Keep your chickens cool in hot weather? It seems like something you shouldn’t have to do – normal birds can control their heat right? But you do. Since they are your livestock, and your means of finance, and your way of eating, it’s probably pretty smart to keep them healthy, comfortable and alive.
We’re in Southern Ontario, and I know you’re probably thinking, it doesn’t get hot here…. well it does!! It felt like 44 the other day for a couple days. Not only were we sweaty, but our chickens were too. Chickens don’t perspire the same way we do though, they sweat like a dog would – by panting.
Signs Your Chicken is Overheating
• Sitting with wings spread out
• Digging in the ground to cool down
• Less active
• Pale combs and waddles
Ways to Keep Your Chicken Cool
This one is a no-brainer, everyone likes a cold drink on a hot day. We filled up our chicken’s water like normal, and added ice to it. It melted pretty quick, but it keeps the water ice cold! We have 5-gallon buckets and put in 1 bag of ice.
This one is pretty fun, and it works really well. It’s just like a kid in a sprinkler. We have been using the mist option of the hose and spraying them down. They’re body temperature drops, and the colouring in their combs and waddles turns back to bright red. We like to get them pretty wet.
If you have access to shade, give your birds shade! Ours are in a chicken tractor, so they already get shade, but it was so hot, that we moved them under the trees. This is one of the best ways to keep your birds cool because the temperature in the shade is considerably lower!!
We are lucky, all but 1 of our 95 birds survived the heatwave. Have any other suggestions? Let me know in the comments! Also if you don’t have chickens, read this.