Beating the heat: Trying something new

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Shezadandy, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Songster

    1,176
    759
    236
    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    So like the rest of chicken keepers the battle is on to keep the chickens from enduring too much heat stress. We're in the middle of a big heat wave and I can't wait for it to end- but it's going to hang on forever.

    SO - Having done the normal - installed a poultry exhaust fan in the coop, regular fan in the coop, watermelon and other stuff in the afternoon heat, wetting parts of the run so on and so on - I tried the stand mister things - but for how I'm set up - they spray hot water right when you need the cool mist- and then there's the hose in the run issue.

    Today I'm trying out a fan that's designed to sit on a 5 gallon bucket that has misters on it. Pricey - yes- but if it works, the cost isn't material.

    It was easy to set up- I happen to have Ryobi 18volt chargers for the battery- which works a LOT faster to charge the battery than what the kit comes with - I picked up 2- put one on my original charger and the other on the provided charger. The pump hose sits nicely at the bottom of the bucket where it should - so today is day one- I intend to use it only in the hot part of the afternoon. I've added a strip of hardware cloth under the fan to block the opening from curious chicks. I will note that my flock is very used to fans, so this didn't phase them.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Arctic-Cove-18-Volt-Two-Speed-Misting-Bucket-Top-Fan-MBF0181/205744083
     
    thewolf1039 likes this.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    59,597
    47,792
    1,327
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    WOWSA!!
    That's quite the contraption!
    Should be a vast improvement over the 'hot hose' feed.
    Let us know how it work out!

    Tho I would think that a mister in a humid environment would not cool the air very well?
    Doesn't have the evaporative affect that it would in an arid climate....misters were a godsend in AZ.

    I know the humidity makes the heat feel much worse here, for me and the birds.
    When the heat index(high temps coupled wit high humidity) rises here I've found that large chunks of ice set in pans for wading, sitting, and sipping work pretty well to cool the birds off. The bigger the ice chunk the longer it lasts.
    upload_2018-7-14_9-34-42.png

    Wish I had some of those shallower 'under the bed' totes so I could make 2 big chunks at once.
    upload_2018-7-14_9-34-29.png
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  3. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Songster

    1,176
    759
    236
    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    Yes- the humidity does suck! I used to spend my summers in Michigan with my grandparents, aunts and uncles in Sterling Heights- so I know exactly what you mean.

    However, when we get these heat waves in Portland Oregon, they are DRY. Really dry (for us) down to high 30's to low 40's. The humidity level in my house drops by 20% kinda dry. We've been flirting with 100 degrees and we've got days before we see even the high 80s- then the humidity goes back to 50-55%

    That little bit of mist plus the fan does feel better. Battery wise it lasts about 2 hours- so it's not a leave it and forget it for the rest of the day- with the pump part on the higher setting it used about 2.5 gallons out of the bottom. I've got a collection of 18volt batteries and multiple chargers, so if I wanted to I could probably keep changing it out- and the next couple days I probably will because it's going to be 98 both days, which is really hot for us. It was definitely so much nicer than what was coming out of that hot hose. I suppose I could bury the hose and that would help but... eh. If I was gone all day I'd consider it.

    I've been soaking the shady spots in the run because they've been digging down to wallow in the cooler dirt (that's my permashade area)- and I've made good use of the Costco "Coolaroo" shade cloth - love those things. I use them on the west-facing areas of the run not shaded by buildings- keeps the ground cooler for sure. I like to leave 18"-24" open at the bottom so any breeze we get is still available to the chickens at ground level.

    I put out water heater pans- nice and shallow - and my smartest hens wade in and splash around- and it makes for a nice shallow drinking area for the broody and her chicks so I don't have to worry about them.

    I don't know if they'd fit- but the smaller metal water heater pans (or some kind of metal 9x13" baking dish) might be something to think about- I don't know the dimensions of your freezers- but having a couple to rotate- always leaving a pan in the freezer (an ice-cream making trick- after it's been processed, spread the newly frozen mix onto a frozen cookie sheet to finish the freezing process, then pack it into the container) as the frozen metal will help the water freeze faster.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbil...er-Drain-Pan-with-PVC-Fitting-15031/205407862

    The biggest and best change this year has been the poultry exhaust fan which is made for the nasty dusty conditions that kill normal fans. I replaced a window with it - it moves around 3300cfm on low and 5500cfm on high. I've got a security door for the "people" door- the kind you'd put over your front door if you wanted air but not to let your dog destroy a regular screen door- opposite the fan. The door is on the north side and the fan is on the south side. Along with the 4 roof vents and 4 windows in the coop open (hardware clothed inside and outside the glass) --- the fan makes it so the air temperature in the coop drops immediately to match the outdoor temperature as it cools down (slowly during the heat waves like this one) -- as opposed to just a couple fans bouncing hot air around. Of course I have a normal fan down low too.

    https://www.jdmfg.com/indooroutdoor-es-shutter-fan-9-ft-cord

    Right now I've got so many watermelons -- people stop me in the grocery store and ask whether I'm throwing a party, lol ... they stay nice and cool (55 degrees) in the basement utility room, so they're a good temperature for a cool treat.

    The other thing I do during horrible heat waves is dump their waters and replace them multiple times a day- thankfully our well gives us nice crisp cool water for the refills. And the birds love chasing down the temporary streams created by the waters being dumped.

    I hate heat waves!

    I will definitely try your frozen block idea- that's awesome.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    59,597
    47,792
    1,327
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    That's amazing and kinda weird, I guess I just thought western(west of mountains) PNW was always wet or humid! Mister should help for sure then.

    That bin is about 10x14. Didn't want to use a cake pan cause it's too shallow, hard to fill and move without spilling, but that's where I got the idea, someone is using cake pans. Will get some shallower bins, with lids so I can stack them. Right now this works OK, the big chunks work way better than the cubes I used prior.
     
    Shezadandy likes this.
  5. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Songster

    1,176
    759
    236
    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    I hear you on spillage- and of course the point is for the ice/water to be accessible to the chickens- so that eliminates something like a 2L pop bottle.

    The year I moved up here I came from Phoenix AZ (8 miserable months) and even in July it was misty and wet the whole "summer" - but these last 10 years it seems we just keep getting drier and hotter every summer. I grew up in Tucson - when we used to have (obviously) hot days in the summer- then the monsoons would roll in around 4pm and cool it all down- then that stopped- just dry lightening and dust devils and watching mountain fires creep closer at night.

    This year's 4th of July was less scary than last year we had rain later in the year- but last year- everything was so dry and crunchy I was just waiting for a fire to start- some people don't have common sense - dry grass and fir trees + fireworks = ???

    A good part of the Columbia River Gorge DID burn for a long, long time (and we had terrible smoke from that and California last year) because some teenagers (they got caught) threw fireworks into tall grass along a trail.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: