Keeping the Girls Cool in 90s & 100s temperature...?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by analyticalblonde, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. analyticalblonde

    analyticalblonde Songster

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    Hi All,

    I have 10 young girls (2 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Lavendar Orpingtons, 2 Ameraucanas, 2 Barred Rock Plymouths, and 2 New Hampshire Reds) which I selected because of their Heat/Cold tolerances and their gentleness and who are supposed to start laying in the next couples of weeks. I go out every day and put large ice into their waterers (think Dixie Cups when we were younger but not flavored - just water that I have frozen). I give them slices of frozen watermelon, peas, corn, carrots, green beans) as well as chilled treats. I live in what is known as the high desert - above 4,500 ft but hot, dry, sometimes very windy....dry...dry...dry! Average humidity is about 30-35%...not much at all.

    Anyway, I see all of my girls panting - mouths agape - and holding their wings out a bit away from their bodies. I have a covered integrated coop and run with nesting box on the east side.

    I am worried and am considering buying one of those portable misting systems that you hook up to a garden hose and use it to help cool them down. I found this one on Amazon...https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004INGNPG/?tag=backy-20

    Anyway, I am a newbie and want to know if I am over-reacting?

    Also, I have them on grower feed and think I am supposed to covert over to layer feed ONCE they start laying...is that true or should I be giving them layer feed now knowing they will be laying soon?

    Most importantly, is their behavior normal? Mouths open, wings slightly opened away from their bodies?
     

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  2. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    Their behavior is normal for hot birds. I live in Panama, it's hot and humid every day of the year. I make ice 'bricks' with those plastic shoe boxes that you can often find at the dollar store, the ones that have the plastic lid (makes it easier to stack in the freezer). I fill up one of those large rubbermaid totes with water and these ice blocks and watch the girls jockey for a position to lay down beside the tub, and sometimes drink the water out of the tub too. Making your own block ice is the way to go, lasts much longer before it melts away and much less expensive than buying ice. Frozen blueberries are also a big hit with my girls.
     
  3. TwoChicksChix

    TwoChicksChix Songster

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    I also give mine a misting system when it’s super hot. They are just very hot and reacting as normal. However I wouldn’t expect any eggs from them until it starts to get cooler, because when it’s really hot they don’t tend to lay.
     
  4. analyticalblonde

    analyticalblonde Songster

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    Tooele, UT
    Oh thank you so much!!!

    I give them chilled blueberries but not frozen...I have thought about freezing my fruit other than the watermelon I mentioned thinking it would cool their core temperature and give a little bit more water that frozen bits can provide. Do you think a hose that is attached to a misting unit is a good idea?
     
  5. analyticalblonde

    analyticalblonde Songster

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    That is good to know...about the delayed laying...should I keep them on grower feed until the first egg arrives then switch to layer feed?
     
  6. TwoChicksChix

    TwoChicksChix Songster

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    I usually give them layer feed once they hit around 16-18 weeks of age. You don’t have to wait until they get laying, because the food helps they prepare to start laying, giving them enough calcium and such.
     
  7. analyticalblonde

    analyticalblonde Songster

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    I thought so but wasn't sure...I keep researching and get conflicting information. Thank you so much!!!
     
  8. TwoChicksChix

    TwoChicksChix Songster

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    I find that mine do better when I give it before hey start laying. Helps them start off laying stronger better eggs with less chance for issues
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop
    Misting only is effective in and arid climate(very low humidity).

    Deep all day shade is best but....I don't really have much of that, so this keeps my birds alive and pretty comfortable:

    I give a dose of Sav-a-Chick electrolytes/vitamins about once a week during heat waves. It really seems to help....started this after they saved a heat stroked hen once.
    Can mix up a smaller amount, just wrap the packet tight and store in a dry cool place. Always have plain water available too.
    [​IMG]

    BIG(9x14x2") chunks of ice last all day for wading, sitting, and sipping.
    Much more useful to the chickens than frozen foods and treats.
    [​IMG]

    Make space in your freezer!
    [​IMG]
     
    mldw, evelynsrice, EggWalrus and 14 others like this.
  10. Aunt Angus

    Aunt Angus Crowing

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    My Coop
    You can actually keep them on grower feed depending upon your situation. Mine are on grower because they are of mixed ages: 4 months to 1 year old, and I'm getting ready to integrate 6 week old chicks. I offer oyster shell on the side, of course. I also have a Brahma who is still growing at 1 year. And I have an early moulter. They free range most of the time, so the extra protein makes me feel better since their diet is mostly grass and such. If yours are penned and of the same life stage, layer is fine.

    BTW - I love your run and chicken jungle gym!
     

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