How do you keep chickens cool in the desert southwest summer?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ckemp47, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. ckemp47

    ckemp47 New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Dec 31, 2009
    I am new to chickens; I bought my first 4 (2 barred rocks, 2 RIR) right before New YEars; they are now 2 weeks old and thriving. I did some research before gettng them, but this site has been a godsend for answering questions and gleaning information! I know that people in the Phoenix area have chickens; in fact, there was an article in the Phoenix Republic recently about the BYC phenomenon, very complimentary) that I need to make my coop very airy, with lots of ventilation, and to provide shade, but despite these measures it still gets to be over 110 in the shade at times in the summer. What do those of you who live in hot, dry climates do to keep them cool?
     
  2. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    37
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    I'm in North Texas, so we deal with some heat issues in the summer, too. However, I have bantams, and they deal with heat much better than the heavier breeds. I do have friends with standard chickens, though, and there are a range of things you can do to cool your birds down in the summer. You're on the right track with an open sided coop and shade. Other things you can do is put shallow pans of water out for your chickens to stand in (this cools down their feet, which cools down the rest of them). You can set up a personal mister: I bought one for about $10 at Home Depot last summer. Some people put ice in their waterers to encourage their birds to drink and stay hydrated (very important in heat).

    Try searching this forum, too. I remember there were a lot of discussions here last summer about what to do.
     
  3. jaboo81

    jaboo81 Chillin' With My Peeps

    200
    2
    101
    Dec 9, 2009
    New Braunfels TX
    I am in South Central TX and it gets very warm in the summer months here. I would make sure you have alot of ventalation and then you will need fans to help circulate the air during the day. I turn them off at night. I am going to hang a cheap ceiling fan from home depot for $15.00 this summer. Good Luck and stay [​IMG]
     
  4. a2ms4chickens

    a2ms4chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    687
    2
    141
    Dec 16, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    I live in Tucson, AZ and my birds do well in shade with lots of water. I have both drinking water bowls, and another pan of water that they like to soak their feet in. We have a covered enclosed stable that the chickens are in, and we have put a mister in there so they can lay in the cool sand (just don't leave it on all day, it is a mess!!)

    Some people put frozen water bottles in the run so they can lay near them to help cool them off, but I have never done that. Or they will put a box fan in the coop.

    Good luck on your new chicks!

    Angie
     
  5. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    10,884
    22
    291
    Jul 17, 2009
    Welcome! Visit us on the AZ chickens thread!

    I make sure there is lots of water, shade, and an occasional cool treat for them to enjoy.

    I keep 2 milk jugs filled with water in the freezer, and 2 in the coop. I swtich them out when I leave for work and when I get home on the hottest days. I also had a rubbermaid container on its side. I put one jug inside and it is like an airconditioned room.

    Click for bigger pic
    [​IMG]

    Landsharks!
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  6. cutlass1972

    cutlass1972 Chillin' With My Peeps

    261
    0
    119
    May 26, 2009
    I don't know how economical it would be but they make a device called a swamp cooler. Basically it pumps water over a porous surface and blows air across it achieving a cooling effect through evaporation.
     
  7. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    10,884
    22
    291
    Jul 17, 2009
    Quote:Not economical in an open-air coop in AZ. The water would evaporate too fast to keep it full, and probably use up lots of energy. Now if you had a hose and a solar panel....

    Lots of us have swamp coolers for the house, which work great riiiiiight up until the monsoon hits. Then we are all hot with swamp bottom. Bleh. TMI?
     
  8. cutlass1972

    cutlass1972 Chillin' With My Peeps

    261
    0
    119
    May 26, 2009
    Quote:Not economical in an open-air coop in AZ. The water would evaporate too fast to keep it full, and probably use up lots of energy. Now if you had a hose and a solar panel....

    Lots of us have swamp coolers for the house, which work great riiiiiight up until the monsoon hits. Then we are all hot with swamp bottom. Bleh. TMI?

    evaporative coolers have always fascinated me, but here in KY it is just WAY too humid to get enough evaporation to cool anything. Can you tell me, do they just cool a few degrees below ambient or is it cold like A/C blowing out?
     
  9. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    10,884
    22
    291
    Jul 17, 2009
    THREAD HIJACK!

    It is cold like AC. It is soooo dry here, the swamp is almost too cold to sleep with at night. That being said, I am an AZ native, and have to put on a jacket when it hits 75 degrees. Brrrrr!

    Once the monson gets here, the swamp coolers are useless, and you have to switch over to AC.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by