7 Tips on how to help your backyard chickens with the Summer heat!
Here's a fun chicken fact, chickens have an average internal temperature of 105 degrees. Combine that with a thick coat of beautiful feathers it allows chickens to handle cold temperatures really well. However, chickens can struggle when temps reach over 90 degrees and stay there for extended periods of time. If you see your chickens panting, they're letting you know they're hot!
Excessive heat in backyard chickens can lead to reduced egg production. It can also lead to heat stress.
What's a backyard chicken owner to do? Here are 7 easy tips to help your feathered friends avoid heat stress.
Tip #1: Make sure your backyard chickens are in the shade. Chickens will appreciate being 10 - 15 degrees cooler in the shade. You can add tarps over the run to provide additional shade to your flock.
Tip #2: Speaking of shade, make sure your chicken's water is in the shade too. Chickens drink twice as much water in the Summer and having access to fresh, clean water is vital to their health.
Tip #3: Freeze ice packs or dollar store plastic containers and place them in your chickens waterer. This will help keep your chicken's water nice and cool on hot days.
(Frozen ice packs in our hanging poultry drinker)
Tip #4: Add electrolytes to their water. Adding electrolytes to their water will give your backyard chickens an extra boost of vitamins. We like to offer our chickens one poultry drinker with just fresh water and another poultry drinker with electrolytes in it.
Want to use electrolytes with chickens? Watch our YouTube video to see how easy it is to add electrolytes to your chicken's water.
Tip #5: Bring out chilled blueberries, peas, strawberries or watermelon as a healthy Summer treat. Backyard chickens love this tasty summer treat! Sprinkle some CityChick DoGood Grubs over watermelon and watch your chickens go nuts!
(Watermelon makes a great Summer treat!)
Tip #6: Make sure your coop has proper ventilation. Having adequate ventilation will make sure that your coop stays cool. If you're still in the planning phase of building a chicken coop, avoid a solid black top.
Tip #7: Add a box fan to their run. If you can run an extension cord to your run, place the box fan outside of the run (so your chickens don't knock it over) and blow cool air on them. Some backyard chicken owners will have a automatic fan inside their coop to help provide extra air flow.
While we can't control how hot it gets outside, we can control how we help our chickens be more comfortable when it comes to the heat.
By Heath Ward with CityChick
Heath is a passionate backyard chicken keeper who enjoys sharing his knowledge with others. He was keeping chickens in Atlanta before backyard chickens were cool. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his flock and his two dogs.