Chickens in Hot Weather..need advice!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BarkerChickens, May 14, 2008.

  1. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    We have 3 EEs and 3 Barred Rocks and this will be their first summer in the HOT Southern California high desert. We get 100+ weather over the summer regularly. We've covered the coop issue...they have two. One is a typical solid wood coop (great for our very cold winters) and the other has a fine wire mesh floor that allows plenty of air in to keep it cool. Currently they lay in the "cool" coop and sleep in the warm coop. This works great for weeks like this with 90+ during the day and low 50s at night. The "warm" coop is also covered with a corrugated roof for shade and protection from rain/snow. Their run also has shade fabric where the hard roof is not, but they spend most of their time in our garden or backyard which neither are covered. What do we do with the heat coming? We've thought about hooking up misters to the drip system and hooking along the fence of their run. Our idea is that it give cook water several times a day and provides wet dirt to "play" in. Will this be enough? They're water is already hooked up to drip too.
  2. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Check out 10 Tips for a Cooler Coop.

    I freeze 2 liter soda bottles in the summer to put in the runs, to help cool our gang off. They love them and we've even caught them roosting/perching on the bottles during the hottest part of the day. They also enjoyed cold fruit during the heat wave we had here last year.

    Hope this helps!

  3. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Thanks Dawn...I really like the frozen 2 liter bottle idea and the smaller frozen water bottles to put in their water! My DH is filling water bottles as we speak! We only have 6 hens and their coop is small, so running a fan out there doesn't seem very feasible. However, we do have grapes growing up the side of the coop and probably along the top within the next few weeks. We put plywood along the south, west and east sides of the coop (the north is a thornless blackberry and two grape vines). Although we get insanely high temps here in the summer (110 is not uncommon), we have very low humidity so we can try the sprinkler idea that someone had posted without risk of them staying wet!
  4. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    We put a box fan in the doorway of our chicken house when it gets really hot.
    CuppaJo461 likes this.
  5. Oakland_Ranchero

    Oakland_Ranchero In the Brooder

    Mar 23, 2008
    Oakland, CA
    My grandmother used to run a mister, you know those kind they sell for patios, around the edge of the coop. They live in eastern Riverside County so I know the heat your talking about.

    Also, throwing out a cut watermelon helps keep them hydrated. We just did that today in Northern California, it's around the mid 90's here.

    The frozen soda bottles work great!
  6. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Eastern Riverside County gets similar weather to us! We've looked into the mister idea, however, we don't have a convenient system to run a mister system efficiently (without running it ALL DAY and racking up a huge power bill). BUT!!! Because of the great idea of having a mister...we decided we are going to rig up a few 5 gallon buckets (or similar) with a couple low flow drip heads at the bottom. We can place it on a small wooden bench or table and let it drip below. The bench/table would provide shade and the slow drip would keep the ground moist for the chickens to play and dig in to keep cool. Similar to the mist idea without the overhead moisture (our chickens won't sit under a mister anyway). Thanks so much!!
  7. Aluminet shade cloth.

    I put it up over my own personal patio last year, and it cuts the heat gain by a good 10 degrees.

    Aluminet[​IMG] is a high quality metallized knitted screen. Aluminet greatly moderates day/night temperatures, enabling microclimate control in gardens/greenhouses etc. It provides uniform shadow, controls air movement, protects against frost radiation, saves energy in heated structures and transmits optimum diffused light to the crops.

    Benefits of Aluminet:
    Maximum radiation reflection on both sides, moderating day/night temperatures
    Reduces heat inside structure
    Protects against frost radiation damage
    Increased light diffusion
    Wards off pests
    The screen structure provides:
    Great elasticity, and light weight creating an easy install.
    Uniform high-density closure of the surface-(light spread) uniform shadow
    Controlled air movement.

    I bought my 70 or 80% coverage at, but it is available at other places. For a hot, sunny climate, it's the best thing since sliced mint julips.
  8. GallowayFarms

    GallowayFarms Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Hey there is a simple way to do a mister that doesn't take power.

    I went to a local green house supply store and bought these little nozzels. they have a 1/2" pipe thread end. If you goto a lowes or local hardware store you can get a adapter to go from pipe to water hose thread.

    These little guys use very little water. I know how you folks out there have been hurting for water.

    ok this link is a nice little system I found that will work like the one i built. Look at the last item. It is 15 bucks.

    Good Luck

  9. chickadee2

    chickadee2 Chirping

    Oct 13, 2008
    Poor chickens were panting and holding their wings out yesterday with 102 temps. Today it is 105 and they are just fine. They've had shade cloth both days, but today I ran a hose in their run. It has an old fashioned ring sprinkler head, which I allowed to have about a 3"water spray. This was enough to create puddles everywhere. They were standing in them sitting in them and pecking around as usual. After about 3 hours, I turned it off. That was 3 hours ago. It is still 100 degrees and they are happy and not panting. The ground is still soggy. However, we only got 2 eggs today from our 4 ladies. No wonder, the nest box is 115 degrees. I just checked. No wonder, they would go in and come right out. The door of their 3.5X5 coop has the roof opened 6" Half of the floor has been dropped down to allow air in and the main door is open and it is still hot! I guess we need to try a heat shield panel on the outside of the nestboxes....

    4 Ladies, 1 PR, 1 BR, 1EE, 1BL. And a husband who built this great coop, but feels like he has done it now. HMMM-- he calls it the Chicken Vault.
  10. guesswhatchickenbutt

    guesswhatchickenbutt Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    Central FL
    I live in FL where it's insanely hot and humid.

    Three things we've done:

    1) a BIG shady area
    2) ice cubes in the water everyday
    3) frozen treats (frozen watermelon, yogurt, fruit...)

    Seems to help a bit!

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