Preparing the Chicken Yard for Summer

Shade, the Crucial Necessity for Survival in Phoenix

Shade Sail

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

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