so I could flip them open and walk in. I bought some green shade cloth. But I like it to look neat, so I'd have to remove the frame, stall the cloth and put the frame back together. I have a big new nipple waterer system to install but it's going to need something sturdy to hold it. Decisions, decisions. When it's super hot we set up misters, little fans for the runs and throw ice cubes in the water too. All that being said, I've had a hen avoid the shade, mist, fan, cool water and just lie in the sun when it's 100+ weather.