Keeping my chickens alive in arizona summer

Mshine92

In the Brooder
Jan 25, 2021
21
37
46
Hi guys, new chicken mom here. I've had my 2 female 4 month old silkies for about a week now and am obsessed, I love them so much lol. I live in goodyear, AZ, - I just moved here in September, so am new to the high heats for summer as well. I currently have them in a coop with an attached run that's completely enclosed and secure. I am trying to prepare for the summer months as I do not want to lose them from heat stroke. My whole backyard is rock and cement, they live on my partially covered backyard patio, - I have layed vinal down underneath the coop/run and then have sawdust on top of the vinal for their flooring. I just purchased a spacious house for my husband and I and we have a lot of extra space- I want to make sure I have the best possible and safe husbandry for them during summer- I was honestly thinking of converting one of my spare rooms to a chicken room. I'd lay down vinal across the whole room have a coop/ run in there, and let them roam around the room a couple hours a day. I'd put a kiddle pool filled with dirt and some toys so they'd get proper enrichment as well. There is a window in there for sunlight, I can also add a lamp for proper egg laying. Do you guys think this could be a good idea? My house is air conditioned so temp and air flow is properly regulated. Im a vet tech and work 12 hour days 5 days a week across town so the idea of leaving them outside in 115 pls heat - even if I do put misters, and frozen water bottles in the morning, etc to keep them regulated- because I'm not home all day I'm not sure if it's worth the risk of not being able to check on them. I'm very good at maintaining sanitation and spot cleaning their runs, I guess I just don't know if it would do anything else that could adversely effect them.Any advise?
 

nuthatched

Fishin' for Chickens
Nov 9, 2019
4,851
10,482
506
Rim Country, Az
Welcome to chickening, you dusty flatlander.:cool:
Sounds good so far, silkies are probably the only breed that can be kept in a quasi indoor environment. Are you sure they're both pullets? Silkies are sneaky about that.
What do you mean about adding a lamp for proper egg laying? They'll lay without it just fine, a light is just a stimulant and additional light too early could cause issues.
 

Mshine92

In the Brooder
Jan 25, 2021
21
37
46
Welcome to chickening, you dusty flatlander.:cool:
Sounds good so far, silkies are probably the only breed that can be kept in a quasi indoor environment. Are you sure they're both pullets? Silkies are sneaky about that.
What do you mean about adding a lamp for proper egg laying? They'll lay without it just fine, a light is just a stimulant and additional light too early could cause issues.
I really hope they are pullets but I rescued them from a hoarding situation so I'm not totally sure. I'll send pictures see if you can tell. I read that they should have light on inside their coop for 15 hours a day starting at 5 months to stimulate proper egg production, is this needed? Thank you for the help! Pictures are on their way
 

Mshine92

In the Brooder
Jan 25, 2021
21
37
46
Welcome to chickening, you dusty flatlander.:cool:
Sounds good so far, silkies are probably the only breed that can be kept in a quasi indoor environment. Are you sure they're both pullets? Silkies are sneaky about that.
What do you mean about adding a lamp for proper egg laying? They'll lay without it just fine, a light is just a stimulant and additional light too early could cause issues.
These are probably really bad pics but here they are
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20210201_202008765.jpg
    PXL_20210201_202008765.jpg
    465.2 KB · Views: 9
  • PXL_20210201_202115314.jpg
    PXL_20210201_202115314.jpg
    568.1 KB · Views: 8
  • PXL_20210201_202117573.jpg
    PXL_20210201_202117573.jpg
    483.6 KB · Views: 8
  • PXL_20210201_202217243.jpg
    PXL_20210201_202217243.jpg
    323.6 KB · Views: 8
  • PXL_20210201_202257264.jpg
    PXL_20210201_202257264.jpg
    576.5 KB · Views: 8

nuthatched

Fishin' for Chickens
Nov 9, 2019
4,851
10,482
506
Rim Country, Az
I really hope they are pullets but I rescued them from a hoarding situation so I'm not totally sure. I'll send pictures see if you can tell. I read that they should have light on inside their coop for 15 hours a day starting at 5 months to stimulate proper egg production, is this needed? Thank you for the help! Pictures are on their way
Lights are not remotely needed for normal egg laying in any hen, especially for young silkies. A hen slows down laying or stops in shorter daylight months (winter) and lays more in longer daylight. Additional lights can cause them to lay before their bodies are mature enough to handle it and can cause egg binding, where the egg is too big to be laid and eggs can back up inside the hen and kill her. It doesn't give them any natural breaks.
Silkies are not an egg production breed, they're more ornamental/meat, but they do lay well.
The windows and any normal light they see is enough.
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
5,242
15,862
626
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
I'm in Florida - doesn't get as hot here, only high 90s, but more humidity (also high 90s).

SHADE. More Shade. Good ventilation including potentially a solar powered fan. During the hottest part of the day, my birds hide under my raised coop (about 3' off the ground, where its always shady), dig down into the dirt, and bed down there for a while. Even just an inch or two of depth can cool the ground significantly, and the earth makes a great heatsink for them. Not sure how rocky your rocky soil is, but birds will often find a way, where shovel will not.

Some have had success with floating large ice blocks in their water source, and I'm always going to recommend electrolytes in high environmental stress situations, which can be incorporated into the water.

Can't speak to a Silkie's suitability to the climate, I've never raised them. I have raised (still do) CornishX and Dark Brahma, neither are widely believed to be well suited to heat and humidity.
 

Mshine92

In the Brooder
Jan 25, 2021
21
37
46
Lights are not remotely needed for normal egg laying in any hen, especially for young silkies. A hen slows down laying or stops in shorter daylight months (winter) and lays more in longer daylight. Additional lights can cause them to lay before their bodies are mature enough to handle it and can cause egg binding, where the egg is too big to be laid and eggs can back up inside the hen and kill her. It doesn't give them any natural breaks.
Silkies are not an egg production breed, they're more ornamental/meat, but they do lay well.
The windows and any normal light they see is enough.
Thank you!
 

Mshine92

In the Brooder
Jan 25, 2021
21
37
46
It's too early to tell yet, they aren't 4 months old, they might be 2ish months old though, maybe younger. You can get dna tests for silkies, they're pretty cheap. too
Oh my goodness, I didn't realize they were so young they told me four months. Shows how much I know lol. They're big enough to be without a heat lamp right? 😅 Now a whole bunch more worry coming my way
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom