Hobby Farm: Ways to Keep Your Chickens Cool in the Summer Heat

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.

Feeding Chickens in the Winter Months

Winter months mean shorter days and darker, colder nights. Keeping your chickens healthy requires extra attention. Like most farm animals, chickens need extra food in the winter months. Remember to store food properly to avoid excessive moisture, not to mention rats and mice in your feed bags. Preventing mold and other bacteria is critical for the health of your chickens.

Tips for Feeding Chickens in the Winter

Healthy chickens need to stay warm and fed to be healthy in the winter months. Winterizing your coop is essential. Continue to check for any cracks or holes that may develop due to snow, ice, or wind damage. Along with adequate bedding, chickens require extra nutrients to combat the cold weather.

Give Extra Food

When feeding your chickens, provide extra food. Due to the lack of bugs, grass, and other natural nutrients, chickens need a little extra in the winter months.

Provide Treats

Chickens love treats. Adding a bit extra to their daily feeding will help keep them healthy and fit.

  • Warm Oatmeal: Fix oatmeal for your chickens.  The warm snack is perfect for a long winter day.
  • Vegetables: Leafy greens or other vegetables are a perfect treat.
  • Hang Cabbage or Lettuce: Simply run a piece of twine through a head of cabbage or lettuce and hang inside the coop. The chickens will peck at the hanging vegetables.
  • Store-Bought Blocks: Numerous feed stores stock special blocks of chicken treats. The blocks contain a variety of seeds and other nutrients just for chickens.
Chickens love vegetables.

Water

Just as important as feed, water must be readily available for your chickens. Check the water containers often. Due to the colder temperatures, ice forms quickly.

Keeping your chickens healthy and happy in the winter requires a few extra steps to your daily routine.

 

 

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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.

 

 

Daily Check List for Chicken Care

Raising chickens is a rewarding and fun experience. Not to mention you get eggs as an extra bonus. Daily chicken care is not difficult. Working in a daily routine is essential to keep your chickens safe, healthy, and happy.

Daily Chicken Care Checklist

After you build your coop and get your chickens, daily care is the next step. Consider checking on your chickens multiple times every day.

Check for Clean Water

Check water containers throughout the day. Clean water is essential for your chickens’ well-being. Keep water containers clean and free from algae buildup. Water containers may turn slimy. Rinsing out the containers regularly is important.

Clean any straw or other bedding materials away from the water container. Straw can easily prevent water from properly flowing into the container.

Check the Food Supply

In addition to water, checking the food is critical for your chickens. The amount of food depends on the size of your feed containers. Fill the containers to allow your chickens to eat freely throughout the day. Or, feed your chickens a set amount each day.

Check for Eggs

Collect eggs immediately for freshness. Make regular trips to your coop. Wash and place your chicken eggs into the refrigerator as soon as possible.

Check Your Chickens

When you are out in the coop or pen area, check your chickens overall appearance. Do they look healthy? Are they showing signs of stress? Do any of them have injuries? Observing your chickens helps prevent health issues.

Do not be afraid to check on your chickens multiple times each day Checking on your chickens ensures their overall health and well-being.

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