Thursday, July 12, 2012

Keeping Chickens Cool

          While our summer temps here at about 5,300 feet above sea level usually average in the high 80's, Kansas heat (where we moved from) can get MUCH hotter.  Last year one day was actually 118 degrees!  In these high temperatures it is important to remember your animals too.  For the most part farm animals are fairly tough, and with lots of cool water and shade, can survive some serious heat.  However, even with water and shade, some animals (I'm looking at you chickens) just need a little extra TLC.  Here are some tips that you may find useful when the weather gets hot:

         1) Fill a couple milk or pop bottles with water and freeze them.  Once they are frozen, place a couple in a shady spot where your chickens like to lay.  It may take awhile for them to realize that it's cooler there, but they'll figure it out.

          2) Make sure your coop has good ventilation.  If you have power to your coop, you may want to set up a fan to help circulate air.  This will also help reduce humidity in the coop.

          3) Try to avoid feeding chickens corn or scratch when it's warm outside.  This type of feed creates more body heat to digest than pellets or crumble.  Watermelon is a great treat for chickens on a hot summer day.

          4) If the humidity is low and the heat is extreme, try a water mister.  Just remember not to let it pool.

          5) WATER!!  Lots of fresh water.  You will want to check it and refill it several times a day. 

         

1 comment:

  1. Christina thanks a ton for the wonderful advice. The summer in Milwaukee is extremely hot. If we measure the temperature in the sublight on our farm, it gets to around 120 easily on many days. I have had to take care of the chickens especially. I quickly realized that they were the only animals on my farm which just cannot manage the heat. We sometimes forget that whereas we humans can cool off in air conditioning the poor chickens have nothing of the sort. They seem lethargic and drowsy all the time. Once i realized that it was the heat bothering them, i maintained a constant vigil. The fresh water seems to do the trick most of the time but i am still trying to acquire more information how to deal with this issue on a permanent basis. So any more info would be appreciated.

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