Friday, June 28, 2013

It's HOT!!!

I know I'll take some ribbing for this post from fans in Texas and the south where it's much hotter.  But temperature is relative.  And when your feathered friends are used to low 70's with cool bay breezes, and then you suddenly jump 25 degrees up into the mid 90's, it's HOT!

Was only supposed to get up to 90 today but my thermometer clearly says it's warmer than that.

Something really stuck with me when I was reading about how to raise chickens, and that was whatever you do to help keep your hens cool, you must commit to it!  Meaning, if you are going to put ice in their water when it gets above 80 degrees, then you needs to commit to ALWAYS putting ice in their water when it gets above 80 degrees.  I thought this was good advice.

Chickens don't sweat.  They pant and hold their wings open to help cool themselves off.
Books and blogs offered great ideas for helping to keep your hens cool.  Offering up cool treats is always appreciated.  Especially, watery treats such as watermelon and cucumber as that will not only help cool them down but also get some extra moisture into their systems.  A mister can help bring the temperature down dramatically in one area and give the hens a cool place to lay down.  Putting ice in their water is a no brainer.  And some even put out a large block of ice or frozen gallon of water for the hens to lay up against.

I did invest in a cheep drugstore fan for the girls.  I have it up off the ground and clipped to the gate so they can't injure themselves on it.  And it's angled to blow right under their house where it's coolest. 
I saw such a quick improvement in their disposition after a half hour w/ the fan on that I went and found our holiday light timer and put the fan on a timer so it will automatically come on at noon and go off around 7pm over the next 5 days of this heat.
Here are the hens hiding under their house.  Too bad you can't see their feathers ruffling in the fan breeze.  They were terrified of the fan at first and all went and stood in the sun.  I coaxed them back under the house with some oatmeal.
Poor Coco has to lay an egg.  I opened up all the doors too the coop and she's getting a bit of the fan breeze to help keep her cool.  One of the Andalusians, laid her egg out in the run this morning and they ate it.  Grrrrr....  Let's hope that was just a mistake in judgement from the heat and not a pattern of bad behavior I'm going to need to address. 
 The good news is that the temperature should cool off into the low 60's at night giving them a break from the heat and a relatively cool morning before the sun can warm things back up.


  1. That's one problem we don't have here. It rarely gets over 70 and this summer we haven't had any hot days yet. last summer was wet all summer and this summer has been cool or even cold! It's slipping by and we are still waiting for some sun. But on the positive side, I never need to worry about the chooks over heating. Well done for making your girls so comfortable.

  2. Thanks Carol. They seem to be weathering it just fine. They FREAKED when the fan came on today. I went out there to a huge cloud of dust and they were all standing out in the hot sun so it must have spooked them. Hopefully, they get used to it. They came right back and are under the house.

    I just put a block of ice out in front of the fan to try and blow some cooler air on them. I'm not sure that's really doing any good but I feel better about it. I think just the fan is helping.

  3. They do get so easily spooked and always distrust anything new! After having a moan about our weather we had our first hot day yesterday and it felt like summer at last. It's supposed to last for a week so I will make the most of it. I am always fascinated to compare our weather.

  4. Hopefully the girls will settle down and appreciate the fan and keep cool.

  5. Your heat has hit the New England- last five days 90's and above. I have given the three ladies lots if yogurt, watermelon, and lettuce. The two new ladies just get a shady spot and some most from the sprinkler