Hello fellow tenders! I’m coming to you today from the awesome spring showers/summer heat in North Texas. We have the beauty of spring rain in tandem with the triple digits of summer right now. We’re in that transition period, but the hot temps are here for sure.
I thought this would be the perfect time for us to chat about keeping our backyard besties from overheating. Chickens unfamiliar with extreme temps can suffer heat related events quickly. A chicken responding with heat stress will pant much like a dog would, she may even hold her wings up in an effort to cool down. Keep an eye on their behavior and check their wattles and combs for changes.
There are a variety of things tenders do to help their birds during hotter weather. However, the most important things are the most basic. And really, they should have them all the time. With hotter temps though, the key is checking these things more often and consistently:
Now, that’s not to say there aren’t any additional things we can do for our flocks when it’s hot! In fact, this article will give you some great ideas! It really is one of the most clear, informative links I could set you up with on this topic!
One of the things I learned in the beginning of tendering, is that birds are able to cool down through their feet. Soooooo, some popular summertime coop set-ups are:
- shallow pans of water for them to stand in (think cookie sheet style).
- freeze some water bottles to put in the pan to hopefully keep water cooler, for longer.
- putting treats in a bowl of water and freezing it.
- Extra water stations for free rangers, and additional water stations in the coop and run aren’t bad ideas either.
I have some friends that hang solar powered fans to their coop/run during summer in order to keep air moving. Which I have to say with the “heavy” humidity right now, isn’t a bad move.
One thing to remember is that these are chickens at the end of the day and they do have a higher body temp than we do. At somewhere around 103F, they are much more adaptable to hot weather than humans or even some dogs. Doing SOME things to provide shade and ventilation can be helpful, but ideas like running an AC in the coop are more than likely going to cause their body to not be able to adapt to the higher temps we see in the southern states like Texas here. Just be aware of what you’re doing and keep it simple. That’s usually the best course of action in most situations anyway.
I love being back in Texas. Truly. But, I’m not a fan of the heat. Summertime coop add-ons don’t sound half bad…frozen fruit, cold water for my feet, fans on me at all times? I may have to convert my home office.
Stay cool friends!