Caring for Your Chickens in Hot Weather

Did you know that chickens have a higher body temperature than humans? As a result, they will almost always feel increases in heat faster than we do, which means that they can really suffer on hot summer days. So how can you ensure that your chickens stay healthy and cool all summer long? Follow a few simple tips.

Provide Cool Water and Shade

Chickens will naturally gravitate toward shady areas to stay cool on hot days. Provide yours with plenty of shade, and put their water in the shade, as well. Basically, if the water is out in the sun or far away from where they’re hanging out to beat the heat, they’re not going to go get it, and they’re going to get dehydrated. So maximize shade and make sure there’s water there, too.

Scatter Frozen Veggies and Juicy Fruit in the Chicken Yard

Fresh fruits and vegetables are attractive to chickens, but frozen veggies, like peas and baby carrots, are also good pecking food, as well. If you have any old frozen vegetables in your freezer that are freezer burned and unappetizing to you, just open them up and throw them to your chickens. They’ll love them!

Do You Have a Dust Bath?

Chickens also cook off by taking dust baths. So, if you don’t have one already, provide an area without any water or grass, where your chickens can roll around in the dirt. Don’t be surprised if a shallow pit starts to form – that’s just from your chickens wallowing around and rubbing in the dirt until they get down to the cooler soil under the top layer.

These three simple tips can go a long way toward keeping your chickens healthy, hydrated, cool, and well fed this summer. Try out one or all of them today and see how well they work.

Sources:
http://hencam.com/faq/hot-weather-care/
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/04/beat-heat-helping-chickens-survive-high.html
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-to-care-for-chickens-in-the-hot-summer-months

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