Apr 16, 2012

Beat the Heat: Helping Chickens Survive High Temps

High heat is dangerous for chickens- heat stroke, heat stress and death can result when a chicken is overheated.
High heat is dangerous for chickens and measures must be taken by their caretakers to ensure their well-being, particularly when temperatures increase suddenly or exceed 85° F.  Heat stroke, heat-induced stress and death can result when a chicken is overheated.
Chickens hold their wings away from their bodies to allow heat to dissipate from their bodies.
Lucy has her wings spread away from her body in an effort to allow air to circulate closer to her body.
In temps over 90°F, keep a bucket of cool water near the chickens at all times for emergency cooling.
The orange bucket is kept full of cool water in case of emergency.
The mister was a bargain at less than ten dollars.

In temperatures over 90° F, keep a bucket or tub full of cool, water (not cold) near the flock at all times. If anyone begins to look overheated, panting, wings away from its sides, droopy, lethargic or pale in the wattles and comb, IMMEDIATELY submerge in the cool water up to its neck to bring its body temperature down. This simple measure can be lifesaving. Even if chickens are not in danger, this can be a welcome relief to chickens that would not voluntarily wade into water.
Hose down the chicken coop with water throughout the day.
Hose down the roof of the coop and areas around the
coop frequently to facilitate evaporative cooling.
Hose down the roof of the coop and areas around the  coop frequently to facilitate evaporative cooling.
When contemplating coop placement, opt for locating it underneath trees for shade.
The normal body temperature of a chicken is between 104-107°F, which it regulates without the benefit of sweat glands.
Locating the coop underneath trees made this coop 
15°cooler inside than out on this particular day.

The normal body temperature of a chicken ranges between 104°-107°F, which it must regulate without the benefit of sweat glands. It does this primarily by employing evaporative cooling techniques. Body heat is lost through combs, wattles, legs, droppings and its wing-pits (I made that term up, but...you get the drift). When temperatures reach the mid 80s, a chicken will begin to pant, spread its wings away from its body, begin limiting its activity and reduce its feed intake. 
Panting, spreading wings away from the body and reducing feed intake are measures a chicken takes to keep cool in high temperatures.
TIPS TO BEAT THE HEAT
TWEAK RATIONS 
Switch from layer feed (16% protein) to grower feed (18-20% protein). Since a chicken will eat less feed in the heat, providing laying hens with a ration higher in protein will allow them to eat less overall volume while continuing to meet their daily nutritional needs. Laying hens should always be provided with oyster shell free-choice to ensure strong eggshells.
Since a chicken will eat less feed in the heat, providing laying hens with a ration higher in protein will allow them to eat less overall volume while continuing to meet their daily nutritional needs.
My homemade oyster shell dispenser. DIY instructions here.
WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE
It is critical to provide clean, cool water to chickens in hot weather. Keep waterers in shady locations and supply additional water sources wherever possible.

Bring the water TO THEM. If they have a favorite, shady rest area during the day, place waterers near them. Chickens shouldn't have to travel far to drink and will drink more if it is convenient to do so.

Refresh the water supply often throughout the day-
chickens will drink more water if it is cool than if it is warm.
Employ misters in shady areas of the chicken yard. Misters work by "flash evaporation" to cool the air.
If possible, utilize a poultry nipple watering system to ensure a clean, fresh, cold supply of water to chickens at all times.
If possible, utilize a poultry nipple watering system to ensure a clean, fresh, cold supply of water to chickens at all times.
NOTE: Due to increased water intake on hot days, a chicken's droppings can appear loose/watery/runny, which is completely normal. The passage of large amounts of water through the digestive tract is a method by which chickens cool themselves internally. Smart, right? This process is known as excretory heat transfer.
Due to increased water intake on hot days, chickens' droppings can appear loose, watery or runny, which is completely normal.
Provide a wading area with a kiddie pool, sled or shallow pan of water for chickens inclined to stand in it.
Provide a wading area with a kiddie pool, sled or shallow pan of water for chickens inclined to stand in it.
April, wading in the puddles.
For chickens not partial to wading pools, flood areas of high-traffic so they must walk through it.
For chickens not partial to wading pools, flood areas of high-traffic so they must walk through it.
Phoebe scooting into the run through the water from the sprinkler.
Spray the run with water often throughout the day.
Frequently spray the roof of the coop with water to cause evaporative cooling.
You can expect a temperature drop of 10-20° F in 40-80% humidity with a mister in the chicken yard.
Employ misters in shady areas. Misters work by "flash evaporation" to cool the air. The lower the humidity, the COOLER the air, the higher the humidity, the less relative cooling, but the air will still be COOLER in the misted area and the surrounding area than without a mister. You can expect a temperature drop of 10-20° F in 40-80% humidity with a mister in the chicken yard.
You can expect a temperature drop of 10-20° F in 40-80% humidity with a mister in the chicken yard.
SHADE
Provide additional shade wherever possible, by whatever means available. Plan landscaping to provide shaded areas around the chicken coop and run.
Cover the run with a tarp, roof, shade cloth, banana leaves- whatever you've got- to keep the sun from baking the ground.

Provide additional shade wherever possible, by whatever means available. Plan landscaping to provide shaded areas around the chicken coop and run. 

Apply reflective film to coop windows.
ornamental grasses provide shade and keep the ground cool for the chickens during the heat of the day. They grow very quickly and the chickens neither eat them nor trample them.
These ornamental grasses provide shade and keep the ground cool for the chickens during the heat of the day. They grow very quickly and the chickens neither eat them nor trample them. BONUS!
ICE, ICE BABY
Freeze various sizes of water bottles and jugs and add them to waterers throughout the day. Chickens will drink more water when it is cool than if it isn't.
Freeze various sizes of water bottles and jugs and add them to waterers throughout the day. Chickens will drink more water when it is cool than if it isn't.
Place a large, plastic bucket or trash can on its side in a shady spot, adding frozen water bottles/jugs inside it for chickens to rest alongside.
This waterer was in the shade underneath a deck with a bottle of ice water in it.
Waterer in the shade underneath a deck 
with a bottle of ice water in it.
INCREASE AIRFLOW
Prop open all coop doors and windows during the day, including the egg door, to promote airflow.
Prop open all coop doors and windows during the day, including the egg door, to promote airflow.
Add fans to the coop and run.

Place a frozen jug of water between the fan and nest boxes during the day and between the fan and roosts at night.
Place a frozen jug of water between the fan and nest boxes during the day and between the fan and roosts at night.
If it is too hot in the nest boxes, CLOSE THEM so the hens do not bake in them and set up temporary nest boxes in a cooler location in the coop, in the run or outside the run. A milk crate, cardboard box, large basket- anything you can think of that has lots of ventilation can be used as a nest box. 
If it is too hot in the nest boxes, CLOSE THEM so the hens do not bake in them and set up temporary nest boxes in a cooler location in the coop, in the run or outside the run.
An open, wooden box with some bedding will suffice when it's too hot for hens to lay in the nest boxes.
An open, wooden box with some bedding will suffice when it's too hot for hens to lay in the nest boxes. 
LITTER/BEDDING MANAGEMENT
Replace deep litter with clean, shallow bedding, preferably sand, which stays cooler than any other bedding material.

If using pine shavings for litter, reduce the shavings to two inches or less and keep it as clean as possible as both shavings and droppings retain heat. 
Use sand in the run- it stays cooler than any other litter choice and provides ample opportunity for dust-bathing, which is another mechanism chickens use to cool themselves.
Use sand in the run- it stays cooler than any other litter choice and provides ample opportunity for dust-bathing, which is another mechanism chickens use to cool themselves.

Tuck frozen water bottles into bedding at night.

ELECTROLYTES FOR HEAT STRESS
When heat stress is suspected, add electrolytes to the water to help replace those lost from panting. "Administer this solution to dehydrated chickens in place of drinking water for four to six hours per day for a week, offering fresh water for the remainder of each day."It is simple to make an electrolyte solution, click here for Gail Damerow's recipe and instructions.
As a general rule, avoid giving chickens treats when it's hot outside so as not to promote increased internal body temperatures from digestion. An exception is frozen fruit and vegetables (blueberries, strawberries, corn, squash, etc.) that can help cool and hydrate them. Watermelon is particularly helpful towards this end.
COOL TREATS
As a general rule, avoid giving chickens treats when it's hot outside so as not to promote increased internal body temperatures from digestion. An exception is frozen fruit and vegetables (blueberries, strawberries, corn, squash, etc.) that can help cool and hydrate them. Watermelon is particularly helpful towards this end.
Scrambled, frozen eggs are a special summer treat to help chickens with their protein intake while staying cool.
Whatever chicken keepers can do to keep chickens hydrated on hot days is encouraged. I make this frozen fruit smoothie ice ring for my chickens to help them beat the heat and they love it! When water is added to the ice ring, POW, Pullet Punch! Not only does the icy cold water encourage hydration, it gives chickens a natural sugar boost during energy-sapping weather when feed intake declines.
Chickens appreciate frozen treats such as corn on the cob in hot weather.
Susie, Penelope & Oprah enjoying frozen corn on the cob.
Frozen watermelon helps hydrate chickens while keeping them cool in summer heat.
Frozen watermelon. 
Chickens enjoying frozen zucchini in the shade on a hot day.
Frozen zucchini.
DUST BATH AREAS
Provide access to dust bathing areas in shady spots around the yard. Chickens cool themselves by digging down to cooler spots in the earth.
Sand is the ideal dust bathing medium as it stays cool in the shade and requires no expenditure of excess energy by the chickens to dig up.
Dust bathing chicken on a hot day.
Mabel, dust-bathing in the shade.
SKIP THE ACV
While apple cider vinegar is beneficial to to chickens when added to their water most times of the year, BUT ACV should NOT be added to waterers during times of high heat. In a recently published blog post that reviewed the benefits of ACV to poultry, I asked Dr. Mike Petrik, a laying hen veterinarian with a Master of Science degree in animal welfare, his opinion of ACV in poultry waterers. In reply, Dr. Petrik wrote the following, which dictates AGAINST using ACV during high heat conditions:
                    
 "Acidified water affects laying hens by making the calcium in her feed a little less digestible (based on chemistry....calcium is a positive ion, and dissociates better in a more alkaline environment). Professional farmers regularly add baking soda to their feed when heat stress is expected....this maintains egg shell quality when hens' feed consumption drops due to the heat."

In summary, during high heat conditions, baking soda facilitates calcium absorption while ACV inhibits it.  SKIP the ACV in the heat, opting for an electrolyte solution instead.
during high heat conditions, baking soda facilitates calcium absorption while ACV inhibits it.  SKIP the ACV in the heat, opting for an electrolyte solution instead.
It's not easy caring for chickens in high heat conditions, but a little bit of planning and few, simple adjustments can make a big difference in their comfort level and their very ability to survive.
Disclaimer, The Chicken Chick
Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick®

386 comments :

  1. Great tips! We have HOT HOT HOT summers here in KS, so this will come in handy! Thank you!
    ~Audrey Siebert

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  2. Thanks for the great info...will be used quite frequently here in the humid conditions of Texas. ~Ilean~

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    1. Good to know, Ilean. I hope it helps!

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    2. Going to Lowe's tomorrow to get a mister! Thanks for the idea! We have such hot summers here I didn't know what to do. Gonna also start freezing water bottles! Thanks for the 411!!! My chickens thank you!

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  3. This is great to know. I have my first chicks about five weeks in the coop and it is supposed to hit 90 this weekend.

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    1. Elaine, congratulations, you have won tonight's blog giveaway, a set of custom egg carton labels!

      Please visit my website for some ideas and let me know the label shape, image and wording you would like on it by email: service@CustomEggCartonLabels.com

      Thanks and congratulations again!

      Delete
  4. what great timing I have just started freezing all of our soda bottles that we may get and have my kids saving their juice bottles, gator rade bottles ect. I store them in my deep freeze out in the garage.
    I also take the small water bottles you get from the store and freeze those and actually add them to thier water as I fill them up. I just place the lid back on and put then in the runs. They have cool water for a few hours atleast.
    LOVE the idea of putting them in an empty bucket tipped on its side for them to get into and cool off that way, and in the nest boxes. Now that one would have never crossed my mind to do lol. I am saving this post in my fav to remember the tips. Can I past any of the tips you may share that I think my face book chicken group could use.
    deana

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  5. I hope I get that shirt I've been wanting one for years :) I <3 it!!! I love your egg carton, too!

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  6. patricia butler4/19/12, 1:23 PM

    I love the mister idea, I have got to try that. Thank you for the great ideas.

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  7. Great ideas on keeping "the girls & boys" cool. Last summer was a scorcher here! I'll definitely try the frozen water bottles, mister & the wading pool ideas! Thank you very much for posting them all.

    PS, I would love to win the shirt! XD

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  8. Elizabeth F4/19/12, 1:40 PM

    Thanks for the tips. I'm sure I'll use some of these this summer.

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  9. I would have not known the frozen fruit but I have done the frozen veggies and they hardly touched it. It was a frozen cabbage on a string. They loveeeeeee cabbage but not frozen...why? Too hard or my girls are spoiled? lollllll

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  10. First of all, I am new to your blog...but already have learned so much! (I'm new to backyard chickens too!). Thanks for having so much good information.

    We live in Western Washington. While we don't normally have high heat issues, there are those rare occasions. So this blog post was very helpful.

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  11. I'm so glad you covered this! I've been wondering how the girls were going to deal in this southern heat this year.

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  12. I can't stand the heat so I'm hoping I don't have to use any of these techniques! I've wondered if the chickens would like a little pool. I might try something like that for them. I'm sure they'll love the frozen foods!
    Thank you,
    Sarah

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  13. i have nothing original cause we get hot here in nc and have already researched ur blog because i know how much help u always are im going to use the springkler system and frozen water bottles along with most of the coops are set in the shade when its high heat time of the day!!!! ty by the way:)

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  14. Rebecca Garrett5/1/12, 7:39 PM

    I am trying to find that hot pink mister! Cute and will keep my girls cool!!

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  15. I plan on waving palm fronds over my girls all summer. They need to be pampered like the queens they are! (wink)

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  16. robin mcdowell5/1/12, 7:45 PM

    we have fans to put in the coop and going to cool coat the roof this year.

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  17. In addition to water and shade, I give my girls treats such as frozen peas and watermelon. Last summer my 10yr old cousin complained that one of my white hens - Vanna White - stole her popsicle. I didn't believe her at first, but then she showed me the pecked popsicle and I saw that Vanna's face was COVERED in red. It was priceless! I wish I'd had my camera. We still laugh about it.

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  18. i freeze water melon in ice cube trays, i also use either frozen corn on the cob or bagged corn. I put frozen water bottles in their water containers My girls love it. i think this year i am going to invest in a mini ceiling fan!. Janelle Bulan

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  19. I am so worried about our Arizona summer heat! I plan to wet the run each morning, have plenty of fresh water available, we have already installed misters, and we may need to put a fan in the coop. I will also put frozen water bottles out and plenty of frozen fruit. The summer is scary for us newbies! Thanks for the great ideas! :)

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  20. Sue Fischer5/1/12, 8:11 PM

    I use kabob skewers--I run the kabobs through the chunks of watermelon and/or cantaloupe--then I freeze them. I stick them in the ground after they are frozen--the girls go crazy for the fruit and it is easy for them to peck--and keeps the dirt and grass off of the fruit. They love it.

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    1. Audrey Miller5/24/12, 12:47 PM

      That's a cool idea Sue to keep the dirt and grass off the fruit! Bet the skewers look pretty stuck in the ground too!

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  21. We don't get really hot weather here, in the Summer. For those days that we are hotter, I plan on implementing some of your ideas. Garden mister, frozen water bottles, froze fruit.

    We are fortunate that we are just beginning to build our coop. So I will make sure its well insulated.

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  22. I was actually more worried about the winter but now I think it's the heat I need to worry about. I'm going to get a fan to move that heavy humid air. Might have to get a Mister. My coop is in a very shady area too

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  23. I freeze 5 gallon buckets of water and I have a couple small kiddie pools around the yard I change the water a couple times and when I change it I pop in a big frozen ice cube. I also have tarps over 3/4 of their yard and a sprinkler system that runs during the afternoon.

    Love the frozen watermelon idea. My girls (and guys) love watermelon never thought to freeze it

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  24. We are planning on building a box with a roof on it(almost like a closed in sandbox) with mesh sides, to create an indoor dust bath (DE, dirt and pine shavings) so they have a cool place to "bathe" and play :)

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  25. Great post . I'm planning on adding a mister system to the run & a fan inside . I may even try putting frozen tiles laying around where they lay that's what I do for my rabbits and they love them so maybe the chickens will to :) fld20@yahoo.com

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  26. Our run is under the overhang of our house and we have some big trees so it is well shaded to begin with. I plan to mount a few fans to keep the humid chicago summer air circulating. Using your ideas of a mister and some frozen water bottles shoud keep everyone comfortable. Lots of great ideas for all us who are new to this - thanks!

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  27. Kaylin McLeod5/1/12, 9:31 PM

    Though I may live in Canada, our summers are still pretty hot. We've got a kiddie pool at the ready. I plan on saving up some water jugs and freezing them. I like that method because it's cheap and sounds pretty effective. Though our summers probably can't compare much to yours, I'm still preparing for a hot one!
    Down the edge of our lawn is a line of cedar trees, separating us from the neighbours. Plenty 'o dirt bathing in their! Plus, the chickens keep the soil in there nicely turned and the weeds down ;)

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  28. We will keep unused plastic trash can lids filled with clean water for them to wade in, along with frozen jugs of water and frozen foods placed around the coop/run. And extra water bowls/dishes.
    This is a great post with great ideas, we will try them throughout our hot W KY heat. Thanks!

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  29. To help my girls beat the heat I spray the dirt around the trees and in there run so when they dust bathe, they are cooling off! I also give them frozen friuts and vegetables that the ladies love! I have never though of putting a fan in the coop, but will definitely try that. Thanks for the great post:)

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  30. The Utah summers do not get excessively hot, but for the days in July it does I will have lots of frozen melons on hands. I am also growing vining plants up my coop and run because I read a women in Las Vegas covered her mobile home in them and her AC use dropped significantly. They insulate and absorb heat so it should work on the coop as well.

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  31. Esther Widgren5/1/12, 10:58 PM

    Well today was the first test for the girls! It was very hot here in NC so I provided lots of cool water and shade. There was a breeze but when there isn't I'll turn on a fan for them. I don't think that misters will help much when the humidity is at it's usual level (drenching!) but I'll turn on the kiddie sprinkler for them so they can have a play date in it! I also think I'll set a shallow pan of water for them to 'bathe' in.

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  32. thanks for the info. i will have to try some of this stuff it was 82 here in Kentucky today. it wont be long until it is too hot for the chickens

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  33. I missed the contest but thanks for all the good advice!

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  34. Thank you for these tips. It was close to 90 degrees here today and a few of my girls were panting. :o(

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    1. My pleasure, Beth. I hope some of these tricks helped your girls cool down a little bit today.

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  35. jolie larsen5/23/12, 10:27 AM

    My husband gets a laugh at the way I am always checking the computer to see what The Goddess of Chickens has to say, but I have learned a LOT. Thanks for the blog!

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    1. OMG, Jolie, you are hysterical!!!

      Thank you for following my blog and Facebook page, it's always nice to hear from you and to know that my blog helps. :)

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  36. been collecting my kids and hubbys water bottles for a month now gets pretty warm here in western nc and u gave me lots of new ideas on how to sneak them in places i hadnt thought of like the nest boxes great idea and
    ty!!!!

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  37. great info for us first timers! any info is helpful
    elisembaslow@hotmail.com

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  38. I help my chickens beat the heat with lots of frozen treats, like blueberries, and other fruits and veggies. They are always looking for their next treat!

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  39. Love the hints on keeping them cool!! Love your site by the way, thank you for all you do!!

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  40. Thanks for the great advice as always. Not overly hot here right now, but it's supposed to get warm this weekend. Your suggestions will come in handy.

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  41. Thank you! Going to Lowe's tomorrow! Also freezing water bottles tonight! Was worried about what to do this summer besides getting a window ac for them. Which I'm still trying to convince my husband they need it! Lol! But until that happens your tips are life and marriage savers!!!

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  42. I help my chickens beat the heat by giving them lots of frozen treats. Their favorite is frozen berries. I gave them my strawberry scraps when I was done canning yeasterday and they looked dissapointed they were not frozen.

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  43. Great post! Thanks for informing me with all new chicken tips!

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  44. Oops! Forgot email... vanegas_massie@hotmail.com

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  45. Great info you give. I am trying a few new things for my chickens. I have a lot more hens than I am getting eggs. So need to take some of your advice and change some things up. Thanks for all your help.

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  46. Enter me in the new Chicken Chaulk Board contest.
    hardyhens14@yahoo.com

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  47. Thanks for the great tips! We have been putting them to use these past few weeks, it hit 108 here earlier this week! My chickies seem to be handling the heat much better than I am! :)
    Brit868@yahoo.com

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  48. great information!! Will be getting my babies a mister. They enjoy dusting under my back porch where it's nice and cool.

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  49. Just got back from Menards with a Rain Bird mister system to keep the girls cool while I'm at work. I was just going to get a mister hose but decided this would work better since it has a timer and I can set it to go on and off durring the day.

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  50. Great ideas on this posting! Will be putting some to good use.

    Thanks
    Angie Tamara Reed

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  51. I buy cranberries after Thanksgiving. They cost like 20 cents per bag. I freeze them and add to water dishes!

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  52. Valuable information! Thank you :-)

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    1. Congratulations Joely, you have won the giveaway of the gorgeous, hand-crafted, rooster chalkboard from Country Craft House!

      Delete
  53. Missy Larson5/23/12, 11:58 PM

    Love your idea for frozen fruit and veggies! I'll be tossing some frozen veggies out tomorrow! :)

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  54. It has been warm this week so I had taken some of this advice. I put frozen water bottles in their waterer and have several things of veggies int he freezer ready for them!

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  55. As always, you have great tips! We are ready for this coming hot, hot weekend! I've got the mister ready and a couple of frozen water bottles ready. Of course, Murphy's law....our blower went out last night, so hopefully we will have our AC working before we melt!

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  56. Great ideas! We're expecting close to 100 degrees this weekend here in Northern Kentucky. I'll be using them! Thanks. Susan :) p.s. I can't figure out how to post this except anonymously :/ Dang! And I want to win the cute chalkboard!

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  57. I love all your fabulous ideas to keep the chickens happy, healthy and chilled out! Your birds are some lucky chicks!

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  58. What great tips. Thank you

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  59. We used a garden sprinkler last year, but I think I am going to make my girls a mister hose this year. I bet they will like it! I know my peacock will, he likes to be misted with the water hose anyway :)
    bluegrass_mama@hotmail.com

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  60. Good tips. Have used a fan in the past and will again this year. I'm collecting bottles for freezing water in. I really like that idea.

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  61. Kimberley Carville5/24/12, 9:26 AM

    I loved the info about changing the food to pullet feed. I am really turning into a chicken chick thanks to you.

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  62. Question,

    I once had a Russian boss who only drank hot tea in the summer because drinking cold water actaully makes your body temperature rise (something to do with making your body equalize the cold with your internal heat) but almost everyone has told me to give cold water to chickens in the summer- perhaps because their bodies are so small the water actually does cool them off? I have hens panting already and it hasn't even made it to the upper 90's yet (STL summers are hot and sticky). They have a box fan in the run and a small desk fan in the hen house (plus 2 sides of the hen house are plantation shutters that let the breeze blow through... doesn't seem like they should be this distressed this soon... will the adjust somewhat? Adorable chalkboard!

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    1. I'm not really sure of the answer the question of whether cold water cools off their bodies or not. Chickens do not care for warm water though, which is the primary reason for icing the water in the summer heat. We want to keep them hydrated and if they won't touch warm water, then it's impossible.

      If the heat suddenly spikes vs a gradual warm-up, it's more difficult to them to adjust to the high temps. That's one reason why heat lamps in the coop are inadvisable in the winter (besides the fire risk). If the heat lamp goes out for any reason, the drastic drop in temperatures inside the coop can kill them.

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  63. Esther Widgren5/24/12, 11:20 AM

    The chalkboard is adorable and would fit PERFECTLY in my chicken-themed kitchen!

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  64. Renee Drossel5/24/12, 11:49 AM

    Lots of good ideas here, thanks ! We'll need them this summer in Kansas. I always check your blog when I have questions, it is a great resource :) Please enter me for the chalkboard- love it ! Renee rlb_13@hotmail.com

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  65. Audrey Miller5/24/12, 12:42 PM

    Great tips! While I don't have a chicken coop (yet) I do have a "cat" coop as my boyfriend is allergic to cats. The cats love being outdoors in their condo which has an inside room and outside play area. While it only gets really warm here a couple weeks out of the year, the misters are a great idea to help keep them cooler! Thanks for sharing these tips for all our animals!

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  66. Great reading this blog... I so miss living in the country raising chickens!

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    1. Cherie, you don't have to live in the country to have chickens anymore. Folks in New York City have chickens now!

      I hope that you are able to keep them as pets again one day. :)

      Delete
  67. I loved the homemade tube that hangs for egg shell or grit. Im going to build one of those for my chickens. The frozen bottle in the water bowl is a great idea. Im so busy keeping my rabbits cool that the chickens are getting left out so Im making it my mission to keep my chickens cool this summer. Thank you for all the tips. Mister for the water great idea. Frozen fruits cant wait to try them on this. thanks

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    1. Hey
      My name is Spencer Knight and email is spencerknight12@yahoo.com and I get the water hose and spray them and they like it

      Delete
  68. Makenna Vanegas5/28/12, 4:19 PM

    My chickens beat the heat by dust bathing and standing under the mister! They also will occasionally swim in our big INTEX pool. (okay, maybe not, but they should if they really wanna "Beat the Heat!")
    My email is: vanegas_massie@hotmail.com

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  69. Our coop is in the shade most of the day. Gave them watermelon~which is a favorite!! And we keep putting cold water in their water coolers. They love to nestle into the cool dirt, too.
    You have some great tips and we will be using some of those as well!
    hfparker@cox.net

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    1. There's nothing more important than cool water and shade, lucky that your coop is shaded most of the day.

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  70. I have a large carport in the poultry yard that they can gather under for shade. I wet the ground under it to keep it cooler. I also have plastic tubs and pools for them to soak their tootsies in to cool down. :)

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    1. Steph, do yours really wade in the shallow water? Mine won't go near a kiddie pool or tub of water. Go figure!

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  71. My girls use the "Chicken Spa & Mud Bath"...you know, the one beside the a/c unit...they think I put that spout there just for them!

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  72. TO BEAT THE HEAT: Our girls are just 6 weeks old, but they took to our watermelon and corn-on-the-cob leftovers from our Memorial Day cook-out. And we did NOT grill chicken this year, just beef!

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  73. My wonderful husband hooked up a misting sprinkler in the chicken run, we run it during the hot afternoons to cool it down, this also gets some water on top of the coop (which before reading your tips I didn't know helped to cool the coop) I open their window to allow a breeze to flow through the coop & I have frozen water bottles ready for those super hot days! They will also receive frozen corn on the cob & other frozen veggies & fruits!

    (are there any veggies or fruits that I should NOT feed them???)

    Thanks again for your wonderful blog & fb page!
    ~Audrey Siebert

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    1. Audrey, it sounds like you're doing everything right! There really aren't too many fruits or veggies that you have to avoid. Avocado pits and peel are off limits and raw potatoes that have any GREEN in them should be avoided in significant quantities. As a rule of thumb: if you wouldn't eat it, don't feed it to your chickens.

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  74. I've been using a lot of your tips this weekend. However, they are not so thrilled about the mister. They eat ice cold strawberries but, only if I hand feed them lol! I've been freezing blocks of ice and adding to the water a couple of times a day. As always, love your blog!!! downtownginab@aol.com

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    1. LOL Gina, they sound a little bit pampered to me! :)
      Thanks for joining me on my blog, always nice to hear from you.

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  75. It's been hot, hot, hot here in Louisiana so far this SUMMER. My chickies are in a "special" tractor. We take care to move them in shady areas during the hottest part of the day, use a tarp to ensure extra shade and a sprinkler (which they LOVE). Thanks for all your "COOL" tips ;)

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  76. I also keep my girls cool by spraying down the coop. The water drying off of the coop cools down the whole coop. I also provide shade when they get to free-rage in the yard.

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  77. I have a good sized garden hose affixd to the top of the coop around the diameter of the coop. You can use post nails or heavy staples to secure. I have tiny tiny pin holes that I have made in the hose throughout it. When the water is turned on, there is a lovely gentle mist of cool water that sprays throughout the coop. Very light, no big puddles, just cools the air, and doesn't disturb the hens or make them afraid. So great for these hot summer months. I can turn the hose off at any time...but still leave the hose installed. It works!!

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  78. We like to take a long garden hose and affix it at the top of coop--around the entire diameter of the coop. You can use post nails or heavy staples to secure. Before you hand the hose, punch tiny tiny holes throughout the hose then hang. Turn on the hose and you will have a delightfully gentle mist throughout the coop--won't frighten the birds and they will have a coop that is pleasing during these hot summer months. You can turn the hose off anytime, and leave the hose installed on the ceiling... It works.

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  79. jolielarsen5/28/12, 6:46 PM

    Took your advice and hit the grocery store the other day, freezing a variety of fruit to give the girls when our heat wave hit. Saw the hubby eyeing the treats, so I labeled them "Special Chicken Hydration Nuggets--Off Limits, Please Do Not Consume" or, "For the Chickens--Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide". He didn't tough the stuff! :-)

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    1. Oh NO, Jolie! Your poor husband is now playing second fiddle to the chickens?! LOL Maybe next week he'll get a few frozen fruits specially marked for him? :)

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  80. My coop is very shaded, so that helps a lot. I hung a suet cage full of greens in the path of the Mister so they would get cooled off when they went to get their treats

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    1. Great idea, Kim! There's no substitute for shade.

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  81. I have been changing the water three times a day as it's been record heat past few days and we have two fans in the coop. cremesoda34@yahoo.com

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  82. These are a lot of good ideas. I didn't realize eating made their body temps rise will defnately use the grower feed during the hotter days.. I will be serving frozen fruit and have the sprinklers going this summer so my girls will be able to stay cool.

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  83. For to include email for "Hot, Hot, Hot in Louisiana" : brenda_cannon@att.net

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  84. My girls are still in the house with AC, when they move out they will be under total shade, ecxcept for when we go out for our daily walk abouts in the yard. I have been saving the large yougurt containers for freezing water in for them. Plan on giving them frozen veggies and fruits as well. Going to get misters to put on each side of their run area. Nothing to good for my sweet gals....:>)
    hardyhens14@yahoo.com

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  85. Martha Waugh5/28/12, 11:24 PM

    Thanks for the great info. We have HOT (and I mean Africa HOT) summers here in the valley. I have misters set up by their coop, but that just gets everything way too wet. I toss ice cubes in their water, give them frozen watermelon treats and leave the hen house wide open during the day.

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    1. I keep my misters under the shade trees where they can cool off the mulch and create puddles in key locations. It's the only way I can get them to wade in cool water!

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  86. Martha Waugh5/28/12, 11:25 PM

    Thanks for the great info. We have HOT (and I mean Africa HOT) summers here in the valley. I have misters set up by their coop, but that just gets everything way too wet. I toss ice cubes in their water, give them frozen watermelon treats and leave the hen house wide open during the day.

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  87. Lots of water. Some frozen bottles of water in the waterers, and a big fan in the coop.


    Rworkman82@gmail.com

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  88. My chickens love melon. They eat every scrap even a lot of the rind. I always give half to the kids and the other half to the chickens. The chickens always get more because they don't care if they drop it.

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    1. Congratulations Sara! You have won a "Property of My Backyard Chickens" tee shirt! Please email me at: service@CustomEggCartonLabels.com with your tee shirt size!

      Delete
  89. Thankyou so much for your ideas. Many more there than I would have thought of, so I won't be adding more. I would have just though make up an ice-block with mixed grains in it for the chickens to peck at. Now I'm wondering what ideas might be good for my ducks next Summer too.
    I will definitely be employing some of your chicken ideas next summer (here in Australia we are about to go into winter). It was great to see your hen's boxes with their curtains, I had seen a previous post about getting your new curtains and I hadn't known really what you were doing with them, now I know! Sorry to digress from original topic, but around here coops don't seem anywhere near as fancy as in USA! I wish my Hubby would get fancy though. We are building a new run and trying to work out the coop for them in it.

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    1. Nicolle, thanks for visiting all the way from Australia!

      Don't wait for your husband to 'fancy-up' your chicken coop, do it yourself! Nest box curtains are a simple way to add some color, whimsey and functionality to your coop very inexpensively. :)

      Delete
  90. Thanks for the tips, it has been so hot here in in western pa. This is my first full summer with chickens and the information is priceless!! :)
    Caprese
    parks90@comcast.net

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  91. I give the birds cold fruit, like watermelon rinds, spray the coop roof with the hose, and make them puddles on the driveway. Setting some trash can lids with water in them in the yard makes a safe and shallow waking place for the smaller birds, and it's easy to clean. Their little claws get so nice and white after a splash! My email is judy.beth@comcast.net

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    1. I love the trash can lid idea, I've heard that before as well as taking the trash can itself, tipping it on its side and putting bottles of frozen water inside them.

      I wish my feather-legged pets would take the hint and wash their own feet! :)

      Delete
  92. Paula Warrener-Lackey5/29/12, 12:13 PM

    We're in central Florida, so it says hot most of the year. Our coop has a dirt floor, is located under a heavy canopy of shade trees, & is open on all four sides. The birds have plenty of fresh water on hand & get the same laying mash + veg. scraps, greens, left-overs, etc. they get the rest of the year. The heat has never bothered them as you describe, even when its been in the triple digits. If it did, I'd hose down the coop roof & surrounding area to encourage cooling by evaporation.

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    1. Those sound like some tough, Florida chicks, Paula!

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  93. Kathy Love your tips thanks for sharing on TLCC Page. Some great ideas.. And I paid $10.00 @ Home Depot for my mister.... Diane from The Lazy Chicken Coop

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    1. Thanks Diane! Those misters are a bargain at twice that price. :)

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  94. Great tips, It is going to be 106 tomorrow, not counting the heat index. Dianna Ellis

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  95. Thank you very much for putting this all together. I'll be sharing it on my blog's FB page. I'm a first timer with raising chickens and I need all the help I can get!

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  96. Even with all the ice, shade, misting, and other tricks, we still lost hens 2 days ago when it reached 106 in the Midwest. We currently have a patient in our garage whom I rescued- a barred rock hen. I drenched her in cool water and set her in the shade under a tree to let the breeze blow over her. She's currently resting in the cool garage in her own nest, completely pampered. I'm not sure when to put her back out into the coop since it's still so hot!

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  97. Even with implementing all these ideas, we still lost 4 layers in the 106 degree heat 2 days ago. Panting has become a normal thing around here, despite the misting, ice, and mint. *sigh* I rescued a barred rock hen that was close to death, and she's currently exploring our cool garage after a few days of pampering. Not sure when she'd be okay to go back outside though.

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  98. thanx a lot for providing such a useful information, it will help me a lot to coup with high temperature in country like pakistan

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  99. Here in our neck of the woods in Ohio it's 1:30 and 101. I opened the coop door and put a cattle panel there to block it so the horses and sheep don't try to get in...which they would if it weren't blocked. I make sure the water is clean and cool, and have added electrolytes. Smiling & Waving, Sharon

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  100. Thank you for all the information! Here in Michigan its cooler today, with only 79.9 degrees! Yesterday in the sun it was 122.7! I have plenty of ventilation in my coops, they can free range and find breezy, shady areas, ice cold water, and slushies with strawberry tops are on hand if needed!

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  101. We're at 91 degrees here in our part of Texas at 12:30pm...expected to top out around 99, according to the forecast...we keeps lots of water for drinking, wading, etc. & change it when it starts to feel warm. We freeze jugs of ice to add to the water pans, we spray the shady areas where they like to hang out, we also set our our nozzle to fine spray, and spray it into the air, then toss a few goodies under the spray to entice the chooks to walk through the spray. Freezing shallow pans of ice with treats in it is another trick I use...the chickens seem to enjoy pecking at the ice to get to their treats.

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  102. Thank you for all the wonderful tips! They will come in handy here in Michigan. Today's temp is only 79.9, but yesterdays was 122.7! (in the sun!) We have plenty of ventilation in the coops, the chickens can free range and find breezy, shady spots, and lots of dust bath areas. If it gets really warm again, we have slushies with strawberry tops ready for them.

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  103. I live in FL and it's supposed to be 94 here today. My chickens free range and we have a lot of shaded area for them. We also keep their water cold, give them frozen fruits in the heat of the day, keep an oil pan of water out for them to soak their feet, and have their waterers set up all throughout the yard, so they are always close to one!

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  104. I'm in GA and the Heat Index today is 105. A bit better than the last few days where it was 108. I freeze mashed bananas for my babies on a large baking pan. They absolutely love it. When they see me coming with the pan they all line up and are getting all excited. The frozen treat helps them to cool down from the inside.

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  105. I live in Illinois and it supposed to get up to 105 today. *whew* We fill milk jugs up with water and freeze them to keep the chickens cool. And refill the water with fresh, cool water several times a day.

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  106. I live in Illinois and it is supposed to get up to 105 today. *whew* We take milk jugs and fill them up with water and freeze to keep the chickens cool. We also refill the water with fresh, cool water several times a day.

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  107. I live in FL and we are supposed to get up to 94 today. I have a lot of ways to keep my chickens cool. They free range and we have a lot of shaded areas in the yard, we have several wateres spread out in the yard so they are constantly near one, we keep their water cold, give frozen fruits right before the heat of the day, have an oil pan with water in it for them to stand in, and keep electrolytes in their water.

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  108. We're at 91 degrees here in our part of Texas so far, forecast calls for a high of 99 today. We use most all of the above...LOTS of water stations throughout the yard, several shallow pans for wading. Spraying the ground to keep it damp in the shady areas...misting...ice in the waterers, etc. Frozen treat blocks...freeze ice in shallow containers with chopped or shredded veggies, like carrots, cabbage, squash (great way to use an over abundance of zucchini), etc.

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  109. Susan Bert7/6/12, 1:56 PM

    98 degrees here in Western Pennsylvania and I just gave the girls some frozen watermelon! :)

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  110. I am in Pennsylvania. Today is close to 100. I am beating the heat by giving my chickens frozen cranberries. I also put electrolytes in their water.

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  111. It's not as hot as it has been...but we are at about 90 today in the Fingerlakes region of NY. I gave my gals and guys some nice cold water...and they are out chillin under the shade of the fruit trees :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations! You have won the Manna Pro LifeLytes! I will email you with details.

      Delete
  112. Great tips! Here in Minnesota it was 96 yesterday and expected to be about 95 today. Both days were cooler than what we had earlier this week! The humidity is down a bit today, however, so that helps a bit. I have been spraying my ladies' run to make a nice muddy area for them to play in. They really like that. I have also been giving them cool watermelon, cool tomato innards (scraps from something I was making), and their favorite was frozen fruit mixed in with yogurt. I also added electrolytes to their water and keeping the water cool. Haven't tried frozen water bottles yet though. My free-ranging older hens found a nice cool place in the middle of my haystack where the bales weren't pushed together. I found several of them squeezed in there on Wednesday!

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  113. Here in Kentucky its 105 ! its hot today, feeding the hens watermelon and tomatoes with plenty of fresh water today! love those t shirts

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  114. Kathy we live in upstate NY its 90° here today & my husband installed a misting run system last night that ive turned on a few times today already.. also add ice water jugs in front of fan in coop to keep it cooler in there and we also add ice cubes to water bowls for them!!
    -Donna Rogers

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  115. here in kentucky its 105 today very hot, giving the chickens watermelon and tomatoes! and plenty of fresh water, love to have a t shirt

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  116. Hey My name is Spencer Knight

    I live in GA and it is 100 today and i give my chicken/chicks watermelon and fresh water by the hour and i use a mister

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  117. Shelli Johnson7/6/12, 2:44 PM

    Here in Dover, AR, it is currently 103. Yesterday it was 106. I'm sure by the end of the day we will pass that. It is HOT, Hot, Hot!!! I have nipple drinkers as well as large tubs of water available for my chickens. They are able to walk in the tubs to cool off and the nipple drinkers offer them continually clean water (if they so choose that option). Some prefer drinking just from the large tubs of water. I have a fan in each pen all on HIGH! The pens are in shade for most of the day. In the heat of the day I put frozen bottle waters in the tubs of water. I throw in ice cubes from time to time on the ground to help cool them down even more. I provide water melon as well to help the stay hydrated and it's a nice treat for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations Shelly, you have won a "Property of My Backyard Chickens" tee shirt!
      Please email me with your size and address: Kathy@The-Chicken-Chick.com

      Delete
  118. Gina Brown7/6/12, 3:09 PM

    105 heat index 110. I had appointments all afternoon and was really worried about the gang, but I did my usual iced down water, mister and sprayed the run. No semi-freddo today though, lol.

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  119. It's 91° here in central Wis at the moment. I've got misters on in both runs, coop doors and windows wide open, giving them frozen grapes for treats and added extra water tubs with ice.

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  120. Esther Widgren7/7/12, 1:00 AM

    Another 100+ day here in NC. No relief in sight until Monday so I have a fan blowing through the coop 24/7 and wet down the run a couple of times a day. I would love to try some electrolytes in their water and I've been on the lookout for a mister like the one you have!

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    Replies
    1. Esther, try Lowe's, Home Depot or Amazon.com for the misters.

      Delete
  121. enjoyed the article! hope for some happy hen treats!

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  122. I am a newbie chicken momma and am so happy to have found your blog and FB page. My silkies would love to win treats. :) Thanks for offering all the great information that you do. It's truly helpful. I can spend waaaayyy too much time reading about how to take care of these fuzzy little clowns.

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  123. I will have to put these to use for sure!

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  124. Love the misting and Ice bottle technique , thank you for the great tips and all the blogs of information.

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  125. I will be picking up a mister the next trip into town for the ladies! Great idea, wonderful article.

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  126. My children would thoroughly enjoy these treats!!

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  127. Last summer was awful for my chickens....days and days of high heat....we had serious losses. I walked out one day to water down the runs and coops and refresh water and one hen was laid out in the run and another one right next to her was weaving and about to topple over. I dropped the water hose and ran in an scooped up both hen and ran back out to a dog box that was sitting in the shade and had bedding in it.....I put both hens in and grabbed the water hose and started spraying them down. It was just minutes until both looked like they were better but I left them in the dog box under a tree with the wet bedding and water in it for quite a while. I had already lost at least ten hens in three different coops over six weeks. Our coops are made of tin from an old barn so they do get heated up with the sun. Ventilation is good however. Frozen bottles were used everywhere. Gallon jugs in the coops....sometimes three or four. Water bottles in nests next to the nests they laid in...up against the walls. I think hens sitting in a nest were most vulnerable to the excessive heat. Some coops were worse than others. There are two big ones and one small one that ended up (in the expansion) being under a huge oak tree. The chickens in those three faired better. This year I have plans to make 'shade' in the worst coop. I even have a patio umbrella that was pulled out of a trash heap that I am going to set up in the yard....maybe cut the post it sets on off a little before setting it. Not short enough for them to fly up on....or think they can. Going to put the turtle sandbox up under one side so it will get some shade.....maybe put frozen bottles in it during the heat of the day. We have a satellite dish in that coop on it's side that provides great shade....until the temps get really excessive like last year....then they get up under it real tight and the heat really gets them.....will be working on that too this year...maybe put branches up under that would keep them from actually laying against the fiberglass. ALL your points were good ones, some I already use and some that I will be using this year....going to have to look into misters.

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  128. I am definitely hitting up my local Lowe's for a mister!! What a great idea!

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  129. Thank you for the tips! We have been using the drinker nipples for several months...they are a great help as I don't have to scrub waterers daily, but some of the larger birds, light brahmas especially, act as if they don't get enough water in hot weather ... I added a conventional waterer back to their pen. Any thoughts?

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  130. hi i am new to this site. I use your products to trreat my chicks teenagers and my chickens and they love the stuuf.

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  131. Love your blog and all the helpful info too . Thanks so much ! Me and my girls have our chicken feet crossed !

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  132. Love the mister, cheap too! We have a metal 5 gallon waterer and I have the kids old turtle sand box filled with water for then, incase they ever get the urge to wade in it!

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  133. Have followed your blog for quite a while and Love It!! I always look to you for the best advice, Kathy!

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  134. Thanks for the tips. We live in FL and I will try these out. Thanks.

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  135. My ducks and chickens really hope that we win the treats give away!

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  136. This will be my first summer with full grown chickens. I spent all winter thinking they would freeze to death and I am about to spend all summer thinking they will over heat :)

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  137. I am new to your blog and love all your helpful tips. I now get your emails and get you on fb.

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  138. Last year my chickens looked to be suffering a little bit. This year, I'll be ready, thanks! The lemon balm & mint tip is great. I have tons of both growing in my garden. It was my mom's garden & she has all kinds of cool stuff that's been established forever. Lavender, thyme, all kinds of mint, catnip etc...

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  139. Ole! Here's to keeping cool this summer! :-)

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  140. Anticipating another hot summer. These are all great tips! Now I will get a mister for "the chickens" and sit under it myself!

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  141. Michelle Lee5/4/13, 5:40 PM

    Great tips! Hope this summer is not as hot as it was last year :)

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  142. Cinco de Mayo hen treats...ole!

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  143. Thanks for the heat info :)

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  144. Is this where I am supposed to comment for the contest???
    ServingJesus4evr@gmail.com

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  145. Monica Ammerman5/4/13, 8:05 PM

    We lost a hen to heat last year. Each day we had been putting out a mister and on this particular day the heat soared hours earlier than normal, before we had it out and on. She died in my arms. I hope to never have that happen again. Thanks for the info on prevenative measures. Would love to win the hen treats. ;-)

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  146. Joyce Zaleski5/4/13, 10:51 PM

    Great info! I would also like to be entered into your Happy Hen treats prize package. Thank so much for the helpful info and great giveaway :) queenb@epix.net

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  147. Lynette Mattke5/4/13, 10:51 PM

    THanks for the beat the heat tips, and for the giveaway.

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  148. TheChickenChick5/4/13, 11:00 PM

    Very sad, Monica. I'm sorry to hear it.

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  149. TheChickenChick5/4/13, 11:04 PM

    Thanks Michelle. Me too!

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  150. TheChickenChick5/4/13, 11:07 PM

    Heat is much more difficult for chickens to tolerate than cold, which is why we go to such great lengths to help them bear it.

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  151. TheChickenChick5/4/13, 11:09 PM

    Ultimately, you have to do what you believe to be the right thing to do. I cannot imagine that a thirsty bird would walk away from a source of cold, clean water. My feeling is that if they're thirsty, they'll drink until they're not.

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  152. TheChickenChick5/4/13, 11:12 PM

    There are washed sand options available at most Big Box stores, Ashlee.

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  153. Thanks for all the tips. I did some of them last year after learning off the internet. Didn't know about not giving treats in the warm weather but I like the frozen treat idea because even in upstate NY we get very hot days some summers.

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  154. Still cold here in MN, but I know the heat will arrive someday... I worry about my girls in the heat, so I appreciate the many good tips you've given here in your blog Thank you, Kathy!

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  155. As newbies to this wonderful world of chicken raising, we are so excited to receive this valuable information. Thank you sooo much!

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  156. My girls would love some. I love the heat tips.

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  157. Love the giveaways and blog, thanks!

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  158. Tammy/Our Neck of the Woods5/5/13, 8:55 AM

    Thank you so much for all the wonderful tips. You listed so many great ideas! I think this year we might get a mister. Seems like it would be very helpful. Thanks also for the giveaway; please enter me in the drawing!

    Tammy
    ourneckofthewoods.net
    tdbarani@yahoo.com

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  159. Thanks for this giveaway! As always love your info!

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  160. Hoping for Happy Hens treats :)

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  161. Valerie Gruber5/5/13, 9:08 AM

    Olllleeee!!!!

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  162. As always, a very informative post. While cold has been more of a concern for
    me than excessive heat, the occasional heatwave does hit us in the summer and
    I'm so glad you posted this. I've pinned the post so I can refresh my memory
    when the time comes. Thank you!

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  163. Really good tips- as usual!!! I know my chickens are like little kids when it comes to water- they LOVE to play in it. During the summer I would put large plant saucers (the ones that go under under the pots) in the coop and fill them with water. They LOVED it. I guess it cooled their feet and feathers or something but they couldn't get enough! :)

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  164. Great ideas! I would love to have the chance to win the hen treats. Thanks...

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