…is there such a thing? If you watch the news or follow The Weather Channel, you’ll know the south west has been having some record high temperatures for this time of year. We’ve been doing ok here, mostly working in the cooler hours of the morning and the evening, but the chickens – they have trouble managing through the heat. We’ve tried to do a few things to help them weather the – well – weather.
One of the best things you can do for chickens is make sure they have electrolyte water handy. They do drink it when they need it. It’s easy to make and could help you too, if you’re out working in the heat. You can mix this solution and add one cup to a gallon of water. 1 Cup Water, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, 1/8 teaspoon baking soda. When it gets REALLY hot, we’ll add it to the dogs’ water as well. For more information on electrolyte use and the effects of heat on the chickels, check out this blog post by Fresh Eggs Daily.
Another very easy thing to put together, to give them respite from the heat, is a little cooling station. Just a brick resting inside a feed bowl with water will help them stay cool. They just need to stand on it, and the cool goes up through their little feet. It works! When I first got my little banties, in Ramona, we had some weeks of majorly hot weather and I gave them this option to help them and they really used it! I’ve seen our chickens do something similar when we take the watering station out, they like to stand in the damp catch basin to cool off. Seems to keep them happy!
We have also done a few cooling off things with frozen water and frozen vegetables. We’ve been freezing water in smallish water bottles and on the really hot days, we just put the water bottle into their watering station to help keep the water cool. We also try to keep water in the shade as long as possible. For the vegetables, I don’t know if you remember me talking about all the half gone veggies that we would bring home from the Produce on Wheels Without Waste events at the church, but what we did with a lot of that was cook it down some and freeze it. So, now we can give them frozen treats on the really hot days – like a veggie Popsicle!
The final addition to the coop – the one you’ve been waiting to hear about – a mini air conditioner! Received Monday evening, and installed Tuesday morning. It served to cool the coop down well during the day. So, they have the fan and a cooler to help them out on the extreme days of heat. I’m hoping that the 110-115 days have past for a while, but I’m sure they’ll be back. In general, Sue says that they’ve been holding up in the heat pretty well. We didn’t lose any from the heat these past days, and we hope to keep that up! If we find anything else to add to our arsenal, we’ll let you know! Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!
Today’s Weather: More of the same. The high was supposed to be 96°, but I’m not sure exactly how accurate that was today; it was 95° when I got home at 2pm. We may be seeing some minor cooling over the coming days, but no rain until after the 4th of July – or so I’ve been told.
Egg Report: If you follow our Facebook Page, you saw the eggs we picked up yesterday – 11! I’m thinking that might be because the coop was quite a bit cooler due to the air conditioner – but that’s just my odd little thought. Today we received 8 eggs, so maybe my thought is on track- who knows.