Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Dealing With Summer Heat....Helping Your Flock Through Those Hot Days of Summer

Here in the central valley, we are gearing up for a whopping summer which includes many days of temps over 100 degrees! If you missed my chicken class about keeping chickens cool, here are some things you can do today that will help your chickens survive as the temps get hotter this summer:

  • DON'T WAIT....get the water bottles in the freezer so you'll be able to alternate (have one extra that is freezing while the other one is being used). Use the frozen bottles of water to give the chickens something cool to stay near when needed. Make sure your chickens have shade, and have a box fan ready to turn on to keep the air flowing (a timer works great).
  • DON'T FEED....hold back on the feed until either the late evening or early morning hours when its cooler. Avoid all scratch or corn when it's in the 90's or higher. Carbs create more body heat when digested, so help your feathered friends during the heat wave by staying away from the snacks.
  • COOL DRINKING WATER...is a necessity. Change the water in your waterers frequently and use cool, fresh water with electrolytes or baking soda (1/4th cup per gallon) to help increase the blood pH "buffer" of your flock when they are at risk for heat stress.
  • WATCH....for signs of heat stress in your flock. They will naturally start moving less, drinking more, holding their wings from their body, and panting. A normal chicken's body temp runs around 106 degrees, and they do not have sweat glands - so when the air temps increase they have a tough time regulating their own body temp. Do what you can to help them keep cool using what I've suggested above - before their temps reach dangerous levels (if their core body temp reaches 115 degrees, they will likely die). 


Here is the original article on my Face Book page:


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