Saturday, June 30, 2012

How to Keep Your Chicks Cool When it is Over 100 Degrees!!!

Hot and Sunny Today!!!

So, today in my suburban neighborhood it is 106 degrees!!! It was that yesterday and looks like it will be that way tomorrow, as well.  It looks like all over the nation people are experiencing this extreme heat.  So, chicken owners should know that allot of the more sturdy, heat resistant breeds can handle hotter temperatures for awhile with plenty of shade and cool water to drink, but the more fat and fluffy varieties, like my Cochen hen, Baby, cannot. They can parish quickly in extreme heat! In fact, I almost lost her last summer when the temps got high. It is probably not the smartest idea to own a breed of this kind in the hot South, but I wanted a Cochen hen so badly. They are so cute and fluffy and such a sweet breed of hen. So, while we are trying not to melt in this heat, I've taken every precaution I can to keep my hens cool.

(My Large and Fluffy Cochen, Baby)

First of all I have fans going just outside of their run along with blocks of ice, and a nice tub of cool water for them to take a quick dip. They keep taking turns standing in the cool water. Baby, is probably hogging it the most. But she needs it! It really isn't good for chickens to consistently keep their feet wet, it can cause sores and problems with their feet, but they don't seem to stand in it for long periods of time. They are in and out enough that I think their feet are not staying water logged. Also, I believe that desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures.

(An old fashioned airconditioning system, but works fairly well.  And my gals will stand with their wings open to catch the cool breeze.)

(Cool tub of water.  Keep it shallow.  Mine is a little over ankle deep for my hens.  I wanted to get a photo of one of them standing in the water, but of course, they never cooperate when you bring out the camera!)

At night I have a battery powered fan going in their hen house, I keep their windows and top vents open. I have strong wire along the vents and windows to keep them safe from predators.

Another fun thing I have discovered that not only keeps my hens entertained, but also helps keep them cool and refreshed is popsicle treats, "chicken style", of course! I put some corn, fruit, and peas (most anything your chickens like to eat will do) in a bowl with water and freeze it and then I bring it out to them during the hottest part of the day.

(Chicken Popsicle Treat!)

 The chickens LOVE IT! And it keeps them so occupied trying to peck the treats out of the ice that I think they almost forget about the heat!

(The Chickens say, "YUM!")

 So, now we are waiting and praying for cooler temps to come soon!!!

1 comment:

  1. Man, I need to be a chicken! Love, Dad