Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hot Chicks in the Country...keeping them cool

Ok...I will admit it.  I sing to my chickens. Especially in this hot weather.  When no one is looking, I have been known to make up my own lyrics to songs.  I am not proud.  Some are good, some not so much.

As of late, it is hot... when it is hot one song comes to mind.  I don't know why and again I am not proud...I make up my own words and sing it to my chickens.  They are pretty indifferent at this point to my singing.

Anywho...I digress.  It is going to be hot here tomorrow, in the mid 90's. We have 40 Cornish Roasters ready to go to the butcher on Sunday. One more hot day to get them through.  Our hens are not as bothered by the heat but our meat birds are another story.  They are just not able to with stand the heat.

Last year, some of you may recall the sad day for our coop when we lost 5 chickens in the heat.  There are some very simple things you can do to keep your chickens cool.

#1 We have a tin roof on our coop.  We run a sprinkler all day in the heat.  It lowers the temp in there and really keeps it cooler. We also have 5 fans.  Yes it may sound like a lot, but they are needed. We have 2 in the windows and 3 stationed to keep the air moving.  Putting frozen blocks in the waters helps too and with the fans blowing around the waters, cool air radiates off the waters and circulates.

#2 See the lawn mower? Fresh cut grass in piles for our hens is a favorite and seems to be cooling for them. We also give them lots of fruits and veggies including watermelon and cucumbers.  These keep up with hydration.

#3 We give the meat birds a water supplement. Either broiler booster or quick chick from McMurry's Hatchery.  I found a recipe for a home made solution I plan to try.  I will let you know. These supplements have the little extra the birds need in the stress of the heat. I will also give some to my hens.

#4 Lastly we are ready for emergency response. We have the three buckets ready by the coop in the event that any of the birds need cooling.  A bird can die so quickly from heat and be saved from the heat just as quick.  If you have a bird in distress, dip them in water to cool them down.  You will be amazed how quickly they will respond and recover.  There is more detail in this post about cooling your chickens and keeping them safe while doing so.

Stay cool...all you hot chicks!