Ways to Keep Your Chickens Cool in the Summer Heat

The summer season ushers in warmer temperatures, higher humidity, and greater risks to your outdoor animals. When the temperature inside your coop rises, your chickens need alternatives to stay cool. If you are searching for ideas on ways to keep your chickens cool in the summer heat, check out the following list.

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Water: Keeping your flock hydrated is essential to their overall health. On warmer days, check their watering containers more than once. Provide your chickens with cold, fresh, drinking water to encourage staying hydrated throughout the day.

Extra Hydration Stations: On extremely hot and humid days, provide extra water resources for your chickens. Place extra watering containers in different areas inside your pen. If you do not have extra water containers, small shallow pans work.  But the pans may require extra refills throughout the day.

Electrolytes: Add electrolyte tablets or powder to their water—the solution aids in keeping your chickens hydrated. The electrolyte mix is available at different feed stores and other marketplaces.

Shady Areas: If your chickens roam an open pen area, provide shade for relief. A large tarp in a corner or even a piece of plywood is a quick fix to provide shade. If you are a first-time chicken owner or your coop is moveable, consider placing your pen in a naturally shaded area. Allowing your chickens to roam outside of their pen is another option. However, the risk of exposing your flock to predators increases.

Extra Treats: Add extra cold treats to keep your flock cool and healthy. Watermelon, berries, and other fruits are a tasty treat for your chickens. Freeze corn or other vegetables in blocks of ice. As your chickens pick at the ice to get the food, they automatically intake extra water.

Fans: Install an exhaust fan inside of your coop. 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.

Small changes on hot summer days create a healthy environment for your flock. Chickens also know how to stay cool on hot days. Be aware of small holes throughout your coop. Chickens love to lay in the dirt to find relief from the heat. Make a habit of checking on your chickens more than once on hot days.  

Preparing Your Chicken Coop for Winter

The winter season is just around the corner. Preparing your coop for the winter months is essential for the well-being of your chickens. A poorly maintained coop causes health issues for your chickens.  Consider the following tips to keep your chickens safe, happy, and healthy.

Tips for Winterizing Your Chicken Coop

During the winter months, keeping your chicken coop dry should be your primary focus. A wet, poorly maintained coop may lead to health issues or death of your chickens.

A Fresh Coop

Before the colder weather starts, clean your entire chicken coop. A thorough cleaning shows any potential problem areas inside the coop. After the cleaning, analyze your coop’s current condition.

Fix Any Potential Problem Areas

When inspecting your chicken coop, did you notice any holes or other issues? Fix holes immediately. Immediately caulk and seal any areas creating drafts. Patch all holes to prevent unwanted predators from entering your chicken coop. Even the smallest hole can create numerous problems for your chickens.

Sunlight

Install windows in your chicken coop. The windows allow the sun to shine into your coop. The added warmth from the sun helps keep the interior of the coop comfortable for your chickens.

Provide Sufficient Bedding/Nesting Material

During the winter months, add extra bedding and nesting materials to keep your chickens warm. Chickens will huddle together for heat.

Try other methods to insulate the interior of your chicken coop.

  • Add extra layers of straw on the floor help insulate the interior of your chicken coop.
  • Add 6 inches of litter to the coop’s floor for added warmth.
  • Stack strawbales around the coop for added protection.

Make Plans for Food and Water

When temperatures drop, water freezes quickly. Food has the potential to draw unwanted moisture creating ice build-up. Without sufficient water or food, your chickens will not survive the winter. Heated watering containers and extra feeding times are a necessity.

Increase Check Times

Check on your chickens more often in the winter. Going out to the coop a couple extra times a day ensures your chickens are well. Collect eggs immediately to prevent freezing. By increasing check times, the chances for problems decrease.

Chickens and other fowl are a fun addition to farm life. Preparing your coop for the winter helps decrease the possibility of any problems. Plan ahead to help get your chickens through the cold months.

 

 

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