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Chickens - Hot Weather Protection

Posts: 618
Location: Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
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Today (Saturday) is a hot one - 30 C at 9am inside the house, at 11am it was 44 C (111F) in the shade outside. About 40% humidity.

One of my Light Sussex decided to lay in the sun and promptly got heat stressed. Picked her up, placed in the shade on wet soil and showered her in cool water.

Went inside to Google the safest way to lower her body temperature but by the time I returned about five minutes later she'd died. Not good weather to dig a hole in clay soil!

Frankly, compared to the Australorps, the other breeds are low grade morons - the Lorps are always in the shade, keeping it laid-back. The other Light Sussex was running around in the sun too! The Wyandotte's are quite happy to follow the Lorps, but they tend to be flighty buggers even in hot weather.

So, made some ice cubes and put them in their drinking water.

Had some old ice-pops in the freezer, threw them down and they actually ate them like regular feed - see photo.

Hard to keep human and beast cool in these temps.

So, no real lesson learnt other than the self-preservation level of some animals is non-existent.

Will need to hose down their yard so it's cooler tonight.

P.s. Birds won't normally drink warm water, it needs to be cool.

chickens eating under tree shade
Posts: 197
Location: NorCal
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I live in California and put tarps up on parts of the coop to provide more shade.  On very hot days I don't let them out of the coop. I have a box fan that blows into the coop.  On days over 100 I will turn on misters.  The chickens aren't fond of the misters, but I haven't lost a chicken to the heat since.  My coop is 5 feet wide, by about 15 to 20 feet long( I haven't measured the length) and 10 feet high, so the misters cool the space, but the chickens don't really get wet.  I also put containers in the freezer to make large chunks of ice to put in the water, so it will last a while.  Good luck to you I had one of my chickens die from the heat once and I felt very bad about it.  Some times I think chickens are smarter than they get credit for, and other times I think maybe not.
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