Keeping chickens cool in the heat of the Summer is an important thing to understand how to do, especially while we’re experiencing record-breaking highs and drought in some places.
In this article, I’m going to discuss some quick and easy ways for you to help your chickens beat the heat, so that you can continue to have happy, regularly laying chickens even in the hottest days of the year!
Keeping chickens cool: How to have constantly clean water, and plenty of it
It’s a no-brainer that the best way for staying cool is to drink water, but how do you make sure that the water always stays cool and clean?
Most of the time, Chicken feet can be covered in dirt, making a mess of the water if their clumsy feet accidentally stomp in it.
A little-known fact for the novice chicken keeper is that chickens can be very choosy about the water that they drink. This can pose a dangerous risk of dehydration if your waterers are not properly set up.
If allowed to get too dirty, many chickens would sooner become overheated than drink from a mucky waterer. Who knew they could be such little princesses?
A simple solution for keeping water clean is poultry water nipples. If you’ve had the chance to explore the site, you may have noticed that I’ve already mentioned these, but I simply cannot stress enough how valuable they are.
Haven’t heard of them yet? I’m happy to introduce them to you! Poultry water nipples are small nozzles that supply a slow drip of water only when the chicken pecks at it, preventing mess, waste, and contamination to the water itself!
These are one of few simple steps for making an easy DIY chicken waterer. Step 1 is to simply find a large bucket, then purchase these small nozzles to be installed into the bottom of it with little more than a drill and a wrench (Instructions are included with purchase of the ones in the link above!).
Fill the bucket with cold water, suspend it, and voila! Once you’ve successfully installed your new DIY chicken waterer, be sure to demonstrate the dripping for your birds to get them curious about it. They will all learn from the first bird who’s adventurous enough to give it a try.
Cold Summer treats for keeping Chickens cool
Now that we have the water squared away, here’s where the fun begins: Summer treats for chickens!
There are a variety of things you can give to your chickens that are both cold, as well as a welcome change from their usual diet. Your hens will go bonkers for them!
- Frosty fruit. Have some extra fruit in the crisper? Slice it up and place it in the freezer to chill for 1-2 hours or until almost solid. Bulk bags of assorted frozen fruits and greens bought from the store can be great treats for chickens, too. Toss the chilled fruits and vegetables into the coop and watch them come running! Concerned if a fruit or vegetable is safe? Here is a list of things to avoid feeding your chickens.
- Frozen mash/”Chicken popsicles”. Take an ice tray, fill each section with your chickens’ layer feed, and run clean water over it. Place it in the freezer, and chill it until it’s solid. Pop the cubes of mash out of the tray, and serve on pavement, drop some in feeders, or toss into grass, then sit back and watch as your chickens frantically peck at it and push it around!
- Melons, straight from the rind. Slice a cold watermelon or cantaloupe, take as much from it for yourself as you’d want, and leave the rest for your chickens (without the seeds, if possible). Your chickens will love to tear it apart, all the way down to the rind.
I hope you enjoyed this article and gained some inspiration. Beyond just for Summer, these are great solutions for keeping chickens cool in places like Arizona, Texas, Florida, or Australia year-round.
I will continue to add to this article as I think of some more ideas. If this has helped you, or if you know a friend who could benefit from it, I encourage you to share it. Feel free to comment any extra ideas, too!