It's HOT - Keep your birds feeling their best! - Page 2
It's not very hot here compared to where some of you live, but it's hot for my girls who are used to cooler temps. I've remedied this by giving them wet food first thing in the morning. I soak alfalfa pellets and COB overnight in hot water in a bucket. In the morning I sprinkle a little sunflower hearts and safflower seed over the top to lure them. LOL, it really isn't necessary because they INHALE this food and I know they've had their greens AND are starting the day with plenty of water too. Their regular dry food is in their feeder if they want it too.
The down side is that I've now got 2 girls who have figured out that if they start calling me at daybreak [loudly] I'll run right out there to feed them [before they bother the neighbors].
I have one of these automatic waterers, [ http://www.amazon.com/Pint-Poultry-Automatic-Waterer-Fount/dp/B001L66H6S ] but I haven't figured out how I want to hook it up to the hose outside in their yard so it's sturdy. Anyone have any pics of how you've installed one???
Inside their coop I use the basic metal double wall waterer, but the water gets warm so I dump it every night and fill with fresh water when it's been hot.
For those of you who live where it gets in the 90s and up, you can create a simple 'swamp cooler' for your girls with burlap sacks and a drip hose.
Take burlap sacks and cut them open, stitch them together to form a tarp big enough to cover the cages. Run a drip hose over the top and right along the edge so the water will drip down and saturate the burlap. Shade cloth won't work because it doesn't get 'wet', the water just runs off.
The weave of burlap is open enough to allow some air circulation without stifling them inside, and adds shade too. When the warm air hits the wet burlap it will cool by almost 15 degrees on even the hottest of days.
This is how my neighbor kept her Angora rabbits cool when the temps hit the triple digits.
I'm adding a bit of apple cider vinegar to their water, along with big chunks of ice, and also running a mister in the shade. The chickens have figured out the optimal distance for cooling breezes without getting too wet. Also gave them frozen grapes and cherries for treats. When it hit 105 today, they decided being wet was not a bad thing after all! I tried dipping them into a tub of water for a few minutes each, but they really did not appreciate that like I thought they should!
I put water, but I have two broodies and they are panting. I took a wet towel and try to force them to drink but they do not want to. Cant do the sprinkler since they have the eggs under them. I will put some strawberries for them tomorrow so that they get some liquid. I noticed they leave the nest for a while to take dust baths in the shadow, and technically we are at a higher temperature than needed so I guess they know it is fine. Any advice? I am worried about my broodies.
Yes, something to take VERY seriously. I lost my two favorite girls today to the stifling heat in Austin, and have a third in critical condition. :( Have moved them to the climate-controlled garage for the rest of the week until I have time to make some improvements this weekend. A very sad day.
I do this. I do regular ice cubes and electrolyte water.