Keeping Chickens Cool in Summertime

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by zaraif, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. zaraif

    zaraif Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 18, 2012
    It's been in the upper 90's and in the 100's for the past couple days and days to come. I was wondering what the best ways are to make sure my chickens stay somewhat cool. Thanks!
  2. rachlore

    rachlore Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2012
    Southern US
    Provide lots of water, if you want you can even stick ice cubes in the water, or give them some econolyte
  3. greenckick

    greenckick Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 9, 2012
    Here in NC it has been hot, hot, hot. My girls refused the electrolytes when offered to them so I stick with freezing water and putting it out for them. I fill a container and throw in some treats (green beans, strawberries, blueberries) and freeze it. They also enjoy a cool slice of watermelon in the evening.
    Otherwise I just leave them alone. They know what to do as they spend most of their day under the porch or hunkered down in the dirt to stay cool.
  4. 2redhens

    2redhens New Egg

    Feb 2, 2012
    I cut up a watermelon and put the pieces in a shallow pan of cool water. You could call it "bobbing for melons"; they drank water in the process of trying to get the watermelon pieces out. I also

    1. soaked big pieces of burlap and draped it over their area

    2. soaked the ground where they do their dusting baths.

    A combination of this and the electrolyte solution (baking soda, salt, & sugar) got them through today (103 at 1 p.m.) here in Virgina.
  5. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2012
    I don't do anything special for mine, really. I live in Texas and it's gotten up to like 107* here recently and mine did fine. They just dust bathe and drink lots of water. I give them electrolytes every now and then (which reminds me, I need to do that...) and other than that they pretty much take care of themselves. They get lots of scraps from the garden, which today included tons of squash and a watermelon.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    Central Michigan
    My husband and I keep arguing about whether the chickens need anything special to cope with the heat. We're up in MI (you know, the state surrounded by lakes and full of them, too?) and it is not just hot it is HUMID! It's the kind of heat that just makes everyone wilt and lay around feeling pathetic.

    Yet, I have a little hen who decided to brood some eggs and she's in that coop all day long even though it isn't in the shade and just bakes in the afternoon sun. From what everyone on here says she's going to die unless I force feed her frozen watermelon and blueberries and hook up a mister and a fan and make a special wading pool for her. But, I'm not. And she's still alive. (The others dug deep holes under their big shady pine tree and spend the day buried in their dust baths.)

    My coop has tons of ventilation--way more than what I see on most commercial coops--but it still gets darn hot. The other night when it was still in the high 80s after 10pm they were on their roosts panting when I went to shut the door.

    So, is all this hype about things we "must" do to help our chickens survive the heat yet another overly dramatic reaction typical of some BYCers? Anyone else with plenty of poultry experience want to weigh in here?
  7. NickyPick

    NickyPick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    My chickens get a fan. There's a good floor fan from Walmart that puts out about 5 times the amount of air as a box fan. I angle it so that it gets the area in front and the chairs. The whole group will gather on the chairs or right in front of the fan in the hot part of the day. I'd show a picture, but since the BYC upgrade, I haven't figured out how to get pics from my BYC album anymore!!

    How do you get the image to show up???
  8. Hamstery

    Hamstery Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2012
    New England
    I freeze 2 liter bottles of water and place them under the coop where they stay in the shade. I find them sitting right next to the bottles to cool off. I also put ice cubes in their water. I freeze fruit in a block of ice and put that out for them in the morning. Or cold watermelon halves. I also water down their run with cold water from the hose a few times a day. Good luck!
  9. 2redhens

    2redhens New Egg

    Feb 2, 2012
    These are great ideas! I really like the freezing 2 liters soda bottles and putting them under the coop areas. My two girls have always roosted at night in their nesting box despite the fact that they have a wonderful roosting pole. And the nesting box gets mighty hot during the day. I might even put the frozen in the nesting box after they've done their daily egg laying and pull them out before they go to bed.

    Thanks everyone!
  10. RiddleMe

    RiddleMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I don't typically baby my chickens, I actually think it can do more harm than good sometimes, after all then what happens on that day when we aren't there to coddle and they suddenly have to fend for themselves? BUT, I do have an Ameraucana hen (~15 months) that is having a really hard time tolerating the heat this year. She was panting so hard yesterday I could actually hear her from about 15 feet away, where the rest of the crew would occasionally pant a little, but only after running up to meet me for treats. When hanging out in the shade under the trees, they were fine. So for her, I've been putting out containers of cool water, tossing in the occasional ice, etc. She will stand in them throughout the day and it seems to really help her cool off. And it's minimal effort on my part. I do wonder if she will make it through the summer though, but I suspect she also has other health issues, as she has never laid an egg.

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