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San Angelo Lifestyles

Hot Chicks

If you are a chicken lady like me, you know Texas summers are rough on your feathered girls.  Here are some easy summer treats and tips to help keep your backyard chickens cool in the Texas heat.  

Egg production will tend to drop during heat waves to help chickens conserve their energy and also some of the fluid in their body since eggs are largely made up of water, giving them water-laden treats is super beneficial.


Cooling Treats

 

 Watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew and other types of melons are great options to keep them hydrated.  Cucumbers are also high in water content. 

Chilled or frozen are both great options.  I like to put cut up pieces in a lunch meat container (recycling win!), fill with water and freeze.  You could also use ice trays filled with frozen veggies or berries and water.

I like to add ice water into my chickens' regular layer crumble to make a wet feed.  You should also keep extra water tubs of cool, clean water available.  

Regulating Body Temperature


 
Chickens don't sweat.  They release heat through their combs, wattles, and feet.  They also hold their wings away from their bodies to allow air to flow under their wings and pant. 

Offering a shallow dish of water for your chicks to stand in and dunk their heads will help them cool off.  If they don't like standing directly in the water, place a brick or rock in the bowl for them to stand on.

Treating Heat Exhaustion

A heat stressed hen will show signs including excessive panting, a very pale comb and wattles, standing with eyes closed, unsteady on their feet, and maybe even lying down.

Get her somewhere cool and soak her feet and legs in a tub of cool water to bring her body temperature down.

You should also give your hot chick cool water to drink and some electrolytes, plain Pedialyte or even Gatorade in a pinch for added nutrients to replace what she has lost.  I have had to syringe feed Pedialyte to a hen too far gone to drink and she made it!  Dixie is now my buddy that comes running when she hears me. 

Additional resources: Fresh Eggs Daily
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