When the temperature rises, you’re not the only one dealing with the heat and humidity. Your chickens are probably feeling the it too.
The good news is, there’s a lot you can do to keep your chickens comfortable when the summer sun starts shining.
Here at Henny+Roo, we’ve got a few cool recommendations for you to help your chickens in hot weather.
1. Provide Summer Shade
Chickens are super self-sufficient. They know when they’re overheated.
In fact, one of the first things your chickens will do when they’re hot is seek out shade. So, if your chooks are confined to their coop, or run, make sure they have shelter from the sun.
And if they’re free-rangers, they’ll probably seek shade under bushes…most likely where there’s a dust bath.
You can add tarps, shrubbery, or anything you’ve got laying around the yard to add temporary shade on the hottest days of the year.
2. Dig a Dust Bath
If you have free-range chickens, you’ll often see them taking dust baths on super hot days. This is because it helps them chill out.
Help them out by creating a special space in your chicken run for a dust bath. And make sure it’s big enough to hold your whole flock because they’ll all want to get in on the sunbathing.
Dust baths can be made using a shallow bin, a wood frame, a barrier with logs or stones or even just a dry corner or the yard or run. It should be easy for them to get into and large enough to allow your chicken to lie in, spread their wings and flick dust over their whole body.
It can be filled with dry, fine dirt or sand, and can be enhanced with dried herbs, wood ash, or diatomaceous earth if you prefer.
Try Henny+Roo Coop Complete Dried Herbs in the coop and dust bathing area to repel pests, calm chickens, and freshen the area.
You can also purchase dust bathing substrate. We like this one from Lixit which is available in a 5.5 lb tub.
3. Water, Water, and More Water
It usually goes without saying that chickens need access to fresh, clean, water 24/7. But when the heat is on, the water might need refilling more often than usual. Your chickens will frequent their watering hole a lot more often when it’s hot outside.
So, monitor your waterers throughout the day to make sure your chickens are never without refreshment.
Additionally, ensure waterers are large and can hold enough water to get your chickens through the day if you’re away at work during a hot spell.
4. Ice Helps Chickens in Hot Weather
Speaking of water, if you’re able to, keep it even colder on hot days. You can do this by adding ice cubes to the waterers.
Your chickens will appreciate the icy cool water, and may even enjoy playing with the ice cubes.
You don’t have to put ice in the waterers, but just think of how you feel when you’re about to take a drink from your ice-cold water glass on a hot day and it’s HOT! In other words, your chickens will appreciate it.
5. Add Electrolytes to Combat Dehydration
As a preventative measure, you might consider adding electrolytes to your chickens’ waterers to hold of dehydration from the heat.
If you’re not sure if your chickens are dehydrated or not, feel free to add electrolytes. It doesn’t hurt to add them, even if your chickens aren’t dehydrated.
Henny+Roo 3 in 1 Vitamins Electrolytes and Probiotics for Poultry helps you meet your flock’s supplemental needs and can be added directly to their water. Electrolytes help optimize health and hydration during hot weather and times of stress. Vitamins are necessary for cellular functions. And probiotics help beneficial bacteria grow in the digestive tract, aiding digestive health.
6. Fresh Food For Chickens in Hot Weather
Give your chickens fresh food.
And when we say fresh food, we mean fresh, FROZEN food. Like frozen treats right out of the freezer. Think: watermelon.
Chickens l.o.v.e. watermelon on any given day, but when it’s scorching hot out, they’ll go crazy for a super cold melon…just for them.
Other water-heavy veggies, like iceberg lettuce, also help keep your chicks cool and hydrated when the heat rises.
7. Easy Breezy
If your chickens are overheating, they’ll appear to be panting, like a dog. But chickens can’t drool or sweat (like us) to keep cooll. Instead, they pant and fluff out their wings hoping to catch a breeze.
In other words, if overheating, your chickens will look as hot as you probably feel on a scorcher. If this happens, your chickens need some relief. Give them a fan and place them in a breezy area with lots of cool water and light watery treats.
A simple breeze will do wonders for your chickens. You can even put a barn-safe fan nearby to keep them cool in the coop.
8. Stress Less
You know it feels when your stressed out and it’s hot out? Yeah, you may sweat, you’re probably uncomfortable, and you just wish you could catch a break. Well, chickens stress…out all the time.
It’s kind of their thing.
So, do your best to keep your chickens calm during hot weather. Make sure they have everything they need (all the creature comforts), keep predators away, and separate bully hens and roosters to keep the stress under control.
9. Kiddie Pools and Sprinklers
Chickens don’t typically enjoy swimming. But some might take advantage of a nearby sprinkler or kiddie pool. If they don’t, they may reap some of the benefits of the coolness of the water nearby, regardless of their swimming abilities.
Henny+Roo monthly supply boxes for chicken keepers have been providing poultry enthusiasts with seasonal supplies and gifts since 2016. See what all the excitement is about on Instagram and visit our website at hennyandroo.com to learn more! New subscribers always save 10% on their first subscription with code: NEWSUB at checkout.