Swamp Cooler To The Rescue In Record Heat Wave

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by featherbaby, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. featherbaby

    featherbaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL 32210
    I am in N. Florida and our temps have been over 100.

    Well, I have been on the computer many many hours since I lost my beautiful silkie hen yesterday evening. I have found and ordered three portable swamp coolers and I hope they arrive before I have any more losses. I weighed the time and materials cost to construct three units for my 3 coops and don't believe I could accomplish it soon enough to beat this horrible heat wave before it claims more of my precious babies. Also, I have no confidence it would work after I went to the trouble to make it! HA! And I'd probably get heat stroke out there working on them too.

    So, after extensive research I found this little unit called a Ninja Portable Evaporative cooler for $99. It has a 3 speed fan, exterior size is 18 x 11 x 26", 22 pounds on rollers, it covers 150 sq.ft. with air flow of 650 cubic feet per minute (and throws the air flow 33 feet from the unit). You have to put water in it but the reservoir holds over 4 gallons which will not have to be refilled as often as smaller capacity models. Even though I had to get three of them, I still think I am better off buying the compact little unit instead of rigging some goshawful looking thing that would sit outside my coops littering my deck. I may be a redneck, but I don't want my house to shout it to others! HA! I'm in a residential neighborhood and I'm pressing my luck having chickens at all....I can't do anything to get voted off the street.

    If you want to consider this option, just copy and paste this link and see what they have that might fit your needs. They have a very large selection and the best prices I found. Be sure to make your purchase on a Friday and get a 7% discount off your total purchase.


    They're in California so allow a few days for shipping unless you're closer than I am in Florida. I hope and pray it's the solution. If not, I have 30 days to decide and return them.
  2. quintinp

    quintinp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2010
    Southern Oklahoma
    Looks awesome.
  3. wowmanacat

    wowmanacat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    Oak Grove AR
    Just a word of advice. Swamp coolers do no good in a humid area. I learned this the hard way.
  4. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:You are right.... but there are a couple of tricks with swamp coolers. You have to keep a door or window open so that the humid air being pumped into a house can escape. Plus you have the option of turning the water off. Evaporative coolers are less efficient in high humidity because water simply wont evaporate. Also with his little portable ones he may have the option of filling his water trays with ice cubes.

    I live in the desert and swamp coolers have been part of my live for more than 50 years.... LOL. I have about three non working ones (saving for parts) because the motors never die. And once my chicks are all up at the house I am going to pull parts together to make one cooler. Even if only the fan works that will be a plus.

    Another way to help beat the heat for your animals is to take cement stepping stones and soak them in water. They will chill down as the water evaporates and it will take a while for them to completely dry out.

    Freezing a soda bottle partially filled with water to use as a "Cold" water bottle. will help bring the temps down. Along with the fan.

    Electolytes in the water..... pedialyte or something similar.

    Keep activity down if possible.

    Use cold watermelon or Melon as treats. This will help with their core temps as well as electolytes and sugars to help with the stress.

    Good luck Mine are out there in 105 degrees. I have guineas and they are a bit more heat hardy but they still pant when they get stressed. I keep their water in the shade and I water them with big deep dishes like you do for the dogs. That way they can splash a little, and the deep water doesnt heat up from the ambient temperatures.

    Also I do a big tarp over their coop silver on one side to deflect the heat.

    good luck
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Swamp coolers are made to work in very dry climates; had one on my house in Utah. Works great there, but not sure how well it can really work in humid Florida.
  6. StrayMagnet

    StrayMagnet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2011
    W. Georgia
    My chickens stay cool where I have them.. Their on the side of the house under the porch in the "porch coop" stays nice and cool.. and I put a trash can lid over the top of the lawnmower bag she had her chicks behind.

    I hope you have better luck and keep your baby's cool. and so sorry for your loss of your baby
  7. greenpixies

    greenpixies Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 17, 2011
    Natchitoches, LA
    well, featherbaby:

    let us know when they arrive and how they work! Best of luck to you and your girls!

    we're trying to hang in here in similar climate: louisiana.
  8. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    Like perchie girl, I've had close to 50 years of dealing with swamp coolers. Certain weather they're great, certain weather, not so much. [​IMG]

    When the dew point is heading (from zero) up towards 55 degrees, or goes over 55 (which is even the case most days here in AZ during monsoon), swamp coolers do little more than blow semi-warm wet air. The dew point is the temperature at which condensation forms...with a high dew point, say, a dew point over 70, in a completely enclosed area the walls will literally run streams with sweat and it will be so humid inside that it's difficult to breath or exist in that environment. (Under a 50 degree dew point and an evap cooler will literally feel as cold as ice like AC but with the benefit of moisture.)

    A $19 fan and and a $10 stand mister that connects to a garden hose will do about the same thing as a portable evap in humid weather...cheaply lowering the air temp by 10 degrees or so, which is about the same effect as a small evap. The 3500-6500+cfm evaps will at least move a bit of air and help lower air temps about 15 degrees, and that's what I use in my small rabbit barn that has lots of open ventilation to prevent condensation. They also have an additional ground fan and small mister to help cool the air that the evap blows around. The outside rabbits have a fan and a mister to help with their comfort...chickens like that, too.

    Like perchie girl mentioned about ice, years ago I would load up the big bottom pans of the large evaps every couple of hours with frozen water milk cartons, which does help the evaps at least blow cooler (wet) air if the evap is shaded. We can't have close coops here because they'd be a coffin in our heat even with good ventilation.

    Hoping that the cooling systems works out for you and that the rest of your summer finds some relief for your flock. Sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
  9. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    The only "swamp cooler" I've heard about involves a large chunk of ice in front of a box fan. I keep 2 gallon jugs (old milk jugs) in the chest freezer and I alternate placing them in front of the box fan aimed into the open air coop. My babies stop panting and seem more comfortable. Total cost = $15 for box fan.
  10. Vanessabuffsnsilkies

    Vanessabuffsnsilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    NE Ohio

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