Shade, the Crucial Necessity for Survival in Phoenix
Sunday was the perfect day to get the chicken yard ready for the summer, 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. We hung the shade sail overhead offering the birds at least a small area out of the sun. The summer nest area is in place, and the little mud pond for them to cool off in has been repaired.
They will need a new box fan, but otherwise we’re ready to battle temperatures that literally can cook a chicken before its time. In about two months 115+ degrees in the shade is a given. In the full sun, don’t really know for sure, haven’t found a thermometer that exceeds 120 yet, not kidding.
The summers in Phoenix are brutal, and my chicken keeping skills are tested each and every year. As a newbie I failed my birds a few times over, but last year there was only one fatality. This year the goal is zero!
I have only three heavy birds this year, the rest are exhibition birds who fair quite well in the heat. Two of the three heavy birds are free-range, so they’ll be fine. The other heavy bird is the only one I’ll have to watch closely.
I sold all the heavy breeds, Orphingtons and Partridge Rocks a few weeks back. They are the first ones to drop from the heat if in confinement. When I say confinement, I mean an area 24ft by 20 feet, not a coop. Keep chickens in a coop here in summer and you’ll have dead chickens by noon.
For more information and suggestions on keeping chickens cool in Phoenix go here