Advice on How to Survive the Arizona Heat?

RRIRMom

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 15, 2013
34
6
34
Arizona
I want my young RIR pullets to survive Arizona's heat. I am sure other newbies are in the same boat and would appreciate advice from those whose chickens have survived AZ heat of temps of 100+. (Last year 118 was the hottest in my area).

I thought I would have to worry about this in July/August and not beginning in April. Today, temperature inside the coup/run was 99 degrees in the shade.

ANY SUGGESTIONS OR CORRECTIONS

  • I have a standing outdoor fan outside the cage to move the air through.
  • Coup roof is insulated with Lowes Styrofoam sheets.
  • A mister will work for now, but it will not work in July/Aug due to the high humidity.
  • Using a mister will have to remove the food to prevent dampening it--offering food morning and evening OK when turning off the mister to feed? Or do I need to feed Morn, noon, and eve?
  • I am freezing a milk jug of water to use...will have fan blowing on it or leave in cage? or both? (have limited freezer space)
  • Coup has sand, dampen or leave dry?
  • NO ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) during heat.

Found 2 on-line Electrolyte Recipes--do I offer this in one container and plain water in another? Or as the only water source? Do I provide this every day during the hot months?

Which recipe is better:
#1
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (sea salt O.K. to use instead of table salt?)
1 TBS Sugar
1 gal water (do not use water from the tap if using a water softener system?)

#2
1 cup water (" " " " " )
2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt (sea salt OK?)
1/8 tsp baking soda
ADD to 1 gal of water or straight if bird heat stressed.

Last year I saw Lowes had a standing portable A/C unit for about $100. Has any one used one in the coup/run? Would it be practical or costly to run.

Any advice or corrections on how to keep my young hens alive this summer would be greatly appreciated.
 

Falkenhof

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 5, 2012
40
1
26
I am not in AZ but I do get 100+ temps with very high humidity. It sounds like what you are doing is good.

Are your chickens allowed to free range? Or do they stay inside the coop/run? Depending on the population of birds, you may need to allow them more space if they are confined. Chickens warm up the place fast and even though there may be enough space per bird, if the coop doesn't have good airflow their body heat can make it a sauna. If you don't have any airflow along the top of the coop I would get out the chicken wire and saw and make a few to release heat. If you free range, this is less of a problem but many people simply can not range their birds.

The AC unit might be doable for the hottest days if you can afford it. It will be costly. The vents will waste a lot of the energy it puts out unless you can seal up the coop.

I would try to put a few more ice bottles if you can find room. I put some ice in the water in the mornings.

I would go for the recipe with less sugar, but both seem okay, it would probably depend more on what worked for your chickens better.

If you can't free-feed with the mister in place, morning and night feeding will be fine.

Some nice cool sand will help, I would dampen it or hose it down. Evaporation will lift the heat away from the ground.

A pan of water is also a good idea. Someone else suggested tin foil on the roof to reflect away the sun. I think both are very good measures. Keep the fan on and take regular temp. readings at chicken height.

So long as the temperature in the coop is less than the chicken's body temp, the animal is giving off heat energy. But if the coop reaches above that, the chicken begins to absorb the heat as a cooler to the environment and this is where heat deaths occur.

Best of Luck!
 

Gallo del Cielo

La Gallina Resort & Spa
10 Years
May 6, 2010
5,230
480
326
Tucson
My Coop
My Coop
Greetings from a fellow Arizonan! You should drop by our BYC AZ thread, where lots of folks have experience keeping birds alive through the worst of our heat.

I would advise lots of shade. The chickens have to be able to get out of the sun at just about every hour of the day. If sun hits the coop directly at any point during the afternoon hours, I'd make shade to keep the coop from heating up. Radiant insulation in the roof also helps.

Lots of us use misters straight through the summer. Sure, they're not as effective during monsoon, but the chickens appreciate it anyway. I only turn mine on when temps exceed 110. Providing wet soil for them to cool off is also good. Be sure to let it dry out between wetting because a variety of chicken ailments thrive in moist soil in our heat. I rotate watering vines/fruit trees so that they can hang out below them cooling off and the soil dries between waterings. If you put a frozen jug of water in the run, they'll cozy right up to it.

I don't add anything to the water, so I can't help you with additives. I do have five gallon nipple waterers in which I put rotating gallon jugs of frozen water. I have reflectix insulation on the outside and it keeps the water very cool all day. They really appreciate that.
 
Last edited:

keringordon

Chirping
May 2, 2018
76
64
76
Casa Grande, AZ
I want my young RIR pullets to survive Arizona's heat. I am sure other newbies are in the same boat and would appreciate advice from those whose chickens have survived AZ heat of temps of 100+. (Last year 118 was the hottest in my area).

I thought I would have to worry about this in July/August and not beginning in April. Today, temperature inside the coup/run was 99 degrees in the shade.

ANY SUGGESTIONS OR CORRECTIONS

  • I have a standing outdoor fan outside the cage to move the air through.
  • Coup roof is insulated with Lowes Styrofoam sheets.
  • A mister will work for now, but it will not work in July/Aug due to the high humidity.
  • Using a mister will have to remove the food to prevent dampening it--offering food morning and evening OK when turning off the mister to feed? Or do I need to feed Morn, noon, and eve?
  • I am freezing a milk jug of water to use...will have fan blowing on it or leave in cage? or both? (have limited freezer space)
  • Coup has sand, dampen or leave dry?
  • NO ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) during heat.
Found 2 on-line Electrolyte Recipes--do I offer this in one container and plain water in another? Or as the only water source? Do I provide this every day during the hot months?

Which recipe is better:
#1
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (sea salt O.K. to use instead of table salt?)
1 TBS Sugar
1 gal water (do not use water from the tap if using a water softener system?)

#2
1 cup water (" " " " " )
2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt (sea salt OK?)
1/8 tsp baking soda
ADD to 1 gal of water or straight if bird heat stressed.

Last year I saw Lowes had a standing portable A/C unit for about $100. Has any one used one in the coup/run? Would it be practical or costly to run.

Any advice or corrections on how to keep my young hens alive this summer would be greatly appreciated.
 

keringordon

Chirping
May 2, 2018
76
64
76
Casa Grande, AZ
As a new chicken mom Im learning as I go. I have a 12x12 shed with ac and a backyard 12x24 ex cathouse I am using as a coop. I keep my kids inside the shedd all the time right now..between the heat and this weird terrible wind we are getting right now Im not taking any chances. In the morning and night I let them out for an hour before I put them up and go to work. Yes its more expensive and the thought of cheap eggs no longer apply. These are turning out to be very expensive eggs..but the joy to see my kids enjoying life must be good for my heart health. When it cools down they will be in and out at their own wills. I leave them a tub of water and various kinds of foods and veggies. The only trouble Im having now is the damn Ayam Cemanti rooster. He is attacking everyone except his girlfriend. I had read miseading info before i had gotten them a couple of weeks ago. I had read that they lay black eggs...which they do not, and I knew that before I had gotten them. I also read that they are docile...docile like a rabid lion maybe. Today I found one injured and separated that rooster from the flock.
 

Dr.GarryTTucker

Songster
May 1, 2018
401
355
167
Southeast Texas
I’ve done a couple of things, but we don’t get above 99°.
9163F328-8922-4D51-8E91-C27BD6F2A85F.jpeg

Totally kidding
Frozen fruit, ice in water with black sunflower seed helps promote drinking
A203FB50-46A0-41A7-AF77-B6C505E82A02.jpeg

I like the tub of water with rocks in it. The rocks soak up the water and evaporate on top makeing it cool.
ADC6282B-E05C-443E-BC4D-1DF795090E8C.jpeg
 

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