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Tips to Keep Chickens Cool in Summer

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How to keep your chickens cool in summerThis is an often asked question: What are the five tips to keep chickens cool in summer? Chickens deserve better treatment and comfort just like we do. Remember that these birds are part of your investment hence the need to look after them. As a poultry farmer, you should be aware of the changes in seasons and how they affect your birds. That is the reason we are here today to find the best solution for keeping your flock of birds cool in the summertime. During hot summers, you may keep your flock of birds cool by ventilating their coop, give them easy access to fresh, cool water, provide them with enough shade and supply them with a perfect summer treat among other ways.

  • Hot weather can be troublesome especially to your birds. And when we say hot weather we simply refer to temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures higher than this can be detrimental to your chickens or other animals including yourself. 
  • Now that chickens don’t live in houses with air conditioning and it will not be healthy for them to live there-you should find a way of protecting them against the soaring summer temperatures. Likewise, your chickens cannot have access to the swimming pools just like we do to cool themselves. 
  • Do you just let them adapt to cruel summer temperatures? Luckily, keeping chickens cool in summer is very practical for that matter. All you have to do to achieve it is by making several adjustments here and there to ensure that your flock of chickens enjoys comfort throughout the summer period.
  • Chickens trace their ancestry to the jungle fowl, meaning that most of them can do well in almost all environments. For thousands of years these birds have been able to survive all types of environmental and climatic conditions and that’s why they are considered hardy. 
  • Compared to other domestic animals such as rabbits, chickens can survive hot summers better. The reason for their ability to withstand high temperatures is attributed to various adaptive features they have. 
  • Normally, chickens dissipate some amount of heat through their wattles, beaks, combs, and feet. These body parts are known to be effective in controlling your chicken’s body temperature in summer. 
  • You should choose lightweight or bantam chicken breeds that have larger combs if you in hot regions. These breeds will most likely survive higher temperatures better than those that are adapted to cold weather conditions. In fact, you may realize a sharp drop in egg production when the temperatures are high, especially for the chicken breed with small combs. 
  • This is one way of reminding you that such chickens cannot do well in hot conditions but can survive in colder climates. At least you need to be aware of this difference when choosing your chicken breeds. 
  • Temperature is one of the factors that dictate the wellbeing of your birds and this factor should be taken into account when planning to keep chickens in your backyard. If temperatures get higher, your birds can suffer heatstroke and eventually die
  • How do you tell if your bird has heatstroke? It is easy; you will see your chicken moving around lazily with its beak open. When you notice this type of behavior in your birds, you must investigate to understand the real cause. 
  • Most probably this is a sign that your chickens are experiencing overheating and trying to cool themselves down. Apart from that, you will see them holding their wings a little distance from their bodies. This is a mechanism they use to facilitate the flow of air in their wings in a bid to cool them down. 
  • But if your bird is unresponsive you must act fast to save it before it’s too late. First, you need to find the means to cool it down before taking further steps. In this case, you may put it in cool or icy water for a short time to lower the body temperature. 
  • Your chicken will cool down slowly by slowly and chances of surviving will be higher than if no drastic measures are put in place. Let’s look at a few helpful tips that will help keep your birds cool when temperatures are high in summer.

Top 5 Tips To Keep Your Chicken Cool in Summer

The best and most effective form of action is making your birds as comfortable as possible when it gets hotter. For that reason, you should take into account these five tips to help you cool your chickens down in hot summers:

1) Ventilate Your Chicken Coop

  • Chicken House fanIf your region experiences hot summers, then you should find the most effective ways of keeping your birds cool. One of the steps you can take to make your flock of birds comfortable is by ventilating their coop.
  • Ventilation will help keep the chicken coop cool even if the temperatures outside are soaring to unimaginable levels. You can achieve this feat by simply fitting several windows into the coop. Once the windows are in place, you may keep them slightly open when your chickens go to roost. With the windows open, your birds will enjoy cool air when they are in their coop.
  • What of the predators? You may keep predators away from reaching your chickens by placing steel window guards on the outer sections of the windows. At least your birds will stay safe, comfortable and cool in summer.
  • Another option that you can use to reduce temperatures in the kitchen coop is to install a powerful fan. When installed inside the coop, the fan can be left to run throughout the day to make the coop cool. By the time your chickens get to the coop in the evening, it will not be very hot as such. 

2) Provide them with Fresh, Cool Water

  • Identify your chickens’ favorite hanging spots during the day to provide enough cool water for them. This will help them access cool water whenever they feel thirsty or uncomfortable from hot temperatures. Provide enough source of water for your birds and ensure that each source is not in the direct sun. Instead, keep every container of water in the shade to maintain that cool temperature for a while. 
  • In addition to that, you can set up a little wet sand or mud next to where your birds spend their time during the day for them to cool themselves down. Normally water evaporates from the chicken’s body and carries away some heat, leaving your bird cool and comfortable regardless of higher temperatures. 

3) Provide Enough Shade

  • You can give your birds a free escape from the sun by providing them with enough shade. This works pretty well with free-ranging birds and it is a cheaper method of keeping your birds cool in summer. The shade can come in the form of trees or bushes around the yard, parked car on or the patio. 
  • If you house them in an enclosed chicken run, ensure that there is a barrier to block sun rays from reaching your birds during the day. Whichever way you find appropriate, make sure that your chickens enjoy their summer in a cool environment. 

4) Give them Plenty of Summer Treats

  • Frozen fruits and vegetablesPlenty of summer treats can make a huge difference when it comes to keeping your chickens cool. Don’t wait until your birds start showing signs of heatstroke to take drastic measures. Start immediately with a few frozen treats such as watermelon and other types of food. 
  • Watermelon is preferred the most because it is usually wet, cold, mushy, and tasty. Your chickens will not resist the urge to have a piece of this fruit to satisfy their hunger as well as quench their thirst. Anyway, don’t overfeed them with watermelon unless you want to start seeing pink droppings everywhere.

5) Install a Mister For them

  • A mister can significantly keep your birds cool, especially in summer. Misters play a critical role in keeping the area where chickens hang during the day cool by constantly spraying moisture around. 
  • The moisture comes out in the form of mist, hence the name of this equipment. With that in mind, you can purchase a well functioning mister system or add misting nozzles to your water hoses to make the process easy. Misting will keep your birds comfortable and cool even if temperatures outside become unbearable in summer.

Related Questions

How will you know if your chickens are struggling with too much heat in summer?

  • If you see one or a few of your birds looking tired, droopy, thirsty and panting, you should know that the heat is becoming unbearable for them. So, you will have to find better ways of keeping them cool during the hot season.

What is the best way for your chickens to beat excess heat in summer?

  • Generally, your chickens can overcome extreme hot weather conditions by staying well hydrated throughout.

Final Thought

One of your responsibilities as a chicken owner is to keep your birds healthy, safe, and comfortable throughout. During summertime temperatures become extremely high for some chicken breeds to hang outside their coops comfortably. Therefore, you must find ways to keep them cool throughout the season by applying the tips we’ve discussed above. All these tips will most likely save your birds from heatstroke and improve their productivity. 

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How to keep chickens cool in the summer?

Backyard Chickens FAQ

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