Australian summers can be quite unrelenting. When we humans start to sweat, we flock to the beach, sip on fresh juices and rely on our giver of life - air conditioning. But what about our feathered friends? How can we help them beat the heat in the coop and out-and-about while they forage?
If your chickens are having trouble adjusting to the heat, they will display a number of behaviours that indicates they’re feeling a little over done. These include:
- panting (not in the same way that your dog does - rather they will open their mouths, and appear as though they're trying to intake more air)
- holding their wings away from their body
- looking lethargic and droopy
- increased thirst
Chilled watermelon, tomatoes, and frozen ice treats are great for spoiling your chickens on particularly hot days- keeping them cool, entertained and their tummies full! Try freezing some berries and herbs into ice cubes, or tossing them some delicious chilled watermelon. It will ensure they’re well fed and cool while they forage behind their poultry fencing.
2. Hydration is key
Your chickens must always have access to cool, fresh water - especially in summer. Staying well hydrated is the best way for your flock to beat the heat. If they’re looking a little droopy, you can add some electrolytes to their water to help quench their thirst.
3. A light sprinkle of water
You know how refreshing it is to feel cool droplets of water on your face when the temperature is soaring. Well, your chickens will love it just as much as you do. If the flock is feeling the heat, grab a mister and give them a light spray of water in their coop run - it’ll give them some much needed relief.
4. A refreshing bath
Sometimes our chickens might need a bit more cool relief than a light sprinkle - a quick dip in some soothing water is perfect for some extra hot chicks. Gently hold them, and dip into a large bucket of cool, fresh water.
5. Put frozen bottles of water near the nesting boxes
Your chickens won’t be very motivated to lay in their nesting boxes when it’s hot, no matter how comfortable the boxes are. Putting some bottles of frozen water near the front of the nesting boxes gives them a bit of relief while they’re working hard and producing a delicious egg (it’s like their own private air conditioning!)
Keeping the flock cool in summer is important, so they stay healthy and happy. One of the best ways to ensure your flock stays breezy is to have a well ventilated coop that keeps itself cool in summer, and warm in winter. All of our coops have been designed with optimal ventilation in mind - our Taj Mahal, Penthouse and Mansion will protect your chickens from the harsh Australian weather (you might even want to jump in and join them!)
BONUS TIP! Try tempting your ladies with some cool watermelon or yogurt! Adding cool and hydrating treats to their feeder every day will keep them stress-free and happy!