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Keep Chickens Cool and Beat the Heat

Chickens in the heat

When the humidity rises, it’s important to keep chickens cool so they don’t become dehydrated or overheated. 

Chickens are hardy animals and can tolerate extreme weather in many situations. And some breeds are more heat tolerant than others. 

But in general, it’s simply polite to keep your chickens cool during the hot summer weather to keep them healthy and happy. 

And we’ve got a few fantastic tips to help you cool the coop!

Automatic Waterers

Fresh, cold, water is at the top of the to-do list to keep your flock comfortable. And one of the best ways to ensure there’s always a steady flow of fresh water is by using an automatic waterer.

You can find waterers that use gravity to keep the trough full at all times. And the bigger the container the better! 

So toss the old crocks to the side and start using a cleaner version of the drinking trough to ensure your chickens always (ALWAYS) have access to the water they need to stay hydrated during the dog days of summer. 

Keep Your Chickens Cool With Ice 

When the mercury is on the rise, it’s time to go above and beyond as a flock owner. And that means, coming up with creative ways to tend to your flock. 

One of the easiest ways to add a cool-down tool to your chicken coop is to freeze water, or treats, and add them to a kiddie pool. 

Most chickens don’t like to swim (although some do!) but giving your chickens a huge pool of water with interesting tidbits floating about will encourage them to peck at the items (and splash a bit in the meantime). 

Use frozen veggies, seeds, or black soldier fly grubs to attract your chickens to the new watering hole. 

If you use a kiddie pool, make sure to empty it and clean it out daily to prevent bacteria from growing in the standing water. 

A Breezeway 

Chickens will let you know when the heat becomes too much for them. They’ll fluff out their wings, open their beaks, and look generally uncomfortable. 

A chicken posturing like this needs a good cool down asap!

Areas that are well ventilated with a bit of a breeze will work wonders for a chicken in distress from the heat. 

The circulated air flows under their outstretched wings, through their feathers, and provides plenty of relief from the hot summer sun. 

Barn Fans to Keep Chickens Cool

If you’re in a fairly wind-free zone, you might need to replicate the breeze by adding barn fans to your coop (especially if you keep your chickens confined). 

Good air circulation could be the difference between life and death in hot humid weather. 

If you decide to utilize a barn fan, make sure you keep it out of reach so no barn critters can knock it over. Always be safe when adding electrical elements to your farm. 

Shade Trees and Shrubbery

Another simple solution is to provide your chickens with shade, and plenty of it. 

Move the coop under the old shade tree or use a temporary cage to move your chickens out of the sun. Do anything you can to get them out of the direct heat.

Relocate Your Chickens

Speaking of moving to the shade tree, if this is your first summer with your chickens, you might learn that their current location isn’t all that when it comes to summer weather. 

If possible, try to relocate the coop to a breezier area with shade during the summer. 

Dust Baths Keep Chickens Cool

Chickens aren’t like humans. They don’t crave a pool of sparkling blue water to splash around in during the summer. But they do enjoy taking baths.  

Dust baths, that is. 

And, believe it or not, a dust bath can help chickens keep cool in the summer. 

They ruffle their feathers, “splash” around in the dust, and generally just chill out for a spell. 

Giving your chickens a designated dust bathing area will help them not only stay cool, but also prevent parasites and boredom. 

In truth, the dust bath is one of the flock’s favorite pastimes. 

In an Emergency

If you notice that one of your chickens isn’t bouncing back from the heat, you may need to lend a helping hand. 

Remove your overheated chicken from the flock, and bring them into a cool building. Your chicken may be also dehydrated so provide electrolytes to help them bounce back from the heat!

If you plan ahead, your chickens will be well-cared for during any type of extreme weather. And now you’ll know exactly how to help your chooks beat the heat when the temp starts rising!


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