Poultry - Summer on the Homestead

How to Keep Chickens Cool in the Heat and Collect Eggs All Summer

How to Keep Chickens Cool in Summer
How to Keep Your Chickens Cool in the Heat and Collect Eggs All Summer! by The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Keep Your Chickens Cool in the Heat and They Will Keep Producing Eggs!

Keep your chickens cool in summer to prevent heat stress, reduced egg production, and avoidable deaths in your flock. This is an important consideration if your summers get hot and humid!

Every summer I have to beat the heat to keep my flock cool and productive. Our Midwest summers can be tough on chickens so I’m vigilant about providing cool water and shade for them. I don’t want my birds to suffer and I want to keep gathering those delicious eggs all summer!

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Are your chickens suffering from a heatwave? Let’s check out some easy ways to keep them cool, healthy, and happy!

How to Tell if Your Chickens Are Too Hot

Watch for signs of heat stress and act quickly to cool your birds down.

Chickens don’t have sweat glands to help them cool off. Instead, they pant to expel heat through their lungs and hold their wings up to allow airflow to cool them down. Chicken combs and wattles act to cool them by circulating warm blood close to the surface of the skin to radiate heat away from their body.

If chickens pant, hold their wings up, or appear limp, they are experiencing heat-related stress. If they don’t cool down they may suffer from too much stress, stop laying eggs, and in extreme cases they can even die from overheating.

So let’s look at ways to cool down your chicken flock in the heat of summer!

Let the sprinkler cool down your chicken pen for instant relief!

How to Keep Chickens Cool in the Summer Heat

Don’t wait until your flock is already suffering from a heatwave to provide relief. Watch the forecast for hot weather and prepare ahead of time. Make sure you have extra water pans, tarps for ‘instant shade’, a barn fan, and As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a commission on qualifying purchases.

Your hens may not like getting dunked in cool water, but it could save their lives if they are overheating.

Some of these cooling methods are super easy and others require planning ahead…

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White Leghorns are a great breed for hot climates.

Raise the Best Chicken Breed for Hot Climates

Plan ahead for hot weather by raising chickens that tolerate heat. In general, breeds that have smaller body sizes and larger combs and wattles fare much better in hot weather than heavy breeds with small combs.

If you have cold winters and hot summers, consider raising Rhode Island Reds.

If you live in a southern area with mild winters and hot summers, consider raising White Leghorns.

Not sure if those are the right breeds for you? Check out the 16 Best Heat Tolerant Chicken Breeds!

Check out How to Choose the Best Cold Tolerant Chickens if you have cold winters!

Prevention is Key to Keeping Chickens Cool in Hot Weather

Don’t wait until your birds are overcome by the heat and on the verge of death to cool them down. If you live in an area with hot summers, plan ahead for your flock’s health and well-being.

Be sure to place their coop and pen in the shade or move it if it’s out in the full sun all day. The best spot for a coop is in an area that receives a cooling breeze in summer. Position windows on the east and west sides of the coop to allow airflow. Don’t use a metal roof that faces south…this will heat up fast in summer. Insulate the coop and add roof vents if possible.

Keep the bedding clean in your coop and don’t use a deep bedding method in hot climates. Deep bedding creates heat from decomposing manure, making your flock even warmer.

Give your flock plenty of cool water and shady spots to chill in the heat of the day, and add ice to their water when things really heat up.

Purchase a good quality barn fan to circulate air in your chicken coop. House fans aren’t built to handle the dust in a barn and may cause a fire if the motor overheats.

Keep chickens cool and they will continue to lay!

Happy Hens are Productive Hens!

Whether you raise laying hens or meat chickens, keeping them cool in the heat is important for productivity. Overheating causes laying hens to stop egg production and meat chickens to stop putting on weight. You’re raising chickens for eggs and meat, right?! So keep them cool for the best performance from your flock.

Gather those eggs often in summer to prevent spoilage from the heat.

So your chickens are cool and comfy, but they still aren’t laying eggs? Find out Why Your Chickens Don’t Lay Eggs!

Do you have any additional tips for cooling down your flock in summer? Is there one idea shared in this post that you found most helpful for keeping your chickens cool in hot weather? Hop on down to the comments and share your tips and tricks for chilling with the chicks!

How to Keep Your Chickens Cool in the Heat and Collect Eggs All Summer! by The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

3 Comments on “How to Keep Chickens Cool in the Heat and Collect Eggs All Summer

  1. Thanks for sharing with us at Simple Homestead Blog Hop! Your article is one of our features at this week’s hop, see you there!
    Melissa | Little Frugal Homestead

  2. So much good info! It’s my first year having chicks -we have 20 five-week old Western Rustics (a heritage breed perfect for our subarctic temperatures). Found you on the Farm Fresh Blog Hop!

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