Ruffled Feathers

July 22, 2011

Today the thermometer reached 100 degrees F with very high humidity.  It was difficult to breathe and the weather service issued an air quality warning.  As we were inside with the air conditioning on today, I could not help and feel so terribly bad for the girls outside.

Early this morning, I removed the plexiglass from every possible window in the coop to allow a breeze to get inside.  Unfortunately, there was no breeze.  The air was thick.  It was like a hot, suffocating, heavy, wet blanket.  The chickens could not escape.  Despite being in the shade under trees, it was sweltering.

I hosed down the run, added fresh ice water to the waterers and filled the treat ball and run with sliced cool cucumbers and chilly tomatoes.  The girls were not showing any signs of stress from the heat except for Oyster Cracker who was inside the coop, laying an egg, panting like a dog.  All the while I did these easy tasks, I was breaking a terrible sweat.  Even though I had been outside doing small work with little effort, the beads of sweat were pouring down my cheeks!  That was it, I had to do something more before the kids and I escaped to the sandy beach and the refreshing ocean.

I went inside and retrieved a fan.  I ran an extension cord to the run.  Instantly, the girls were taking turns being chicken versions of  Marilyn Monroe, with their “skirts” being blown in the air.  It was too funny, especially when the feathers were blown every which way all at the same time!  One by one they enjoyed the fan.  Some ran through the fan’s path while other took their sweet old time.  I was entertained and at least there was a breeze now.

When arrived home from the beach, I gave Oyster Cracker what seems to be her weekly backside bath and returned her to the run to let her air dry.  Then, I refreshed the waterers and gave them another tomato and some carrots from the refrigerator.

The fan really seemed to work today.  The girls were not panting and their combs were bright red along with their wattles.  I think they enjoyed the cool breeze and the intentional ruffling of their feathers.



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10 thoughts on “Ruffled Feathers”

  1. That is a great idea! I think I will do that for my girls tomorrow. I felt so bad for them today, so I put in the run 2 pans of shallow cold water, and they loved it. They waded in it all day (I had to change the water often). They reminded me of little old ladies wading in the beach at the ocean. 🙂

  2. I had to do the same thing, and wait till the eggs came out so they didn't boil in the nests. Now I have a couple setters and they sit in there panting away for nothing. I have a neighbor who comes over with her watermelon rinds and they just love it. 8^)

  3. Thank you Deb! Would love to know how your girls enjoy your spa! Keep me posted.

    Pattie, oh my goodness, isn't it amazing that even in this heat they still have a one track mind….babies!!! Goodness, how sweet of your neighbor. Chickens really bring people togethers 😉

  4. Great idea with the fan! During the heat spell, we sprayed the coop, gave them frozen treats, etc. ~ but they were all still panting. The fan would have worked wonderfully, I think. Next time, we'll make them all Marilyn Monroes. 🙂 Thanks for the idea.


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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.