As we continue to endure this heat wave across New England, I have received many tips and suggestions on keeping the flock cool and not stressed from the soaring temperature and humidity. I have, created a day spa for the chickens. There are many options for them to keep cool and hydrated. Today, I thought that I would share some of those with you. Also, please be sure to check out Beat the Heat for other suggestions and ideas as well.
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.