It's been a very hot summer! Chickens are sensitive to extremely hot temperatures, so you don't want them to over heat and have a heat stroke!
Chickens are pretty easy to care for, but there are just a few things to know about how their bodies work, so you can keep them healthy and happy!
Giving chickens corn or wheat for food takes their bodies longer to digest, and makes their body temperature rise. I learned about this when we went to let our chickens out of the coop one very hot day, and they were sitting, panting with mouths open and holding their wings out beside of them. Now I know that this behavior can be signs of a heat stroke!
How to Keep chickens cool in high temperatures
Put a fan in their coop
We bought a small fan from Wal-Mart to put in their coop, our duck coop is much bigger then the chicken coop, we put a box window fan in theirs. We run heavy duty, weather resistent extension cords from the barn (right next to the coops) to power the fans. There are several options, battery operated or use a solar powered cell to give the fan power.
Make sure they have plenty of opportunity to hide in the shade. For our tiny little chickens, shade is also protection from predators flying over head. When they graze they stay close to the coop, but we make sure they have plenty of places to hide. Matt has made a type of "porch" coming off of the coops, covering the ducks' pool,etc. He draped a simple tarp across the run, and it helps give them shade as well as protection from flying predators!
Have you tried any of these ideas, or have any other ways to keep your chickens cool when the heat is sizzling? I look forward to hearing from you!
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