I have been getting a lot of traffic lately to this post from last summer about how I keep my chickens cool so I thought I'd put up a quick little refresher for everyone. I am not a chicken expert by any means but have come across so many great tips and tricks from other chicken owners that we have incorporated for our girls. Because it is always in the triple digits here during the summer and early fall months, we strive to keep our girls as comfortable as possible.
Our chicken essentials for summer:
- Plenty of shade. It is important that chickens have lots of shady spots to enjoy during the heat of summer and our coop and chicken yard is shaded throughout the day.
- Plenty of fresh water. Our girls have three different water sources available to them. I don't know if it's true but I have been told that chickens don't like to walk through direct sunlight on a super hot day to access water so we've got water placed in all of their favorite hangouts.
- Ventilation. Our coop has plenty of ventilation to help keep air moving. We also ran electrical to our coop last summer and installed a fan in the ceiling that is now on 24/7.
- We have 4 large terracotta plant saucers in their "chicken yard" and fill them with fresh water each morning and afternoon. The girls love to stand in them and wet their feet. We also like to freeze milk cartons and large plastic bottles with water and place them in the saucers to keep them cool.
- No scratch. I don't give the chickens any scratch treats in the summer no matter how hard they beg for it. Their bodies have to work too hard to break scratch down which causes them to heat up.
- The best investment we have made in keeping our girls comfortable is a $10 dollar portable mister from the local hardware store. It attaches to our hose and we keep it on during the hottest parts of the day in their chicken yard. The girls love it and spend the majority of the afternoon hanging out underneath the mist.
- Occasionally we'll make the girls veggie popsicles. We'll chop up leftover veggies from the garden and place them in a tupperware container filled with water. Freeze and then let them enjoy.
If you have any tried and true tips you'd like to share, please do. We're always looking for new ideas to keep the chickens happy and comfortable.