How to keep chickens cool in summer
Wondering how to keep your chickens cool in summer? The longer, warmer days are upon us, and pretty soon your hens will start feeling the heat. Overheating and heat stress are real concerns this time of year. We’ve compiled tips and tricks to help you combat the heat and keep your hens safe this season.
Keep your chickens’ coop cool
Keeping your chickens’ coop cool by moving it into a shady spot in your backyard is one of the best ways to keep them cool. This could be under a tree or on a side of your house that doesn’t get as much sun. The Eglu chicken coops are so easy to move that you can effortlessly relocate your backyard flock as the sun moves. Omlet coops also utilize draft-free ventilation to help to keep your hens cool.
Change the water at least once a day
Your chickens will drink more in summer in an effort to stay hydrated. To keep their water fresh and cool, change the water in your flock’s chicken drinker at least once a day during the hot summer months. Place the drinker in a cool, shady spot in the run to help keep algae levels and water temperature down. Try adding ice cubes to their waterer several times a day during especially hot days.
What to feed chickens in summer
Dried corn and grains take longer to digest than pellets or fresh food, which increases your hens’ metabolism and heats their bodies. Chickens will not need to eat as much in hot weather, but your backyard will be full of bugs and vegetation this time of year when they feel the need to eat.
Try these tasty treats
Frozen treats are a great way to cool your hens down during the summer months. Frozen corn, peas, berries, and melon are nutritious and refreshing snack offerings for your flock. Check out this summer recipe for Frozen Berry and Crumble Molds for a refreshing summer snack. You can also serve chopped watermelon pieces in your Caddi Treat Holder for a tasty, hydrating treat.
Watch your chickens closely
Hens can overheat quickly in hot weather, so it’s important to not leave them unattended for more than a few hours a day. Summer is usually a time for families to travel, but be sure to get a chicken sitter for your flock when you go out of town. Your flock will be drinking a lot more water as the weather heats up, so refreshing their water at least every 8-10 hours is a necessity to keep it fresh and cool.
In the warmer weather, it’s especially important to watch for signs of heat stress. Keep an eye out for signs of overheating, like:
- Open mouth panting
- Loss of appetite
- Droopy appearance or uncoordinated movements
Any overheated hens should be removed from the coop and placed in a cooler area. Don’t cool your chicken down too quickly, as they can go into shock. Call your veterinarian about any severely dehydrated or overheated hens.
Cover their run, but not completely
Covering your chicken run might seem like a good idea to create a shady spot, but if you don’t let air circulate, it’s likely to become a balmy tunnel of warm air. It’s important to have ventilation so that fresh air can move around. Cover part of your flock’s run to offer a shady area, but be sure to leave plenty of uncovered space for breezes. Our green chicken run covers block the sun to give your hens ample shade in their run.
Our Eglu chicken coops’ ingeniously designed ventilation system allows air to circulate in the coop at all times — keeping it cool and fresh even on the hottest days. This method works much better than wooden chicken coops.
Interaction with the chickens might lead to more movement for them, which increases their body temperature. If you want to spend time with your chickens or need to pick them up for health checks, plan to do so early in the morning or late at night when it’s cooler.
All chickens are different
Some chicken breeds aren’t as heat-hardy and will need additional support in the summer months. Keep a close eye on breeds like Polish or Silkies in the heat, as their head plumage can prevent them from seeing water sources easily. Keep plenty of water at multiple levels around the run to ensure your hens always have access to fresh water.
Can chickens get wet in summer?
Chickens don’t mind a light sprinkle, but saturated feathers can be dangerous. Wet feathers get weighed down and don’t allow for airflow. Hens will fluff out their feathers to create a layer of insulation against both the heat and cold — much like the technology that our Eglu coops employ. Don’t hose your hens down in the heat, but instead offer ice packs in their coop or nesting areas for them to lay next to.
Do chickens stop laying eggs in summer?
You’ll probably get fewer eggs than normal during the warmest weeks of the year. This is completely normal — chickens won’t lay as much when they are hot, and some may go broody and stop laying completely. Although the eggs won’t go bad if you leave them in the nest box of an Eglu for a day, eggs in the nest can encourage broodiness and result in egg eating. It’s a good habit to collect all eggs daily.
Should I clean my coop more in summer?
It’s always important to keep the coop nice and clean for your hens, but even more so in summer. Parasites and pests are more prevalent when it’s warmer, but make sure to use a chicken-safe disinfectant and dust roosting bars with parasite powder to keep pests at bay. Eglu chicken coops can be cleaned quickly and easily to diminish the presence of parasites. Simply pressure wash and dry with a clean rag to have a sparkling clean, mite-free coop in minutes. Unless you have hens with an active mite infestation, Eglu chicken coops do not need to be treated for mites. If cleaned daily, the smooth plastic design of our Eglu chicken coops does not offer a hospitable environment for mites.
Keep chickens cool with Omlet
Make sure that your chickens are well-equipped for any season with Omlet’s range of chicken products. Keep frozen treats in our chicken treat dispensers to make summer days more bearable, and offer shady spots with chicken run covers. With our expertly crafted chicken products, your flock will be safe and comfortable all year round.
This entry was posted in Chickens
3 replies on “How to keep chickens cool in summer”
I have one chicken out of 6 that is laying soft eggs and eats them
I take out the dropping tray (and leave it out). I patched up the hole with an extra panel I had and wire. Then I put leaves under the roosting area, and add more as needed. Now they are pooping directly on the leaf pile, which I rake out every week or so. (compost). Now the air is circulating from underneath which I hope keeps them cooler in these hot Southern nights.
When I was a child, our beautiful rooster over-heated in 100 degree summer weather. My mother scooped him up & we made a beeline for the local vet’s office. His advice was simple: when a bird becomes prone to heat, place wet paper towels under both wings & change them out every few minutes until he/she begins to walk around again. Now, I keep a stand mister, hooked up to garden hose, running in shady lawn area for my free range flock & a commercial-grade fan running in our wooden coop for egg layers & night-time roosting to provide better air flow.