The scorching sun…
The sticky humidity…
The hot temperatures…
Chickens natural way of keeping cool is to spread their feathers to let the heat escape. They are also smart enough to seek shade, create dust bathing areas, and drink plenty of water.
Although they do a pretty good job of keeping themselves cool, I (along with many backyard chicken keepers) tend to pamper our flock a little 😉
I implement a few things to help our ladies out in the heat of summer.
SHADE. Our ladies love to congregate under the coop. They are out of direct sunlight and a little breeze can go under the raised structure. Shade from trees or shrubbery can also provide a respite area for a flock of chickens.
DUST BATHING AREAS. Chickens love to dust bathe. It’s a way for them to spread their wings and cool off, while also killing parasites.
Any pliable ground will do – they just need to be able to scratch and pick a hole in the dirt.
COOL TREATS. A cold melon hits the spot for many of us on a hot summer day. Our ladies come-a-cluckin’ when they see me carrying melon rinds. They peck it clean and thank me by providing delicious eggs.
WATER. In the warmer months, I change back to using the galvanized water troughs for our ladies. The metal helps to keep the water cooler than the plastic ones I use in the colder months. I have two – one gets filled in the morning, the other gets filled and swapped out mid afternoon.
Without spending a lot of money, these are a few things we can do to help keep our chickens cool during the heat of summer.