Chickens in the heat of Nevada summer

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SunViMelSexy, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. SunViMelSexy

    SunViMelSexy New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Jun 21, 2016
    Nevada
    Hello everybody, I would be really thankful for any suggestions on how to keep my chickens cool during the summer. I have 4 chickens; a Rhode Island Red, a Bantam, an Ameraucana, and a Plymouth Rock. This is their first summer in Southern Nevada. They were born sometime around September and have always lived here, but it hasn't been this hot for them yet. They have a wire fence area outside with a coop next to them. They are allowed to roam the whole backyard for usually a few hours a day.


    They have a dog waterer for drinking in their area and are always under the shade of a giant pine tree. They usually get some cold fruit and vegetables every day. Today I hosed down the soil in their area so that it wouldn't be as hot for them. They are ALWAYS panting and their laying of eggs has drastically decreased. The temperature here during the summer is almost always over 100 degrees fahrenheit.

    I'm thinking about adding a water tray and other water bottles in their area. And also freezing water bottles for them. Are there any other ways to keep them cool? I can't put fans in their area or add a mister.

    On a side note. My bantam has been picked on by the other chickens so she is always sitting in the laying box inside of the house. A few times a day she goes out to eat and drink and I always give her vegetables and fruits in the box. Even though I take her out to roam the yard on most days she still prefers to sit in the box after her dirt bath. I've tried isolating the meanest chicken (the rhode island red) but she and the plymouth still pick on her when she is out of her box. How can I keep her cooler when she is always inside a hot box?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Looks like you are doing good... Shade Shade Shade.... and a never ending water supply.

    Here is a thread that was going last year and may be ramping up a little now the heat has hit....

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1005376/battling-extreme-desert-heat

    For what Its worth I used to live in Vegas.... Aeons ago...[​IMG]

    But the link above many strategies have been disucssed adopted thrown out.... and on...

    But to summarise shade water and good air circulation are important. Chickens dont sweat so air blowing on them isnt helpful unless you add moisture like with a mister.... evaporation will bring down the temps as much as ten degrees.

    Giving them a mud spot or a water tray to walk in. some people used a kids wading pool put in sand and poured in water till it was kind of slushy.... then scattered treats in the pool. Black oil sunflower seeds, scratch.... even meal worms.... Just something to encourage them to walk on the COOL sand. once in they will spend time in there without encouragement.

    Then there is the putting ice in the water bowl and feeding them cold water melon ....

    with regard to your other issue... bullying First of all if your hen is not broody she shouldn't be spending any more time in the box than the others not good for her. LOck the coop up after the eggs are laid for the day. Evicting your girl in the process. I dont know how much square footage that coop has but it may be a bit small for four. good rule of thumb is 4 square feet per bird... bantams a little less but you get the idea.... If your coop is four feet by four feet you are good for four birds.

    Natural pecking order often times is misidentified as Bullying. The only remedy is giving them space to establish pecking order. places to find refuge.... Offer up two or more feeding stations so when they run one off there is always food available at another.... same goes for water.

    For what its worth perches should be higher than the nest box.... incourages the chickens to perch rather than sleep in the nest. Chickens poo all night long. you dont want poo in the nest boxes. Some farmers would litterally block the nest boxes off after all the hens had layed their eggs.

    I have rambled enough.... But check the thread good info there...

    deb
     
  3. SunViMelSexy

    SunViMelSexy New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Jun 21, 2016
    Nevada
    Thank you for replying, perchie.girl. I'm thinking of adding a mister as you mentioned. The chickens like to walk in their water bowl so I'm thinking of using the wading pool method. With regards to the bantam, the box is her refuge, and she usually goes down out of it when the Rhode Island Red is laying. The chickens like to bathe in the bottom of the house so locking it up, I feel, wouldn't be good. Also, my chickens all individually lay at different times of the day, sometimes as late as 1pm so I need to keep the box open. They perch on the roof when they sleep. Thanks again.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by