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. More Information…
Important: Don’t bring your chickens inside the house, it will be difficult for them to acclimate to the heat when returned outdoors.
Trouble Shooting Leaky Misters, Best Set-ups, and Tips
Portable misters that attach to a garden hose are simple and will keep a small flock quite comfortable during the summer heat. However, they can be a big problem if they leak, luckily there is an easy fix for that. It’s not usually the mister at fault, it’s more likely to be your hose. Portable misters will not work properly on a hose that is compromised at the threaded end. It can’t have a dent, ding, or be the least bit corroded. Buy a new hose and you should be ready to go.
The portable mister shown above is flexible, can easily be attached to a fence or pole and bent any direction you like. I prefer to put them about 6ft or more above the ground. Chickens aren’t usually fond of getting wet, you want a mister to gently cool the air around them or there’s a risk they’ll avoid it. Place your mister high off the ground and the water on low, that’s the recipe for happy chickens. Here’s a pic of how I raised my mister near the coop and inside the barn.
These hens are under the mister enjoying the benefits of a damp ground and cooler air, yet they’re dry. The birds aren’t panting or showing any signs of distress and it’s 104 degrees outside today.
Tip: Keep your mister connected, unscrewing it every day from the hose is not only a hassle, but eventually the plastic cuff on the mister will fail. This can be done easily by purchasing another hose and a 2 Way Valve Garden Hose Connector Splitter. Use one valve for filling drinkers etc., the other for your mister. Buy quality hoses, cheap hoses last one or two seasons, $50 hoses can last ten years or more! In my opinion, Sears sells the best top quality hoses, best money I ever spent… 12 years ago.
What About Permanent Overhead Misters?
Fancy overhead misters are nice, BUT, they’re expensive, and require mega maintenance. Nozzles clog, are pricey, and need to be replaced often. Commercial mist systems are much better, high powered air compressors force water through the nozzles so they are less likely to clog. These systems are what you see at outdoor malls and on restaurant patios. Seems a bit over the top for a small flock of chickens, but for a large poultry farm this might be something to consider.