Florida heat and humidity killing off local chickens.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by starbuxchic, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. starbuxchic

    starbuxchic New Egg

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    May 31, 2013
    Middleburg, Fl
    I keep plenty of fresh water and even make sure I put ice cubes in there. But this week I lost two chickens to the heat prompting me to install two fans in the already ventilated coop.
    Upon a curious whim, I asked my local feed store supplier if this is common. And wow was I surprised. A guy who had 200 free range flock lost 30 in a few days, a few other people lost chickens and even the owner of the feed store lost her prized show rooster AFTER keeping it inside and away from the heat for a few days. Is this something that easily effects the humid southern regions? Everything seems better after I installed the fans, they are even drinking less water...which I do not know is what I wanted them to do...
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Birds unable to get out of sun or are very active in high heat are much more prone to dying. Hens in lay and birds processing a lot of food are also in trouble. When it gets really hot like when it approached 110 F last summer, I switch to feeding only late in evening and restrict the amount to that required for maintenance only. That makes it so they are not processing as much food during heat of day. That means a shut down in egg production. High humidity makes the ground wetting technique lest effective but it still provides some relief.
     
  3. jstlitlome

    jstlitlome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2013
    Missouri
    Didn't think about not feeding in the morning. Its hitting 100 today in missouri, the highest yet this summer. It should start getting cooler after today. Thats not unusual around here, but this is my first year with chickens. I've been going out a couple times a day to mist their run with a garden hose. They seem to appreciate that and I hope it helps. I'll do it several times today. The ones that I feel really sorry for are the ones who decide to lay in late afternoon. Those nest boxes are hot!

    Other ideas?
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Provide shade in locations with a light breeze and apply water to ground there just before dark to saturate it. Evaporation following day will keep ground cooler than it would be otherwise.
     
  5. 1876 Farm

    1876 Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are you able to mist your chickens? Last year, in our area, we had a draught and on those days that reached 90++ I setup the hose on mist and let it go all day long. This really cooled off the chickens and I had a bumper crop of flies due to the moisture and chicken dropping. I didn't notice the hens running around eating them, but perhaps they already had their fill.
     
  6. jstlitlome

    jstlitlome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2013
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    I've been saying all summer that I was going to get them a mister, but we had a mild summer, and I never did it. Now that the heat has started, they arent available anymore! (sold out) They do have shade, and they are up on a hill and get whatever breeze the day avails. I'll keep watering them down with the hose. It gets the ground wet, and think it keeps the area cooler.

    I keep a small amount of straw in the run for them to scratch around in, it got all worked into the mud yesterday from all the spraying, so today I gave them a little fresh to scratch.

    They seem to be doing ok, and I think this is the hottest day that we will have. It's almost September... :)
     
  7. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    We had over a week long heat wave here back in July with temps between 105 to 110 and humid, it was really hard on the chickens. But what seemed to help them the most was being able to get their feet wet and stand in front of a fan at the same time as well as having access to solid, deep shade. We also kept the fans running in the coops 24/7 since there was little relief at night. I made them a puddle every day and during the worst of it they'd wade right in and then stand there, lined up in front of the fan. I think I'd probably have lost birds without multiple fans in that heat.

    Edited to add: We fed cold watermelon every afternoon to refresh them, kept their water fresh and added electrolytes to it as well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  8. 1876 Farm

    1876 Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    I

    I don't actually have a mister but a value on the end where I can stop the water, I hang he end of the hose on the fence and just turn the value open just to the point it is misting. A mister might be nicer, but this seems to work. Good luck keeping them cool!!?
     
  9. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know I am ready for fall weather.

    The high today here where I am in North Texas is 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41 Celsius). Maybe the worst part is the low will be 79 (26 Celsius). It doesn't cool off.
     
  10. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Brenham TX
    The good news is that September is around the corner, so temps are going to start coming down, it will still be hot (but not in the low 100s like it has been in my neck of the woods without the heat index). Lower 80's are most welcomed for a change.
    This year we added misters to the run and more fans. I change the water twice or maybe more and I add a frozen bottle of water so they can jump in and cool their feet, they love it! I also put electrolytes in their waterers and some times nutri-drench (which helps with the heat stress). They have a covered run. We also changed the doors in the coops adding more hardware cloth to them and have fans running 24/7. I keep the lids on their nesting boxes open after they have finished laying to let the hot air out.We also made their dirt boxes deeper and dampen the dirt so it is cooler.They are still miserable and pant but I believe all these efforts to cool them are helping because we have not lost any. HANG IN THERE IT IS ALMOST OVER !!!![​IMG]
     

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