How to Help Chickens in the Desert, Extreme Heat & Summer
As the Summer heat approaches, we understand the challenges that come with keeping your flock healthy and laying in hot weather. At AzChickens we are passionate about helping you provide the best care for your feathered friends, no matter the climate. That's why we've put together some valuable tips and tricks for keeping your flock cool and comfortable during the hottest months of the year.
1. Shade and Ventilation: Always have deep shaded areas in your chicken coop and run. Using tarps, roofs, or natural shade from trees helps keep the temperature cool. Ventilation is also crucial to prevent heat buildup, so ensure proper airflow by keeping an open air coop or installing fans. In extreme heat an Open Air Coop. It has minimal solid walls and instead uses wire/fencing. A common example is a wire dog kennel and just add a roof. These make for an excellent home during hot weather climates.
2. Dust Baths: Dust bathing is not only a natural behavior for chickens but also helps them regulate their body temperature. Provide a designated area with loose soil or sand for your flock to enjoy their refreshing dust baths to keep healthy and clean of lice and mites.
3. Frozen Treats: Treat your chickens to some icy delights! Freeze fruits, vegetables, or even yogurt in ice cube trays and offer them as a cool and nutritious snack. Your hens will love pecking at these frozen treats to beat the heat and some entertainment too.
4. Hydration is Key: Just like us, chickens need plenty of water to stay hydrated in the heat. Make sure to provide fresh, cool water at all times and consider adding electrolytes and probiotics to their drinking water to replenish essential nutrients lost since the extreme heat zaps them from our feathered friends. We use Southland Organics Hen Helper as it combines electrolytes and probiotics in one bottle. The bettix quart size should last most flocks 1 or 2 summers. Compared to the readily available options on Amazon or at feed stores, we got 4x more electrolyte waters for 1/2 the cost of the other stores options. They were a God send when we found them. Because of the scorching heat we've had. We reached out to Southland to see if they could help our community handle the heat with our feathered friends. They graciously offered a 10% off any order with them. Just use discount code AZCHICKENS for 10% off your order at Southland Organics. Pro tip: You may also consider a second waterer to ensure your chickens always have water.
5. Timing is Everything: Consider adjusting your chicken care routine to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Feed and interact with your chickens in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler.
6. Coop Design: Consider using light-colored roofing materials and insulating your coop to minimize heat absorption. Install lots of vents to promote airflow and prevent the buildup of hot air. The open air coop design is fantastic for this.
7. Monitor for Heat Stress: Keep a close eye on your chickens for signs of heat stress, such as panting and extreme lethargy are the common indicators. If you notice any of these symptoms, be prompt to act by providing additional shade, misting the area (floor not the chicken - they cool by their underbelly and feet), or even bringing them indoors temporarily.
At AzChickens, we are committed to providing you with the knowledge and resources you need to raise happy and healthy chickens, no matter the weather. We hope these tips help you navigate some challenges of Smmer and ensure the well-being of your flock.
Stay cool and keep clucking!
AzChickens, Farm Manager