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In the sweltering summer heat it can be hard to figure out how to cool yourself off, let alone your chickens. However, with these great tips for keeping your chickens cool this summer, you’ll have a happy, productive, and cooled flock in no time.
I don’t know how it happened, but we went straight from having ice on the air conditioner to 90+ degrees in about five seconds. It seems like just a few short weeks ago we were all complaining about how cold it was and it went to the other extreme… quickly.
I wish I were exaggerating, but it seems… I’m not. It went from perpetual winter to the hottest place on Earth in 2.3 hours. Really, it did.
It’s also been so dry here, and while I know my neighbors to the south are praying for a dry day… we’ve been praying, unsuccessfully for rain for weeks. Every time they say it’s going to rain, we get maybe a drop, or we get absolutely nothing at all. Today, we’re finally getting some relief in the precipitation department but it is still hot as hades outside.
The poor chickens are outside in this heat all day. No a/c to take reprieve from the blistering heat for our feathered friends. They’re stuck outside dealing with the heat all day long, no matter what.
I feel so badly for them! You can just see the heat bothering them. I can’t just stand by and watch them suffer in the heat if I can help them, so help them I did. Besides, if this weather is any indication of how the rest of the summer is going to be, they’re going to burn up if I don’t help them!
So, if you’re looking for some ways to keep your flock cool this summer… I’ve come up with a few to help you and your backyard feathered friends out.
10 Brilliant Tips for Keeping Chickens Cool this Summer
1. Mint & Berry Ice Cubes
Peppermint is a naturally cooling herb and while chickens aren’t going to actually taste it… it does help keep them calm which results in a less hot chicken. Berries are a chickens best friend and ice on a hot day? I’ll take it, I’m sure they will, too.
Simply chop up some fresh mint leaves and some berries of your choice. Throw a bit of it in an ice cube tray and fill each cube with water. Allow to freeze. Then, I toss them into a bowl so they can enjoy pecking at the frozen treat (and they do, too).
2. Frozen Fruit Treat
Chickens love fruit. Mine especially love watermelon. To give them a nice frozen treat, just take a bit of fruit and let it freeze. Watermelon, berries, apples, bananas, anything they might enjoy. Once it’s frozen, go ahead and toss it out there for them to enjoy. They’ll thank you for it!
3. Freeze a Can Veggies
Peas are definitely a duck favorite, but the chickens like them as well. Corn is more appreciated amongst chickens, but breaking down corn also heats them up. So… it’s kind of a toss up. To do this, I just take a can of vegetables, pour a bit into several muffin tins and allow it to freeze. Once frozen, I place the pucks of frozen fare outside for them to enjoy. They love the treat, for sure.
4. Mist Them with Water
Water misters are so cool. I remember years ago when we went to an amusement park the absolute reprieve we felt when we finally got to a point in the line where the water mister was. Pure heaven is what it was. So much cooler than all the rest of the line. It actually makes it cooler than it is in the shade. If you don’t have any shade, this is a great option and you probably already have a mister if you have a multi-setting hose. Just turn it to mist and put it in an area and leave it on. They’ll really enjoy it as it doesn’t really get them wet, but allows them to cool down.
5. Get a Kiddie Pool
Our ducks absolutely love their kiddie pool. My chickens haven’t ever really shown an interest in it, though I’ve heard some say that their chickens will instantly flock toward any source of coolness in the summer heat. Maybe my birds like to suffer unnecessarily…. The ducks, however, this is their favorite thing in the world. They love jumping in the pool and splashing around to get cooled off.
Most coop designs don’t allow for shade, but if there’s any way you can provide them with some, they’ll likely love you forever. From something as simple as a dining umbrella, to an actual porch (what we decided to go with) the shade will provide some much needed and much appreciated reprieve from the blistering heat this summer.
7. Keep the Coop Clean
In the hot summer months you need to be removing the poop from the coop frequently, possibly even daily. Why? Because it begins to break down and once the decomposing material begins breaking down, it creates heat… a lot of it, and quickly.
It pays to keep your coop fresh and clean during the warm months for more than just keeping the flock cool, too. It also helps cut down on flies and the pungent odor of ammonia. At least clean it up weekly and scoop the overly soiled stuff out every few days. Your flock and your nose will thank you.
Make sure your flock has plenty of ventilation at all times, but this is especially important in the sweltering heat. You can even install a fan in your coop if the design and space allows. Anything to improve air flow is going to help keep it cooler inside. We leave the windows in our coop open nearly all summer unless it’s raining cats and dogs and they can’t be left open.
9. Add Electrolytes and Ice
Electrolytes are a great way to keep you chickens hydrated, which keeps them cooler, and ice is just a nice added benefit. Adding electrolytes and some ice cubes to their water will really help keep the flock cooler and happier.
10. Add some Coolers
Freeze some water bottles and place them in their nesting boxes and in and around the coop so they can lean, lay, or whatever they choose, against them to get a little bit of relief from the heat. They’ll really enjoy it!
How do you help your flock stay cool in the sweltering heat?