Chickens in the Phoenix heat: My experience with Dominiques (thus far)

Sep 17, 2021
Phoenix, AZ z9b
Hey all and especially my AZ neighbors. It has not yet been a year with my chickens but I wanted to do a little update because I finally feel like we are having "real summer" over here and I felt a chicken report was due.

I have 6 Dominique chickens at the time of this writing most of which are 4 months old, and 1 hen is 9 months old. They are all from a mail order hatchery back East. I wasn't sure if this breed would do well or poorly in the heat.... reports of both can be found online. But the Livestock Conservancy said it was a heat tolerant and hard-to-kill little thing, so here we are!

Our temperature today got to 110 with 9% humidity, so we are still in our "dry heat" phase as the monsoon isn't being very active. Here is a little video of what they looked like today in the afternoon:

They do pant in the heat, and they will hold their wings out at times (but less so when they're in the shade like in the video). Otherwise they seem like they're doing pretty well, and perhaps even a bit better than the white leghorns that live at my local feed store. This surprises me as leghorns are promoted as very heat tolerant.

As far as laying eggs, my 1 hen seems to be slowing down in the heat and I don't think the younger chickens are laying yet. I had one day last week where I found 2 eggs in the nest box (exactly at their 4mo birthday) but it hasn't happened again since.

Desert dwellers, are we looking good over here? 😄

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