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Keeping my chicks cool!! Help...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Godiva, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    I am really concerned about my chickens as we have just had a 96 degree day with many more to come I am sure. We are new to the South and I am also new to chickens. We have our 12 week old Orpington and Sussex in a chicken tractor, portable chicken pen. I had them in the shade of a tree today (the morning sun was still on the pen until I put a gazebo up to block the heat) All of them were panting pretty much all day and one of the hens (orpington and one of our favourites) seemed particularly stressed. I am thinking of getting a long cord and setting up a fan near their pen tomorrow. Can I mist them with water in the heat of the day? What are some tried and true ways of dealing with this? I REALLY don't want to lose any to the heat.... HELP!?
     
  2. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    You sure can mist them. You can also put a bunch of icecubes in their water. They won't drink as well if their water it real warm.
     
  3. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    If it gets really bad and they aren't handling the heat well, you can always get a big fan and run a cord out and cool them that way. And as posted above, chickens wont drink warm water, so either go out and refill it with cold every couple hours, or rig it to refill automatically, like I did with mine (more expensive, but worth the cost in my eyes), as they drink it and they will always have cool water.
     
  4. lcountry

    lcountry Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2007
    If they won't drink warm water, will they drink COLD water? Or does it just need to be cool? I was thinking I could make a rather large (32 or 64 oz size) ice cube to put in their big waterer. Hopefully, it would last for awhile to keep the water cooler longer in the day. But, when I first add the ice, the water would probably get pretty cold.

    So giant ice cube or not?

    Thanks!
     
  5. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    They will appreciate the cold water on the hot days. Make sure you dont do the giant ice cube on a day thats colder though! I think a big ice cube is a great idea. [​IMG]
     
  6. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    I make sure they all have some sort of shade, All my coops, except one, are up off the ground enough so they can get under them. I have a lean to thing rigged up for the pen that does not allow for them to get under the building. I also have shade cloth over the top as it is a dog kennel and they sell shade toppers for them. I freeze 20 oz water bottles and put those in the warter at around 1 pm when the sun starts to shin in the runs. When it gets really hot, I run fans and sprinkle the grass to make it cooler. They usually don't come out tho. You can also put a frozen bottle of water in the area they are likely to be resting in. They can get close to the frozen water and get cooler. Misters in the south are a problem sometimes as it is very humid anyway and you can get moisture building up that causes mold. Try to moniter it closely if you decide to install a mist system.
     
  7. Motherhenandflock

    Motherhenandflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Southeast Idaho
    That's a good idea about the big ice cube!
    I think the fan idea is a good one too. Even a slight breeze lowers the air temperature several degrees. Every little bit helps.
     
  8. lcountry

    lcountry Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2007
    Good - well, I'll definitely go with the giant ice cube idea. And, put a big one of some sort out for them as well! Maybe an large plastic OJ bottle or a 2 liter coke bottle... Going back to heat/rises; cold air falls - Any ideas on putting the ice bottles on a stand that they could get under?

    I'm just north of Dallas so I'm sure it will be HOT! But, at what temp is it getting too hot to them? I'm sure it'll be whatever temp here at some point - it's just a question of if it's this week or next! [​IMG] Do I just watch them for panting?

    Are there breeds that do better/worse in the heat? I've read a lot about cold weather problems, but don't find a lot about hot.

    Thanks!
     
  9. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
    The Sunny South
    Just curious...
    All this talk about keeping them cool:fans, misting, ice, etc. What did people do in the old days? Did chickens just drop dead in the yard? The temps got just as hot as nowdays.

    I'm just curious. I understand offering our chickens comfort-I'm all for it. But, if we let our chickens tough it out without the fan etc. but they have access to shade, will they still die? Just wondering because if you really, really think about it, do humans interfere and worry too much because of the day and age we live in?

    I would like to know, in all seriousness, will chickens die in the heat if they are provided water (warm from the heat) and natural shade?


    Edit:
    Just found this info...
    Acclimation to heat can be very important in reducing losses during hot weather. Most often it is the sudden heat waves that cause the most damage during the summer. Research at North Carolina State, Oklahoma State and The University of Georgia has shown that birds are able to adjust to heat if they are allowed to become accustomed to it gradually. Recent studies at Virginia Tech have shown that if birds are subjected to a brief heat stress early in life, they are much more capable of withstanding heat stress later in production.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2007
  10. slystr

    slystr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2007
    Dallas TX
    last year during a heat wave, 100+ for weeks on end, my buddy's 2 yr old chicken died from th eheat.
     

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