It’s been a rough summer for our hens here in Phoenix. The temperatures have soared to 117 and averaged around 110 for more than 35 days since June. And… only one day of rain, in the last 4 months. But my hens are doing great! Why, how? Well, my girls are in a large 10×10 covered pen inside a covered shedrow barn. They have shade tarps on the south, east & west side for protection from the sun. I hang a simple box fan on their pen, and a mist system far enough away to keep the pen dry, but cooler.
Here they are today, the outside temperature is 110, and 108 in the barn, no panting, or holding their wings away from their sides. They are smart enough to find just the right spot where they can catch a cool breeze from the mister, and as you can see, they are resting comfortably. 🙂
We’re living in an oven. Today 114, tomorrow through Wednesday we are flirting with a chance of temperatures reaching 120 degrees. Keeping chickens is a challenge to say the least, but it can be done with the right survival tools. Chicken keepers have extra duties during this time, every flock is at serious risk of heat stroke /exhaustion. Making sure they have shade is #1 priority, also try and provide a mister and fan. If you don’t have either, don’t keep them confined. Allow them to dig a hole in the dirt under a tree or bush, preferably with a hose nearby on a slow stream or drip. Important: Don’t bring your chickens inside the house, it will be difficult for them to acclimate to the heat when returned outdoors.
Spring is saying its last goodbye here in Phoenix. Temperatures are reaching the 80s during the day, which means only one thing: the real HEAT is coming. I took advantage of the mild weather yesterday and prepared the chicken coop for the dreadful 115-degree days which inevitably are just around the corner. Mist systems are in place and in working order, even the old fan has been replaced with an industrial-grade high-powered oscillating model specifically made for barns. Sunscreens are all new and double-layered on the east and west sides of the coop. I dragged out the big drinkers to help keep the water cool and replaced the covered nest boxes with open tops. After a thorough cleaning and fresh shavings, we are ready for summer, bring it on!
It’s a challenge keeping chickens in extreme heat, this article will give you lots of tips on what you can do to keep your flock safe. Cold weather is not a problem, but heat is a whole different story… and it can be deadly.