feeding in the heat

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cactus-hen, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. cactus-hen

    cactus-hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2008
    I'm here in SE Arizona. The temp is in the triple digits. I've been told not to give the chickens scratch during the day due to the heat generated by the chickens in digestion. My problem is that they don't want to eat the whole oats or lay pellets that I give them. They free range over 1 acre of desert ground. I also give them what ever scraps/leftovers from the day before when I feed in the morning. The coop is in an adobe barn that never gets cool. Temp at 10 p.m. is still in high 90's. If I give then scratch in the evening, will they stay hot all night? I'm afraid that if I don't give them scratch that they won't have enough to eat.
     
  2. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    I hear you - I've never had a hen that was thrilled with layer food! But they'll eat some of it if it's the only thing available at certain parts of the day (oyster shell in separate container). You can take the food away in the heat of day if you are able. You can give scratch as a treat in cooler weather. Your temps in AZ are so high in summer that fans are a minimum saving grace. We have periods of heat indexes in triple digits. I give cold fruit as treats a lot. Frozen watermelon. Electrolytes for panting.
    Your winters are the reward, right?!
    I hope all will be well.
    JJ
     
  3. cactus-hen

    cactus-hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2008
    I have electrolytes for my horses. Can I use the same for the chickens? What strength would I use? I have fans in the coop area that run continuously. We put foil insulation in the rafters. It has helped some. I do not feed the chickens in a container. I just scatter it on the ground. In a container I just feed the birds. The chickens also go through the horses manure. How would I tell if they aren't getting enough food?
     
  4. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    I would never give scratch during the heat of summer BUT my chooks run to the pig pen and scarf up all they can from the pigs feeder!! [​IMG] Quite frankly, they are healthier looking than the hens who eat pellets. [​IMG]
     
  5. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't know what's in the horse formula you have but Durvet makes a V&E mix for poultry (in many feed stores, dosage on packet) and here on BYC I have seen the recipe for making electrolytes at home out of some basic ingredients you may have. Try doing a search (see above in blue bar) under "electrolytes". In a pinch a bit many on BYC have felt a bit of Pedialtye or Gatorade can be used. With the AZ weather conditions you may end up using electrolytes more than most so probably best to get the poultry one....

    As far as your question re: whether your chickens are getting enough food, their weight (relative to their breed) and overall health, red combs, normal eggs, would all be indicators. You could supplement their water with Avia Charge 2000 which will help ensure they get the nutrients they need (can order it on line - a little goes a long way).

    Wishing you all the best in those difficult temps. Too many chickens are being lost to the heat.

    JJ
     

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