Topic of the Week - Keeping Chickens Cool in Summer

sumi

Égalité
Staff member
Premium member
Jun 28, 2011
39,090
23,714
1,252
Tipperary, Ireland
400.jpg

Pic by @tnt-ranch

Summer time is a wonderful time, but with the sunshine and long days comes a potential hazard for our flocks: extreme heat. Chickens naturally wear a warm coat of feathers and can overheat easily, therefor it's essential that we provide means for them to cool down, if needed, and regulate their body temperatures. What do you all do to help your flocks beat the heat?


For a complete list of our Topic of the Week threads, see here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/topic-of-the-week-thread-archive
 
Last edited:

MasAhora

Songster
Nov 20, 2016
230
126
136
Paraguay
Also try to minimise any hard surfaces eg pathways, concrete, that get full sun all day. These grab and radiate heat far more than grassy patches. Soil/dirt that goes hard and dry like concrete also grabs heat, dig it up a little, scatter leaf/garden litter and a bit of water late evening now and then, it helps some. A few shallow water bowls for wading/standing in is popular with some of my DP birds.
 
Mar 9, 2014
16,465
65,241
1,412
Northern Colorado
Hydration is key with my flock. Giving electrolytes in the water helps. When they are drinking more and eating less they can get out of balance.

I also give mine watermelon.... Not to much mind you. They will tend to load up on it and have reduced protein intake because of that. I give half of a large watermelon for my 32 chickens twice a week during heat waves.
I add electrolytes to two out of every three water dishes. They have the option then to not consume it.

I get home from work, let the dogs out, set the hose to run in the run and get the third dog out. By the time the dogs are done with business the water has made a nice cool pool in the run. Most of my birds are standing in it and a couple actually lay in it.

We get over 100* here for days on end. :barnie
 

jeria

Songster
May 5, 2017
1,390
1,765
236
Independence MO
What do you use for shallow water dishes that the chickens can stand in? My run will be 8x10 and the small kiddie pools I've found would take up a lot of space. Summer can be really hot in MO and my coop in a yard with little shade though it and the run will have a roof topped with white metal roofing.
 
Mar 9, 2014
16,465
65,241
1,412
Northern Colorado
What do you use for shallow water dishes that the chickens can stand in? My run will be 8x10 and the small kiddie pools I've found would take up a lot of space. Summer can be really hot in MO and my coop in a yard with little shade though it and the run will have a roof topped with white metal roofing.
I would think pie pans, the old style roasting pans (I find them at second hand stores) or anything 2" deep or so will work well. In training them to use them you may need to set the bird in and gently control the chicken. It takes a very short time before they realize it feels kinda nice.
 

barred2rock

Crowing
Mar 4, 2017
1,140
1,049
257
San De Cristo Range - Colorado Rockies
What do you use for shallow water dishes that the chickens can stand in? My run will be 8x10 and the small kiddie pools I've found would take up a lot of space. Summer can be really hot in MO and my coop in a yard with little shade though it and the run will have a roof topped with white metal roofing.
I use one of the following as a feed bowl (found at Tractor Supply) and will probably get another for cooling water.

13218.jpg
 

MasAhora

Songster
Nov 20, 2016
230
126
136
Paraguay
Thanks, will start looking at thrift shops. The black rubber gets hot, we used to use them for feed buckets for the horses and goats, so wonder how well that would work for cooling.
I use terracotta bowls like the ones for under a large pot plant, large but fairly shallow, seems to do the trick. Metal or black is no good for my hot humid summers, even in shade metal heats up too much

Also as of last summer, I now give them only fermented feed and I keep it quite wet - I think they possibly get hydration with probiotics.

Mostly I try to avoid adding tasks to my day to keep them cool - shade/water/wet feed/cool dirt patches are things I can manage and be away for the day.

Most of my chickens are built for heat, only a few are less heat tolerant varieties (so I have to accept a bit more effort for them as I chose them! Yes I've even laid a small wet towel on the coop floor for them near the pop door -they love it, but I hate the laundry!).
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom