Getting hot, need advice

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Darklingstorm, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2011
    Durant, Oklahoma
    I have a chicken coop that is under a very big pecan tree, provides lots of shade. There is also an attached run that is also under the same shade tree. I have water & food inside and outside the coop and a small kids pool. I have a very large yard that is mostly open to the sky (no shade), I do have other trees but they don't provide a lot of shade either.
    I have six 16 week old pullets, three 12 week old pullets and 2 ducks. Right now I have them free ranging in my yard and they are doing fine (as far as I can tell). They spend most of their time under the boat we have, which isn't a lot of space and doesn't give a lot of shade. I've put water out there but the ducks muck it up fast and the water turns hot quickly. At night they are fine together (ducks have their own hut) and no fighting.
    Here is the problem: during the day when they all hang out close together, the littler ones get chased and picked on by the bigger ones but with lots of room they get away without injury. But I've noticed over the last couple of days that they are all getting very hot, panting hard, very red in the face and wings drooping. I'm afraid that they are not getting enough water and getting too hot under the boat. The run is a lot smaller (compared to the yard) but not too small were they are all bunched together however not so big that the littler ones go unnoticed either. I can't increase the run size. I'm just very nervous that I will find a bunch of dead heat exhausted birds under the boat.

    Should I lock them in the run area for their own safety? Will they go and get water on their own, even if it far away?
  2. xmissjadie

    xmissjadie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    Eugene, Oregon
    I'd say put water dishes throughout the yard, put them in the shade. I've heard of people freezing water bottles and setting them out for the chickens to lay next to. When it's hot out I usually mist my girls with some water it keeps them cool and cools the air down around them. You can buy a mist attachment for your hose at any hardware store. Then set it up and they'll run through it to cool down.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  3. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I do the frozen water in liter pop bottles thing. You have to have quite a lot of them as they will melt throughout the day. But you could put them under your boat, thus making that a sort of a cooling area... Might be worth a try.
  4. OneOldTruck

    OneOldTruck New Egg

    Jun 7, 2011
    My experience has always been, that if you give your chickens enough options, they will choose what's best for them. They head for the shade, or get some water, they forage around, or head back to the feeder. They will pant when it's warm, because they don't sweat, but just like my dog, it isn't a problem, it's just an effective way of cooling off. And one chicken pecking at another is the way of the (chicken) world, it isn't something to stop, it's the method of determining the pecking order.
  5. InviteTanner

    InviteTanner Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 8, 2011
    As the other posters have stated, if you give them enough options you'll see them finding their own comfortable spots. Mine have trees, open land, a small pond, their coop, and under a horse trailer to find shade in. I'll find them all scattered around in different areas at different times of the day. They droop their wings to "air out" under there and they pant like a dog. As long as they have water and a couple of different shading options they'll be fine. The pecking on each other is normal...that's where the term "pecking order" came from!
  6. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2011
    Durant, Oklahoma
    Thank you for all your replies and I am going to do the water bottle thing. Throwing several in the swimming pool should help the water stay cooler. I also went out this morning and made a shade by the boat with a tarp and some poles. Put their food and the swimming pool out there under it. They seemed to be very happy with me for doing it. As I was walking in the house, the chickens were clucking loudly and the ducks dove in the pool. I left the hose out there and will go out during the heat of the day and refresh their water, at least till I get enough water bottles saved up.

    Now I can relax....for the moment
  7. RedfogsFlock

    RedfogsFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2010
    Wittmann, AZ
    Being in the middle of the desert well here's some things we do

    1. I put a fan in the coop in two corners pointing down.
    2. We use one of the $12 misting systems from Walmart, I get 3 one for the goats, rabbit, & one I string the length of the chicken coop about 3 foot off the ground.
    3. frozen gallon jugs of water in the baby pool to keep it cool (put in about 5 a.m.)
    4. Lots of shade! Our coop too is under the only huge mesquite tree in our yard, lol
    5. Access to sand, dirt, etc. They use it to sand bathe, but i notice when they start getting hot & holding their wings out they dust bathe more!

    Hope it helps!
  8. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    The only thing I do differant when it gets hot is I try to keep out more water options for them and I try to change it a couple times during the day.They will always run and drink when I am filling them up.I noticed yesterday that my young pullets (12 weeks or so) actually seem to be enjoying the the heat.They were sunbathing some.
  9. edible_chicken

    edible_chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2011
    for my chicks to stay cool, i dug 10" holes in the ground next to a shade tree. the chickens nestle in the holes for hours! its shaded and they keep cool. its funny to see all of them nestled in the holes. they'll sit next to each other and sometimes you can't see them because the holes are so deep in the ground. i've tried to get their picture, but they always flock away when i get close. however, i did manage to take a picture of one.

  10. Laigaie

    Laigaie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2011
    Fayetteville, AR
    We got a smallish kiddy pool for the girls, and re-fill it daily. They still haven't taken to wading in it, but it does mean their water never runs out, and makes it easy to refill with cold hose water.

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