As we are experiencing consistently high summer temperatures this can cause chickens to suffer from heat stress, overheating, or even stop their egg laying process. Cold water is essential and will regulate the chicken’s body temperature and keep them nice and cool.
Offer frozen treats. One of my favourite ways to help my girls cool off and treat them at the same time is to freeze some of their favourite foods in ice. Fill a small cake tin with sweetcorn/peas and water or a large Tupperware container with berries and water and freeze overnight. Leave the container out the next day for your chickens and they can pick at the frozen berries and stay cool. You can also slice a watermelon in quarters and freeze for a similar result. They will have fun pecking at it.
Offer shade for chickens: Again, pretty self-explanatory, but it can make a huge difference. Without shade, chickens won’t have any place of refuge to escape the heat. You could add a small table over a corner of your coop for your chickens to rest and enjoy the shade. In extreme heat, any small difference helps.
Give them more fruit. Foods such as corn require longer digestive process, which can heat the chicken’s temperature. Offering more fresh vegetables and fruits like watermelon will give them more hydration. Make it fun for them by stringing up the fruit and vegetables on strings and hanging it.
Although chickens are very adaptable, they still need a little extra TLC during extreme weather. Ensuring that your chickens always have a source of water and some of the suggestions listed above will help them better adjust during this heatwave.