9 Ways to Help Your Chickens in Hot Weather

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.

Preparing Your Chicken Coop For Winter

When winter temperatures roll in and the days get shorter, it’s time to winterize your chickens for the months ahead. 

And if you do plan ahead, you and your chickens will be ready for the frost when it arrives. 

Most importantly, your chickens will be happy, healthy, and laying eggs all winter.

So how does one winterize their chickens for the cold months ahead?

Well, we’ve got a few simple-but-necessary items to tick off your winter prep list. 

So rest assured, your chickens will be cozy and comfy all winter long. 

Keep your chickens healthy this winter. Chicken in snow.

Prepping With Cold Hardy Chicken Breeds

Before we dive into prepping your chickens for winter, let’s first consider the breeds of chickens in your coop. 

Do you know whether they’re cold hardy breeds? If so, there may be a bit less prep work for you to worry about. 

Some breeds, like the Wyandotte for example, are suited well for colder climates. 

Breeds like the Wyandotte are heavier, have shorter combs, and have dense, loose feathering that can handle a long cold winter. 

On the other hand, breeds with large combs may struggle with ailments like frostbite. Similarily, breeds with tight, lighter, feathering will not insulate as well as the larger, fluffier breeds of chickens. 

Other breeds that can stand up to the cold temps are:

  • Buff Orpington
  • Americauna
  • Dominique
  • Rhode Island Red
  • Jersey Giant

So if you’re at the beginning of your chicken-keeping journey, take some time to research the breeds you’re most interested in. Then ensure your breeds of choice will tolerate the climate in which you live. 

If Your Chickens Aren’t Cold Hardy

Heat lamps can cause fire in chicken coops. Panel heaters are safer.

If you’ve got a few chooks in the coop that cannot tolerate the temps, you might need to consider adding a heat source to your coop. 

Typically, artificial heat sources are discouraged because they can be dangerous fire hazards. 

Additionally, heating your chicken coop could set your chickens up for failure if your electricity goes out. You see, your chooks won’t have had the chance to adapt to the cold winter temperatures. 

So plan accordingly, and if possible, do your best to allow your chickens to manage their own body temperature. 

With that being said, if you’ve determined that your beloved flock will indeed need a heater, you can find safer options like the PetNF Chicken Coop Heater

Prevent Drafts in Your Coop During Winter

Even more dangerous than cold temperature is a draft during bitterly cold weather.

Drafts can cause otherwise hardy chickens to become chilled, get frostbite, and contract respiratory problems. 

So before you even worry about the coop temperatures, test your coop to ensure your chickens are safe from rogue drafts. Look for nooks and crannies facing the direction winter weather most typically comes from.

With that being said, your coop should never be completely closed off. In other words, your chickens do need some ventilation. 

The trick is to make sure there is adequate airflow, but not where your chickens roost.

Give Your Chickens Fresh Water During Winter

One of the biggest challenges for chicken lovers is to keep water fresh and unfrozen 24/7. 

It’s a common misconception that chickens (or other animals for that matter) can eat snow and remain sufficiently hydrated. 

Don’t make this mistake, or you’ll end up with sick chickens. 

You can find heated waterers at your local supply store or online. And while heated waterers are generally safe, make sure you supply electricity to these waterers with fire safety and prevention in mind. 

Chicken Litter Options for Cold Winter Months

When bedding your chickens for winter, you have the unique opportunity to consider different litter options. 

You can simply choose to use straw or pine shavings (never use cedar as it is considered toxic for chickens).

But on top of your chosen litter, you can also employ the deep litter method in your chicken coop. 

This is a newly embraced method of bedding, which includes the accumulation of absorbent materials over time. 

In other words, you keep adding bedding to existing soiled bedding. Piling bedding, rather than removing soiled bedding, creates natural insulation against the frozen ground and a lovely compost for use later. A product that helps neutralize ammonia in the coop while remaining safe for garden use is Sweet PDZ Coop Refresher. We’ve included samples of this product in our Henny+Roo monthly supply and gift boxes for chicken keepers, and our subscribers have noted that it dramatically reduces odors.

The trick is to agitate the deep litter and add more clean bedding when needed so your chickens aren’t living in feces (which can create parasite and respiratory problems…among other things).

Speaking of parasites, since your chickens are all hunkered down together for the snowy months ahead, they are also more susceptible to sharing external parasites.

Routine fluffy-butt checks will help you identify and treat an external parasite problem before it’s out of control.

Frostbite Prevention for Chickens

Just because your chickens have big beautiful combs doesn’t mean they’ll contract frostbite during the winter. 

But if you’re worried, you can find products like Green Goo All Natural Poultry First Aid to help prevent and treat frostbite on your prize-winning rooster’s comb. 

Certain balms and salves help insulate your rooster’s comb so that it isn’t exposed directly to the bitter cold. Some even opt for a simple application of Vasoline if the forecast predicts sub-zero temps. 

Extra Protein and Treats To Keep Warm and Busy

The cold weather takes its toll on farm animals during the winter. And that’s because more energy is needed to stay warm; thus, adding extra protein to your flock’s diet helps your birds stay healthy and warm through blustery winter months. 

Provide chicken-friendly table scraps or scrambled eggs for your chickens as an extra snack to both boost energy and prevent boredom (which can also lead to pecking). 

Special treats like FlyGrubs or Henny & Roo’s Pecktacular Grains and Mealworms are always a hit in the henhouse, and during the winter, everyone could use a little extra to snack on. 

If you’ve done your due diligence and prepped your coop for winter, your chickens will come out the other side happy, healthy, and maybe even a little more portly than before. 

At Henny+Roo, we’re here to help support you and your clucks with monthly boxes filled with treats, tools, and valuable info that can help you raise happy and healthy chickens all year long.