Staying Cool

It’s hot! I wish it would get cooler, but this is just June. I’ve read chickens are best kept at 65-75 degrees. At 95 they are likely to have a heat stroke without cooling themselves and are most likely dead at 100.

Thank goodness for the trampoline! I hose it down throughout the day, so the black netting doesn’t get as hot and the ground is cooler. Dust bathing is probably one of the best ways for them to stay cool because they burrow down in the dirt.

The run is covered with shade cloth, but we’ll need to set up a misting system for it soon. I saw one for $29 that comes with everything but the garden hose and stretches all the way around a big patio. We have sand in the run, so that gets hosed down too. They really like the sand & I think it’s the best dust bathing material to use. With the “cooper scooper” my husband made me, their giant kitty litter box is easy to clean too!

They need water all the time, but they don’t necessarily drink to stay cool. Dipping their beaks in cool water helps a great deal, but somehow mine don’t understand it. Standing in cool water seems to be the fastest way to cool ours off, so I spray the patio with water too. I bought some dissolvable poultry vitamins/electrolytes for their water, as I’ve read that’s helpful for heat stress.

Most coops I’ve seen are enclosed, but my husband modified his parents’ old open air coop. It was already old when they got it, so it was built when people weren’t really into backyard/urban chicken keeping & the misinformation that sometimes goes with it. It has a tin roof, so that helps somewhat. I spray that with water too.

The take-home: shade + water + dust bathing = surviving the heat.

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