Newsgallina ornamentale padovana con occhiali da sole

Managing a chicken coop during the summer can be challenging, especially if you live in an area with high temperatures. Chickens can show signs of overheating, so it’s important to take the right precautions.

Chickens have a different physiology than humans: their body temperature is around 40°C, their heart beats between 280 and 315 times per minute, and they can’t sweat to cool down. You may notice them spreading their wings and panting with their beaks open to lower their body temperature.

However, if the temperature continues to rise, these strategies won’t be effective, and the animals may suffer from heatstroke, especially those with a high fat content like meat chickens. It’s our responsibility to help the chickens avoid the discomfort caused by summer heat.

Here are 10 practical tips for effectively managing your chicken coop during the summer and ensuring a tolerable environment for our animals.

  1. Provide shaded areas: Creating shaded areas in the chicken coop is crucial. Animals will appreciate a cool place to take shelter during the hottest hours of the day. You can use a wooden shelter or dense bushes as a refuge.
  2. Supply fresh and clean water: Pay close attention to the water provided for the chickens. Place the waterers in a shaded corner, preferably facing north, and change the water regularly to prevent it from overheating. In cases of exceptional heat, you can add ice cubes to the water.
  3. Offer fiber-rich food: Feed the chickens with fiber-rich foods such as bran, apples, pears, cabbage, and fennel. These foods will make them eat less and drink more, contributing to their hydration.
  4. Limit corn and high-water-content foods: Avoid giving the chickens too much corn as it takes time to digest and can contribute to overheating. Similarly, avoid giving them foods with high water content such as melons or watermelons, which may cause digestive issues.
  5. Add supplements: During the hottest periods of the year, you can add electrolytes, probiotics, and vitamin B to the chickens’ feed. Also, add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to every 3 liters of water to promote hydration.
  6. Provide a bathing water tub: Chickens will appreciate a shallow water tub where they can wet their feet or immerse themselves to cool down. You can also gently spray the animals with water using a sprayer.
  7. Offer spaces for dust baths: Chickens love taking dust baths to get rid of external parasites. Place the designated area for dust baths under shaded bushes so that the animals can cool down during the activity.
  8. Avoid overcrowding: Do not overcrowd the chicken coop during the summer. Excessive animal presence can increase activity and overheating.
  9. Keep the coop clean: Regularly remove litter and feces from the chicken coop. Flies can quickly infest the coop during the summer. Pay attention to red mites (Dermanyssus), which can become a problem during the hot months. Take prompt action to prevent infestations and avoid complications.
  10. Offer an ice block to the chickens: Slice or cube zucchini, cabbage, onions, apples, plums, and other fruits. Put them in an ice cream container and fill it with water. Place the container in the freezer for a day, and then offer the ice block with the fruit and vegetables inside to your chickens. They will happily peck at it and cool down with this tasty solution.

We recommend using trough feeders and siphon drinkers that are always kept in the shade.
Below is the link to these products:

Hopper feeders
Siphon drinkers