Can I Add A Cool Down Horse Feed Into My Chickens' Diet To Help Them In My Hot Climate?


7 Years
Feb 16, 2012
Darwin Australia
Bit of a different question.

I live in a really hot and humid tropical climate; great for bantams. However I have a friend with a salmon faverolles hen that is really struggling with this heat. My faverolles is doing very well, I'm not sure if it's diet difference, different ventilation in our coops/pens or just the different breeder we got ours from (her faverolles is larger than mine) but she is panting heavily and making noises constantly that sound like she is straining.

I remember reading somewhere that someone would add a horse cool down feed to their heavy breed chickens' diets to help them internally cool down from their hot environment, along with other tricks like adding a water mister to the pen with a timer for the hottest peak of the day, putting a frozen water bottle in their water supply, freezing peas and fruit for them to pick at and removing certain food from their diet like corn and wheat as they make birds warmer internally.

If anyone has used horse feed, how much would she have to incorperate into her feed? Obviously take it slowly to begin with, but enough for it to take effect. Would there be issues with adding it to their diet? I've copied the ingreidents below:

ingredients or products derived from them: Bran, Pollard, Rice, Barley, Oats, Lupins, Peas, Beans, Canola, Soy, Sunflower, Safflower, Cotton and Vegetable Oil.

If not, any of those ingreidents she can buy separate to add into their diet? I have a friend who breeds Rhode Island Reds and Muscovy ducks (for meat obviously) and uses pollard to increase the muscle to fat ratio in the birds, and she beleives that pollard helps with the heat also. Not sure if there is any truth in the heat cooling but it would be helpful to get some pointers.

Thanks everyone who can give us a hand.
More shade, more ventilation, more constant access to water.

His coop is probably way too hot because of poor ventilation - during the heat of the day, the coop, if built properly will be significantly cooler than the outside, because of the shade.
Okay, not a nutritionist here, but do have a science background and been around horses a lot....

Hot and cool horse feeds don't refer to body heat, more of how much energy they offer, and how fast. Hot feeds are usually corn based, high carb, simple to digest, low protein and fiber. Gives the horse lots of energy quickly, makes them "hot" temperament wise. Something akin to giving a candy bar to a toddler

Cool feeds are more complex carbs, higher in fiber and to some extent fat and protein. They don't change body temperature, but also don't cause the surge in metabolism the hot feeds do, so you don't get the hot behavior. Think of the same child above, after eating say a bowl of chili.

I don't know what pollard is on the ingredients you listed. The bran is mostly fiber, not so much a source of nutrients. I'm not sure how well birds do with that much fiber, horses' diet is a lot of roughage and bulk, a bird's, not so much. It also seems like a lot of oils. My birds get a bolus of oil from time to time from my cooking oil with no apparent issues, but I've never seen anything about feeding birds a higher fat diet consistently.

Rice, Barley, Oats, Lupins, Peas, Beans....these are all fine things for a bird to eat. Beans do need to be soaked or cooked first to absorb the nutrients properly.
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