How to Help Your Flock Beat the Heat
Welcome to June, everyone! Summer is here and we couldn’t be more excited! I’ve said this before that one of the best things about living in Minnesota is being able to experience all four seasons.
I get asked fairly often if it ever gets warm in Minnesota. The answer is yes! In fact, the temperature forecast for this week is the 80’s and 90’s! And, due to the fact that we’re the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, it’s often very humid. However, if you’ve lived through a Minnesota winter, you learn to love and appreciate the warm summer days!
However, my chickens do not share the same love for the heat that I do. In fact, most people spend a fair amount of time worrying about their flocks getting too cold in the winter. The truth is chickens can handle the cold much better than the high temps. Chickens do not have sweat glands like we do. On a hot day, you will see them with their wings out, feathers puffed up and standing in the shade. This is their way of trying to cool off. If they’re unable to cool themselves off, a chicken can suffer from heat stress.
A chicken who suffers from heat stress could have the following symptoms.
Dehydration that leads to the loss of electrolytes
Stops eating and/or drinking
Decreased egg laying
In my opinion, it’s better to be proactive than reactive on these hot days. Here’s some tips and tricks keep your birds cool in the heat:
Put 1 or 2 bowls of cool water out so your chickens can dip their legs and beaks in it to cool off.
Refresh their water often and give them frozen treats.
Add sunshades and run fans in the coop while they lay their eggs.
Don’t snuggle birds or chase them in the heat! It’s best to keep them calm and not allow a lot of handling during the extreme heat. Chickens have built in down coats with their beautiful feathers, and this can be extra warm if they’re being chased or snuggled.
Keep away from scratch treats containing a lot of corn or other high carb sources. These make the girls work harder to digest and create even a higher body temp for them. These treats are excellent for the colder months!
Give your girls fruits and veggies, herbs and mealworms for treats in the summer!
One product I always keep on hand is Flock Fixer! Flock Fixer is a vitamin rich additive that helps hydrate, restore vital nutrients and boost immunity of chickens in times of stress. It contains electrolytes for rehydration, prebiotics and probiotics for digestive health and organic essential oils that support immunity. Chickens can go downhill pretty quick if they get stressed and in extreme heat, they definitely do this!
Mix one scoop of Flock Fixer with one gallon of fresh water and give to your flocks. The scoop is included! I even whip up Flock Fixer frozen treats! I mix up my Flock Fixer and then portion out containers with their favorite treats and pour over the top. I freeze in the freezer and it comes out like a nutrient packed popsicle that they love!
Check out this video below on how to make my Flock Fixer frozen treats!
You can help your chickens beat the heat by doing these few simple things. They will thank you! Happy summer, everyone!
Until next time,
--The Wing Lady