It’s no secret that high temperatures can be dangerous for humans and our pets. Our poultry flock is also no exception either. Specific measures should always be taken by poultry owners to ensure the health, well-being, and quality of life of their flock, especially when temperatures begin to increase during warmer months and climates. Heat-induced stress, heat stroke and even death can all be a result of overheating in the life of a chicken. In this article, we will be taking a look at the a variety of solutions you can use in order to keep your girls cool this summer.
Supply of cold water.
Probably the first and foremost important method in order to keep your flock cool this summer is to provide a fresh and cold supply of water. This can be achieved by adding a handful of ice cubes in your flock’s waterer. Make sure to check your flock’s waterer occasionally and top up with ice cubes throughout the day.
Provide plenty of shade.
In summer it can difficult for your chickens to find shade and sitting inside the coop to keep cool often does completely the opposite. Make sure you provide plenty of shade for your flock, either using a beach umbrella that has been secured, or simply allow your imagination to take over. Always make sure that no matter how you create this additional level of shade, that it’s always safe and secure for your flock. Tarp always works well for extra protection from the sun.
Dirt baths galore.
You may notice that your chickens will dig small holes into the soil or dirt. This is their way in order to keep cool. It’s recommended to allow plenty of dirt and dry soil that is shaded in order for your chickens to cool off in the dirt with a well deserved dirt bath. Your chickens will thank you for it!
Increase coop ventilation.
Despite being incredibly shaded, chicken coops can become incredibly warm and humid in the summer. In order to provide plenty of cool shelter for your flock, it’s recommended that you ensure your chicken coop has plenty of ventilation before summer arrives. If you check your coop’s ventilation before the hotter months arrive, it will provide you with plenty of time to make any minor adjustments to your coop to provide that much needed ventilation for your girls. Always remember that when adding any type of ventilation to your coop that it must be secure and predator proof.
Makeshift paddling pool.
It’s no secret that birds love to have a bath and chickens are no exception. Provide your chickens with a shallow pan of cold water for them to paddle or even sit in. Some chickens may drink from it, paddling or fall asleep in it! Either way, they’ll appreciate your efforts.
Why not try freezing vegetables and fruits for your flock? Watermelon can be a fantastic choice for freezing and can help to keep your flock cool and refreshed. They will also have a great time pecking away at the cool ice to get to the juicy fruit or vegetables inside.
Armed with these cool summer tips, you may also wish to try:
Place reflective foil on top the coop’s roof.
Install a fan inside the coop.
Freeze water bottles.
Place sprinklers on the coop’s roof.
Decrease the litter inside the coop.
Mist your flock with cool water throughout the day.
It’s important to keep a watchful eye on your flock during exceptionally hot days. Always be on the look out for signs of stress caused by the heat and be prepared to act accordingly.