Chickens too hot?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PhDtoFarm, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. PhDtoFarm

    PhDtoFarm Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 13, 2013
    I live in the desert. I've constructed a run with as much shade as I can get, but now that I've actually added the birds, I'm wondering if it's enough! :(

    So I just got my first flock of 12 young hens the day before yesterday, and a couple of them have been displaying this type of behavior (see photo):


    I'm familiar with the open-beak-to-keep-cool behavior, but not with the droopy wings. Is this another cooling mechanism, or is something wrong with the bird(s) that do it? I tried Googling, but all I came up with were terrible diseases, and the hens otherwise behave normally. I think their wings are also not always down (e.g. while running around chasing thrown mealworms), just most of the time.

    Also, any ideas for keeping them cool (aside from shade)? I'm considering putting a frozen bottle of water in their waterer to keep it chilled, but aside from that, I'm not sure how to beat the desert heat :(

    Thanks in advance!
  2. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    Shade, water, breeze. Some use a mister to reduce temperature. If you could create deep shade where the sun never shines, that might help. Mine are quite fond of the dense, low growing plants here. So shaded that not even weeds will grown.

    What you are seeing is chickens trying to keep cool. Dropping the wings moves them away from the body to facilitate cooling.


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