Heat warning this weekend, but I won't be home. What should I do?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Kaitie09, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are getting the heat warning this weekend and it should be hitting 101 during the middle of the day. Today is was 90, but felt like 99. I was going out every couple hours and dunking the chickens into the ducks pool of cold water to cool them down. Right now it is still close to 80. The chickens were all about 3ft form each other on the roost with their wings out and all were panting.

    I have a fan that I can use this weekend, but I am not sure where to place it. Should I put it out in the run, where they are most of the day? Or should I put it in the coop because it is already shaded and will cool it down more in there?

    I'm heading to the beach this Thursday so we are having my cousin house-sit. She is the one that is going to have to take care of them and I don't want her to find any dead hens.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  2. greenSearcher

    greenSearcher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the run get the breeze, put the fan in the coop so the air moves in there. Hose the ground in the run and whereever they are laying in the shade. The moist ground is cooler. I have wading pools, 2x3'x8" storage containers w/ a big rock or brick in it. I fill it with water so they can stand on the brick and have their feet in the water. They also will sit on the edge of the container. During the heat of the day I put jugs filled half full of water and frozen so the pool stays cool. I also put ice blocks made in cool whip bowls in their drinking water. They won't drink it if it gets hot, ie feels like a hot bath. Shade, wading pool and cool drinking water are the tools for keeping my chickens alive in 100+ degree days. Most days we have wind, though sometimes it feels like a convection oven. I also don't feed scratch or hot foods, snacks are cold or frozen fruit and veges. The cold food sitting in their crop is cooling.
     
  3. ks_twin_mom

    ks_twin_mom Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi
    I'm in Kansas and we have been in this heat for over a week now and it's not letting up. Our temps have been 101-106 with heat index well above 110 everyday. Our evenings haven't been a whole lot better.. we barely get into the low 80s! It is horrible...

    I had 8 hens and 1 rooster and we lost one hen this past weekend.. about the time a Wichita turkey farm lost over 1000 birds! R.I.P. Angel the chicken... our only blue/green egg layer! :-( I know it was the heat. My coop and run are both well in the shade all day and we have a decent breeze usually... I have a tarp over part for the evening sun but that really doesn't seem to be the issue; just heat...

    The only thing I know to do is what I've read on here - since we are new to raising chickens: I now freeze 2-liter bottles of water and put them in the yard during the day and in the coop at night - hopefully they are laying near them and cooling down some. I know they melt quckly but they seem to say cold/cool for quite some time. I have fed them watermelon and other melons, to cool them off. I put my glass lasagne pan out there with 2 inches of cool water in it.. they drink then they walk thru it, hopefully cooling their feet? I gave them some yogurt the other day... just trying.

    I bought a small fan to mount in the coop but haven't figured out how to cover it with wire yet so they can't hurt themselves...

    My coop does have cross-vents so the air goes thru and I leave it all open at night - surrounded by the run and fencing so they are still safe. If you can do that.. give them more air, more shade, more water-based vegetables to snack on... frozen water bottles or jugs of water to lay near... but air movement and coolness... somehow?!?!

    I am praying this lets up soon but I'm afraid when it does for us it will head your way. I'm sorry...

    Hang on chickies!!!
    Kathy in Kansas
     
  4. chickenlovefever

    chickenlovefever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2011
    I have found that shade (Of course) And putting a frozen bottle of water in my chickens' waterers. It keeps the water cold, and my chickens don't gulp all of the water down like they used to to stay cooler.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Make certain they have access to shade and drinking water. A slight breeze helps a lot. Do not stress birds by handling to get them wet. A small amount of water to stand if they desire or a patch of ground with moisture helps them dump heat through their. Minimize stress, keep them quite. Expect feed intake, growth and egg production to drop. Feed lightly in early morning and provide major meal before going to roost. Such a feeding regimen keeps heat production associated with processing food to a minimum when temperatures highest.
     
  6. KatieBugg

    KatieBugg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are in heat index warnings until Friday evening, it's supposed to be from 105-115, was 107 index today! I have gathered up from friends and family a bunch of gallon plastic milk jugs, filled with water and put them in the freezer and set them around the coop, i rotate from newly frozen ones everyday at noon, before the real heat gets going again. I am also freezing water in smaller margerine bowls and puting the chunk of ice in with thier waterers, so far seems to be doing pretty good. I also have been adding thier feed in some plain yogurt in the evenings instead of any grain type treats. Today I made up some jello that has been in the cupboard for awhile with some of thier feed in it, then put it in the fridge to let it set up, take it from me, warn your kids before doing this, my adult son was here today and grabbed a bowl of the jello, I got him just as he was going to take a bite of it!! He thought it was some kind of gronola or something in the jello...lmao! Anyway the jello was a hit with the girls, they loved it!!
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    KatieBugg,
    You are in same town as me. Good shade and water should be enough assuming they are not confined under a hot tin roof.
     
  8. KatieBugg

    KatieBugg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Holts Summit, MO
    Quote:Very cool!!!!!
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Very cool!!!!!

    Not the weather. I had to lug coops into shade under tree. Have heat stressed hen sitting on back of chair cooling down.
     
  10. KatieBugg

    KatieBugg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 21, 2010
    Holts Summit, MO
    Quote:Very cool!!!!!

    Not the weather. I had to lug coops into shade under tree. Have heat stressed hen sitting on back of chair cooling down.

    Sorry to hear about the girl!! So far I have been very fortunate with my flock and the heat. I do have 2 broodys I am worried about them getting through the next couple of days, I will be swapping the eggs they are on now in a couple of days, for some I want hatched.
     

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