Chicken care (Dealing with the heat)
Chickens originated as jungle fowl, so when I first started to keep chickens, I thought the winter would be a problem, but they would love the summer. They actually deal with the cold better than the heat in my opinion. Once it gets into the 80’s with some sun, they are looking for a shady spot to rest, and get out of the sun. This may be that they had a shady jungle canopy to live under.
Tips for helping your flock beat the heat
1. Ventilation for their coop, it is good to be able to open the windows and let air in, just make sure you have wire to keep predators out.
2. It is a good idea to have some shady areas where they graze that they can retreat to when it gets hot.
3. Have plenty of water on hand. I like to put two waterers out for them with one near their favorite shady spot, so they don’t have to go through the sun to get water. I’ve found that they will drink more if the water is in the shade, and the water doesn’t get so hot.
My nectarine trees and plum tree are pretty small, so they only provide minimal shade at this point, so I decided to make the chickens a shade area they could retreat to. I really didn’t want to spend any money, or a lot of time on this, so I attached some old weed barrier I had lying around along the south side fence of my run area. So for essentially no money, and about an hour of my time, I made a pretty nice shade area for them. Now during the hottest part of the day, they can hang out along the fence. This will come down, when my trees get large enough.