Looking after your chooks in the heat – here’s how to keep your chooks chilled in a heatwave
Summer can be a tough time for our chookies – they feel the heat too! So when the temperature climbs into the 30’s and nudges the 40’s it’s time to attend to our chooks to prevent heat stress.
As a chicken keeper it is vital that you monitor your flock for signs of heat stress as take any necessary action. But don’t wait until the middle of Summer. There are things we can do now to prepare for those scorching days that will make life more pleasant for our flock.
Chickens can’t sweat but they release body heat through their wattles, combs, and lobes. They also hold their wings out and pant to stay cool.
Chickens lay fewer eggs in hot weather because they experience heat-induced stress when temperatures climb too high.
Although feathers can insulate from the heat there are a few things you can do to help.
Cool water for the birds and the bees
- Chooks won’t drink warm water, so keep their water in the shade. On hot days drop a frozen water bottle into their trough. You can also make your own Electrolytes and add some to their water. Rocks in the water also provide a landing pad for bees to come and have a sip when they need it.
- Check and cool their water every hour if needed.
- On a very hot day I like to put a water sprinkler in their coop as well as hose over and under the trees to create a cool area in the leafy shade.
- Frozen food cools them quickly. Frozen watermelon bits, tomatoes, frozen shredded carrot, silverbeet or excess zucchini cut in half all make it easier for them in the heat of the day. Freeze your leftovers (pasta, mince, veggies) and they’ll be entertained, nourished and give you a few stars!
- Sometimes it’s just too hot and they fall over from heat stress. As an emergency measure you can give them a gentle cooling bath
- Chooks need solid shade where they can lie on the cool ground and chill. Ideally, they’ll have a tree to camp under.
- Insulate their roof, northern and western sides with shade cloth, a tarp or cover their chook-house with passionfruit, kiwifruit or other vines.
- Leave the eastern side open to the cooling sea breeze.
- Keep everything to a steady routine on a hot day. Dont feed in the middle of the day or late in the day if it is going to be hot overnight. Handle your birds as little as possible
- Anything that creates stress, like mite infestations, makes life harder in the heat. Use Super Mash monthly to reduce mites and help them be at their best. Make sure they get fresh greens every day.
Whilst a hot Summer is the most challenging time for chooks, a cold Winter and lots of rain, at any time of the year, can also pose problems….but that’s another Chat!
Super Mash is a monthly treatment to help keep chickens healthy. It’s a natural antiparasitic that contains ACV, nutrients and probiotics to boost and re-vitalise your chickens in a natural way.
Provide your flock with a monthly supplement of Super Mash with 10 ingredients that perform various functions to help keep our chooks well and producing lots of lovely eggs.
Ingredients, renowned for their health benefits include seaweed, diatomaceous earth, sulphur, milk kefir probiotics, molasses, garlic, apple cider vinegar, carrot, ag. lime & high protein bran.
So keep Super Mash up to your chooks throughout Summer.
Find out more, order online and check for a Super Mash supplier near you at https://naturalchickenhealth.com.au/
Natural Chicken Health – Super Mash is a natural feed supplement to help keep your chooks healthy all year round.
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