Did you welcome a new flock of chicks to your family this spring? Chickens are a fun addition to the farmyard and are surprisingly easy to care for. Yet, as the temperatures rise, our chickens require additional considerations in order to thrive. As we enter the summer months, refer to these tips and tricks on how to keep your chickens cool during the hot summer weather.
- Adequate Ventilation: Make sure that your coop has air flowing freely through it. While you want to keep your chickens safe from predators, airflow can be achieved by installing wire mesh or hardware cloth. In extreme weather, a fan can be added to increase the airflow for your birds to keep their chicken coop temperature low.
- Provide Shade: Give your chickens shade, both inside and outside of the coop. In the run, shade can be achieved by hanging a tarp or a heavy cloth to block the sun.
- More Space: While it is always important to avoid overcrowding, it is especially important during the summer months so that the chickens are able to utilize their internal cooling mechanisms.
- Hydration is Key: Having fresh, clean water is imperative for the health of your chickens year-round, but it is especially important during the hot summer months. Consider hanging your waterer to prevent the chickens from making it dirty. If you have a large flock, it may make sense to have more than one watering station available.
- Dry Bedding: Wet bedding can make the conditions seem hotter than they are, especially on humid days. Utilize straw chicken bedding, such as Koop Clean Chicken Bedding, to wick moisture away from your chickens and keep them dry, cool, and comfortable.
- Frozen Treats: Giving your chickens frozen treats can be a great way to help them control their internal temperatures. Many chicken keepers find that their chickens love it when they freeze their favorite foods into a block of ice, giving them a cool toy to peck at. Some chickens love a handful of frozen corn thrown into their run as well – a cool and refreshing treat!