Summer heat

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by emilylea5, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. emilylea5

    emilylea5 New Egg

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    Dec 18, 2012
    Victoria, Australia
    So it's summer again in Australia, and most of the eastern side of the country are going though a week of heat waves. Yesterday, the weather reports said it was 40°C here, my outside weather station said it was 46°c... Owch! Today the report is for 43°C, so we will probably get to 49°-50° (no joke, we are in one of the hottest and driest parts in the state) our 5 ladies free range on our 5 acres, have done since day one. They have plenty of dirt areas to dig around and lay in a different times of the day, depending where the sun is, and I have about 5 water dishes set up in those areas with fresh cool water so they don't have to go far for a drink. What else can I do to keep them cool? I don't want to lock them in the coop, because they go crazy in there, they are only in there at night so the foxes don't get a free meal. I dunked them all in a bucket of water yesterday afternoon, made sure to get water right in under their feathers. I can't leave a sprinkler on because they just run away from it. Should I just let them keep doing what they are doing?
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Jun 28, 2011
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    I think you are on the right track with plenty water and shade and if you want to, make some muddy pools for them to cool their feet in. I don't know about dunking them in water, the sudden shock on their bodies must be huge!
    I used to live in a semi-dessert region in South Africa and the temperatures you mentioned were an every day event for us and it went over 50* now and then. I didn't lose a single chicken to the heat and all I did was provide shade, water and mud pools for them to stand in. If the coop gets really hot inside you can put a fan in their for them. I didn't have an electricity outlet that far from the house, so I didn't, but some of the members here recommend it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  3. emilylea5

    emilylea5 New Egg

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    Dec 18, 2012
    Victoria, Australia
    Thanks Sumi, I don't have an electrical output that far from the house either, so that's why I'm even less inclined to keep them locked up. I think the stress would kill them before the heat. Well they all survived yesterday's heat very well.
    I didn't dunk the fully in water lol, just up to their breasts, then I splashed the rest over their backs for a bit. I swear they were lining up for their turn lol!! And the water wasn't cold, it was from our water tank, so it was just mild.
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    O.K. I was wondering! I remember mine used to bath in the mud when I watered the run for them and they loved laying down on the wet soil too. I think just cooling their feet and bellies down helped them a lot. I had 2 broodies who tired to hatch eggs in the middle of a heat wave once. Their eggs went off under them! I felt so sorry for them.
     

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