Beat the Heat: Build a chicken igloo!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DazeGoneBy, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. DazeGoneBy

    DazeGoneBy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2011
    ***------Brainstorming on how to convert this idea for a large flock in post #25-----***

    Based on some advice we got here on the BYC forums, we had a small cat litter pan that we put a bottle of frozen water in, and found that the chickens would get in there (they are still small) to cool down. But my husband wanted to do MORE. So, he made an igloo. And you can, too!

    Yesterday was 107 degrees here, and it breaks my heart to see the stories people are posting about their birds dying in this heat. This is a helpful solution for a few birds, but not a large flock. But, maybe it can inspire you to build something that can help your birds keep cool.

    Here is what he built, a straight-on view. You can probably guess the materials he used, I won't try to name this stuff, but you can find something similar at your local hardware/DIY store. That is an old ice bucket at the back that hubby decided not to use in the end, as you'll see later. The idea of a pan with sides works because the cooler air wants to stay low...with the sids of the pan trapping the cool air, the chickens can hang out where it is cooler:


    Side view:

    My husband had thought he'd put the jug of ice water in the ice bucket, but he decided to do something different when he noticed that after dumping some ice directly on their sand last night, the ice melted and the sand got wet and the girls ran and dug a hole and sat there cooling down.

    Since they don't like to stand in water or touch the ice jug itself, hubby decided not to use the ice bucket, but to just bury the frozen jug 1/2 down in the sand he added inside the igloo. (Note: He also put ice cubes, still in their trays, at the bottom - under the sand. As it melted, the sand above it got damp and cool, which they like!)

    Here it is inside their pen this morning.


    Here is a gratitious shot of my son saying his morning hellos to the girls before school. He's just the right height for us to send him in to retrieve the jugs, too, without taking off the cover to the run. [​IMG]

    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  2. Okie Amazon

    Okie Amazon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Midwest City
    Great idea! (And a really cute coop, too!)
  3. clarkechick

    clarkechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2011
    What a great idea!! I have a small coop with 3 ladies and we have had some REALLY warm days up here in Vermont. It is not too common, but mid 90s and very humid definitely gets them panting. What really surprises me is that even in that heat my PBR will fan out her wings and sun herself! I sometimes wonder if she has heat stroke and is confused [​IMG]
  4. LottieDa

    LottieDa Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 1, 2011
    Boise, ID
    What a clever idea! Your chickens are lucky to have such a creative human [​IMG]
  5. SilkieTime

    SilkieTime Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Joelton Tn.
    [​IMG] I like this.
  6. beagletack

    beagletack Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2011
    Heart of Dixie
    Neat tips!! Thanks! [​IMG]
  7. 1AcreRooster

    1AcreRooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your chickens have you trained well![​IMG] Great job!
  8. DazeGoneBy

    DazeGoneBy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2011
    Message from hubby when he got home...

    "The Texas August Chilly Chicken Igloo Dome of Joy:

    We came home and could see that the girls had spent time in the igloo. We let them out in the yard to roam around, and when I went back about 4 minutes later they were all back inside the igloo just chillin.

    The ice bottle was still cold and they were sipping condensation from the outer surface of it, and the sand was still very moist and cool from the ice trays underneath."

    So - success! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  9. juliaaa

    juliaaa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2011
    Syracuse, New York
    Quote:x2 [​IMG]
  10. DazeGoneBy

    DazeGoneBy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2011
    Thanks all, hope it helps someone else too!

    Here is the pic hubby took when he got home. Temp at 6:30 pm = 104.

    Chicks are chillaxin: [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by