Summer brings warmer temperatures, high humidity, and risks to your outdoor animals. When the temperature inside your coop rises, your chickens may need a few extra alternatives to help stay cool. Check out the following list for ways to keep your chickens cool in the summer heat.
- Lots of Water: Keeping your chickens hydrated is essential for their health. Check their watering containers more than once a day. Provide your flock with cold, freshwater to encourage drinking.
- Extra Water Containers: On sweltering and humid days, provide extra water resources. Fill up extra waterers or place a small shallow pan in your pen. If you are worried about the chickens splashing the water out of the shallow pan, place marbles large marbles in the bottom.
- Electrolytes: Add electrolyte tablets or powder to their water—the solution aids in keeping your chickens hydrated.
- Provide Shade: If your chickens are in the open pen area, provide some shade for relief. A large tarp in a corner or even a piece of plywood is an easy way to allow your chicken to find a shady area. For first-time chicken owners, consider placing your coop partially in a naturally shaded area.
- Tasty Treats: Add a few cold treats to your daily feeding to help your chickens stay cool and well-fed. Providing cold watermelon, berries, and other fruits is a tasty treat for your chickens. Freezing corn or other vegetables in ice blocks is another alternative to keep your chickens hydrated.
- Cool the Coop: Install an exhaust fan. If your coop is secure, leave the main door open early in the morning or late in the evening to allow cooler air to flow through the coop.
- Keep Chickens Calm: When chickens get overly excited, they can quickly exhaust themselves in high heat. Try to keep your coop calm. If possible, minimize your daily interactions to checking on the water supply or gathering eggs. During the hot days, keep children out of the coop.
Chickens know how to stay cool in the summer months. For example, be aware of the dirt holes your chickens dig to stay cool out in the open area. Sometimes you may only see your chickens peaking over the top. Providing a few extra resources helps keep your chickens healthy.