The Heat is On
September 15, 2019
Here in Texas it gets very hot. The poor chickens pant all day and egg production is low. We have had to try and be creative with ways to keep them cooler.
The Legbar pen is in the sun and the only shade is in the coop itself. So we ended up purchasing a mister and a timer to go with it. I have set the timer to start at 10 am and run for 10 minutes. Then it is to run every two hours for 10 minutes misting the coop and lowering the temp a bit. In the evening when I lock everybody up I pull the mister out of the coop and turn the water off.
In addition to the mister in the Legbar pen we are also putting 2 liter bottles of frozen water in several places on the ground. The chickens will lay on them and up against them. I also find them standing on them to cool off.
In the other runs we are putting out pans and keeping them filled with water. Not only do the chickens drink from them but they spend quite a bit of time standing in the water. I think standing even in warmed water it cools the birds down. Some days you will even see the birds laying down in the water.
In the breeding pens we have a fan blowing across two of the pens. I don't like having to run an extension cord across the yard, but at least it is keeping the air moving in their coop. During the early morning and evening hours the chickens get out in the run to scratch around and will dig down into the dirt. We hose these areas down as well so the dirt is damp and cool for them.
For the littles growing out before heading to the bigger pens, I have been adding a frozen water bottle to their water reservoir. These also get shallow pans of water so they too can cool off in the water if needed.
Even with all the work we are putting into keeping the chickens cool, the heat this year has taken its toll. I have lost about a dozen birds this summer even with all the extra tings we were doing to keep them cool.
Though I love summer, by this time of year I am ready to see some cooler temps.