How to Keep Chickens Cool in Summer — Chickens In A Minute Video

Learn How to Keep Chickens Cool in Summer Heat

With summer heat upon us, it’s important to remember that high temperatures can be harder on a flock than the cold temperatures of winter. The effects of heat are cumulative and can be enhanced by high humidity so be sure to keep vigilant during heat spells. A temperature of 80 degrees with high humidity can bring on heat-related problems.

Keeping your chickens cool in summer is a must do. There’s nothing we can do to stop the heat, but we can help our chickens beat the heat.

First, it’s important to know how chickens cool themselves. Do chickens sweat? Nope. Instead, they spread their wings and lift their feathers to let heat escape. Chickens will start to pant when the temperature reaches 85 degrees. They can also vibrate their throat muscles which allows warm moisture to evaporate.

In hot weather, chickens that are free ranging look for an undisturbed shady, cool spot to rest. We can provide these spaces through garden plantings, awnings, umbrellas, whatever it takes.

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Water is crucial during summer’s heat. Adding more waterers, keeping them filled and locating them in shady spots is helpful. Adding some ice to the water hits the spot, just be sure not to add too much. We don’t want to shock our chickens with frigid water, just cool them off a little. Consider adding a shallow pool of water where your chickens can stand. This helps keep them cool.

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During hot weather, it’s best not to keep chickens inside a hot coop. The inside of a coop can be much hotter than outside and more intense. If you’re considering where to place your coop, keep summer’s heat in mind. Locate your coop where there is relief through shade; such as the edge of a tree line. When your chickens do go inside at night to roost, make sure the coop is well ventilated by leaving windows open and having a fan running to increase air movement.

Be sure to check on your chickens often during the summer heat. If you have kids, be sure they don’t run around and try to play with them. Increased activity equals increased body heat. Keeping your birds comfortable and undisturbed will help them avoid heat stress and enjoy the summer.

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Comments
  • Joe P.

    I keep all my poultry cool with a 12 volt solar powered fan; use in a shaded area from 1400 (2:00 PM) to near sundown. Soft eggs are usually the result of insufficient Calcium at least once a week for free range birds.

    Reply
  • A friend suggested giving my featherkids Gatorade. It’s cheaper than the packaged electrolytes you get at the feed store and they love the taste. Especially the berry flavors!

    Reply
  • They can vibrate throat muscles which lets warm moisture evaporate. Fabulous, I just heard one of my girls do this today in the heat and was concerned it could be an infectious issue. So glad I read this article ! THANK YOU.

    Reply
  • My Rhode Island Red chickens’ fenced garden is on the north side of my home and there are dozens of large Rose of Sharon plants so they get plenty of shade. I feed them ice cold watermelons slices, ice cold tomatoes and ice cold corn cobs (my wife and I eat the corn) when it is extremely hot like the weather is now in the Kansas. I put several wood blocks to raise the roof on the side opposite the continuous hinge so they get more ventilation in their house; I have a screen door to let in air that my girls push open in the morning when they want out of their house and I have small hard metal vents on their house to let air in. They so far have not shown any signs of heat problems. I also insulated the roof on their house to keep in cooler when the sun hits it since my home is at a angle which lets the sun hit it late in the afternoon. The insulation in winter keeps the heat in.
    If they show any signs of having problems with the heat I plan to move my 3 girls into my air conditioned home to cool them off. I am retired so I check on my girls at least 7 times a day. So far they still want to chase a ball filled with meal worms everyday, when I cannot stand the heat I do not supervise the ball game I just give them meal worms.
    They must still be healthy because when they see me they will run and try to fly to get to me. I have one girl when she wants my attention that will peck at my pants. I love my girls, they are a lot of fun..

    Reply
  • Large pot saucers filled with water, placed in the shade, allow chickens to cool by standing in them. I have one for each chicken as they frequently are all being used. They will spend long periods of time standing in them.

    Reply

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How to Keep Chickens Cool in Summer — Chickens In A Minute Video

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