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How to keep chickens cool in the heat. Tips wanted!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by K-12 Chickens, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. K-12 Chickens

    K-12 Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The temperature I've read that chickens start to be in danger of overheating is 90 degrees. There is a major heatwave that is pushing the heat index past 100 degrees! So I was wondering if anyone had tips on keeping chickens cool because I do have two Buff Orpingtons that are starting to molt a little because of heat stress. Imagine wearing a winter coat in over 100 degree heat! Whew, makes me sweat thinking about it. [​IMG] My chickens are free-range and don't like getting wet anywhere except their feet so I've been filling a pan of water and setting it on the ground for them to step in. Most of them don't step in it but one of my two Silver Laced Wyandottes will put both feet in the pan and actually start scratching in it as if it were dirt. I've also been feeding them cold watermelon. All tips and ideas for keeping chickens cool will be greatly appreciated! [​IMG]
     
  2. Drover

    Drover Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2011
    I feel your pain. Im in WI, and it has been REALLY HOT around here. like between 95-105. I have been freezing milk jugs full of water and putting them in the coop- they love to sit on them. I also sprinkle their run with the sprinkler so when they walk through the weeds they get damp. If you have a fan, I would put it in their coop. I bet they would love that! Yesterday I fed them some cold oatmeal. They really enjoyed it!
     
  3. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just have a small fan in the coop blowing out thru a vent and have a large fan in the run, but here in Tulsa the temp hasn't dropped below 105 & the heat index is around 115, and it's been like this for over a month and no clouds or rain, the grass is all brown and the trees look like they are dying everywhere!!!! But my flock just pants thru it and seem to be ok.
     
  4. kmarks613

    kmarks613 Out Of The Brooder

    I've been going out every hour or so to throw ice cubed into their water, give them some cold fruit from the fridge. I also set up a nice dry dirt area for them to dust bathe in. It's in the low-mid 90s here with the heat index pushing it up to close to 100, and my white rocks are doing well.
     
  5. nurseshelly

    nurseshelly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2011
    Gilbert AZ
    Quote:I have one of those personal misters set up, and the chickens were all afraid of it for a few days. Now they love it! They will go stand under the mist for a while and get all wet, then wander off. It also makes the corner of their coop wet, and they go dust bathe in the damp sand. It's aimed so half of the mist is in the run, and the other half is in the end of their coop. When we first put it in and they were afraid, we put it about 6 feet from their coop. Once they started acting like it was part of the scenery, we moved it closer.

    Before that, I was just spraying down the coop and the shade cloth every couple of hours ... this works better [​IMG]
     
  6. BarredRock971

    BarredRock971 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 20, 2011
    Ugh! I know! In the 90's today! When it's hot I give them watermelon. It helps to keep them hydrated (and they love it![​IMG])
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  7. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    I make honkin' huge "ice cubes" from small buckets in my deep freeze & put one in each waterer.

    I also feed frozen veggies - the kind that come in a box, so it's a nice, neat cube (to begin with). Frozen watermelon rinds, etc. The heat has been really bad, but for my area, today is the last day of 90+ temps for awhile - yeah!
     
  8. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    New Jersey
    Many great threads here on BYC about this. Using "Search" feature above, search by topic and you will find great lists of tips, including fans, AC, cold water available at all times (blocks of ice can keep water cold for longer periods than ice cubes), ample shade, cold fruit treats (can freeze some watermelon for an hour or so and then put out - it will stay cool for awhile)....

    JJ
     
  9. KFox

    KFox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've read that grains heat them up, so I've been giving them feed before bed-when the temps are dropping. During the day, I only offer cold items. I even went to a friend's house and collected Japanese Beetles. I froze them and offered them as a protein snack. During the hottest part of the day, I've been putting cold water jugs around the coop and frozen water jugs. I point the fan towards the cool jugs and it blows cooler air around.
     
  10. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Idaho/Utah
    Something I did recently was use a spray bottle to spray some water under their wings. This I'm assuming would help chickens keep cool via evaporation when they hold hold their wings out to the side like they do when really hot.

    However, this would be a work-intensive effort. If you have a small number of chickens or a couple that are particularly overheated, it may be of help, though. [​IMG]

    I happened to be handling a couple chickens on a hot day & they got a bit extra-stressed, so I gave them a cooling few sprays before I put them back in their coop.
     

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