Post written by Kassie Kreissler, Marketing Specialist | Event Coordinator | Social Media Expert | Live Music Supporter | Rancher | Horse Trainer
The 4th of July has come and gone, meaning the summer heat is upon us. I love Summer and I’m one of those people who would much rather be hot than cold.
While I enjoy the summer heat, some of our animals friends may not…specifically, the two legged & feathered kind.
We’ve had chickens for just over four years and I grew up always having a few chickens around. Over the years I’ve seen some of our hens overheat. If you think your chickens are having a hard time adjusting to the heat of the summer, some signs to look for are:
- Holding wings away from body
- Acting Lethargic
Their suffering can range from reduced production all the way to, in extreme cases, dying. To keep your hens happy and laying, here are some tips for a cool flock:
1. Ice Their Water
The first & easiest thing we do is to make sure they have a clean, cool and adequate water supply. Keeping waterers in the shade and adding ice to their water supply is a great way to keep them cool, refreshed and hydrated.
2. Give Them Shade
We have our coop next to a shade tree, but if that’s not possible, cover the run with a tarp, roof, or whatever you can to offer them shade. They will appreciate it.
3. Ventilate the Coop
This will depend on your type of coop, but if at all possible try to increase airflow. A great way to reduce the temperature is to install a fan in their coop and run it during the daytime. This will encourage laying and keep things cool when they go to roost in the evening.
4. Provide Frozen Treats
Offering them their favorite treats frozen is a great way to give some relief during extra hot days. Freezing berries into ice cubes is a way to offer them hydration and entertain them at the same time!
Adding vitamins and electrolytes (I use Durvet’s Vitamins & Electrolytes) during extra hot times keeps them from depleting themselves of valuable nutrients. We always have these on hand in case one of one of the hens shows signs of heat stress or dehydration.
What other things do you do to keep your chickens cool in the Summer months? Leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts!