Are my chickens too hot??

Meandmyhens3

Chirping
Aug 2, 2021
74
75
96
I just locked up my chickens for the night and checked on on them, most (not all) are panting and holding their wings away from themselves. I know this means their hot but their coop has a window and the pop door is open, I only close that door in the winter there’s also plenty of ventilation on the roof where there is wire. They have full access to water through the day and it’s only 75°. Are they at risk of being too hot to the point where its dangerous??
 
I just locked up my chickens for the night and checked on on them, most (not all) are panting and holding their wings away from themselves. I know this means their hot but their coop has a window and the pop door is open, I only close that door in the winter there’s also plenty of ventilation on the roof where there is wire. They have full access to water through the day and it’s only 75°. Are they at risk of being too hot to the point where its dangerous??

The temperature in the coop is what's important, not the outside ambient temperature (75). Chickens' normal body temperature is about 106 degrees, and a flock of 10 or 20 birds in a coop can raise the temperature in the coop quickly.

They'll be fine tonight, but you may want to consider exhaust fans, maybe oscillating fans to cool the birds, even a box fan with an extension cord of nothing else. Your avatar doesn't show where you're located, so I have no reference point for your temperature on this date, but put a thermometer in the coop to figure out where you are temp-wise, and move forward from there. We use a temperature-controlled 800cfm exhaust fan that comes on ANY time the temperature in the coop reaches 80 degrees.

In the dead of summer, that fan often runs around the clock here in North Carolina, but we want the birds to be as cool as we can make them without putting A/C in their coop. They also have two oscillating fans that run for the first 4 hours they're in the coop each night during those hot months. Timers run everything...

The panting and wings held out is a sign that the birds are trying to cool themselves. Do what you can to help that if possible... :)
 
Thanks for the advice, I don’t have thermometer in the coop but I’ll be sure to get them one and currently I only have five hens, but it was clear they were too hot. This morning thankfully they’re all ok and I’ll be sure to take extra measures to make sure they’re coop stays cool
 
Thanks for the advice, I don’t have thermometer in the coop but I’ll be sure to get them one and currently I only have five hens, but it was clear they were too hot. This morning thankfully they’re all ok and I’ll be sure to take extra measures to make sure they’re coop stays cool

Glad to hear they're ok! Five hens in a small coop can heat it up more than you'd think. What's your square footage in your coop? Photos help us visualize the setup...

We keep a thermometer permanently attached to a wall of our coop at head-height of our highest-roosting birds (temp will be cooler on the lower roost bars). That way we know the highest temperature they are experiencing when in the coop and can respond accordingly.

If you feel like they're in serious distress due to the heat, put a box fan in the coop on an extension cord to move the air around them if you need to. We'll even remove birds from the coop and take them inside to the A/C for a while if we feel like they need it. Do what works for you, but don't be afraid of being creative to help them beat the heat when they're in need. :)
 
Glad to hear they're ok! Five hens in a small coop can heat it up more than you'd think. What's your square footage in your coop? Photos help us visualize the setup...

We keep a thermometer permanently attached to a wall of our coop at head-height of our highest-roosting birds (temp will be cooler on the lower roost bars). That way we know the highest temperature they are experiencing when in the coop and can respond accordingly.

If you feel like they're in serious distress due to the heat, put a box fan in the coop on an extension cord to move the air around them if you need to. We'll even remove birds from the coop and take them inside to the A/C for a while if we feel like they need it. Do what works for you, but don't be afraid of being creative to help them beat the heat when they're in need. :)
The coop is a little more than 20 square feet, and the little curtains get lifted for more air flow. The roosts are the same height right now because we were having issues with those lower in the pecking order not roosting for a little while, so I was experimenting with roost heights, but definitely have it in mind to change it back soon. I added pictures (in one pic a raindrop photobombed) I like the idea of the fan and I’ll look into it. I would definitely bring them in if me and my family didn’t have the bright idea to get a dog with a high prey drive, I love my pets both dearly soo they can’t be together unfortunately, thank you so much for all the advice though I really appreciate it 😁
 

Attachments

  • 0D74AF5B-1673-4306-AB58-1015CDFEBB0A.jpeg
    0D74AF5B-1673-4306-AB58-1015CDFEBB0A.jpeg
    610.7 KB · Views: 14
  • 5C1F2B01-3B57-44DA-A0F3-5EA9093E2D46.jpeg
    5C1F2B01-3B57-44DA-A0F3-5EA9093E2D46.jpeg
    522.5 KB · Views: 14
I don't think there is enough ventilation in your coop.

Is there only the single window and the little entry/exit door?? If so, and were it my coop, I'd cut a 2nd window (like the first) at the back of the coop, and a 3rd (same as the first) on the right side, maybe even another above the entry door. A few openings at the floor level would help too.

In that way, you'd get good cross-ventilation. With the lower openings, you'll get good vertical ventilation as the warmer air higher will seek an exit and, when exiting, will draw cooler air in from the bottom, which creates a wholesale change of all the air in the coop on a regular basis.

If temperatures get really cold (like freezing cold), you can always block or cover all or a portion of any opening(s) to contain heat if needed. Chickens are very good at regulating their body temperatures in cold weather, but they don't do as well in super-hot conditions.
 
Last edited:
What type of roof and insulation do you have? My coop roof is corrugated plastic with no insulation. I just recently realized that's like putting them in a greenhouse, even with shade and ventilation. Believe it or not, simply securing a couple of towels on top of the plastic helped cool things down. Longer term, though, I obviously need to do more.
 
I don't think there is enough ventilation in your coop.

Is there only the single window and the little entry/exit door?? If so, and were it my coop, I'd cut a 2nd window (like the first) at the back of the coop, and a 3rd (same as the first) on the right side, maybe even another above the entry door. A few openings at the floor level would help too.

In that way, you'd get good cross-ventilation. With the lower openings, you'll get good vertical ventilation as the warmer air higher will seek an exit and, when exiting, will draw cooler air in from the bottom, which creates a wholesale change of all the air in the coop on a regular basis.

If temperatures get really cold (like freezing cold), you can always block or cover all or a portion of any opening(s) to contain heat if needed. Chickens are very good at regulating their body temperatures in cold weather, but they don't do as well in super-hot conditions.
What type of roof and insulation do you have? My coop roof is corrugated plastic with no insulation. I just recently realized that's like putting them in a greenhouse, even with shade and ventilation. Believe it or not, simply securing a couple of towels on top of the plastic helped cool things down. Longer term, though, I obviously need to do more.
I added another picture, and I have more ventilation which is wire that runs across the whole roof, if it’s still not enough ventilation I’d love to know, I really want what’s best for them all. I’m pretty sure the roof is just a corrugated metal roof but I added a picture of it.
 

Attachments

  • 6038777D-C1EC-498F-B2A2-EF872D2BDC86.jpeg
    6038777D-C1EC-498F-B2A2-EF872D2BDC86.jpeg
    453.6 KB · Views: 12
  • E8777952-3E75-4BEE-B0BB-89843C195666.jpeg
    E8777952-3E75-4BEE-B0BB-89843C195666.jpeg
    608.2 KB · Views: 11

New posts New threads Active threads

Back
Top Bottom