The Omlet Blog

7 ways to help your chickens stay cool this summer

Family outside in summer with their chickens in the Omlet Eglu Cube Chicken Coop

Did you know that chickens can’t sweat? Instead, chickens use their legs, combs and wattles to lead heat away from their bodies. They also pant and spread their wings to get some air through those feathers. Chickens also enjoy lying down in the shade when it’s very hot, and of course, they drink lots of water. Did you know that it is actually easier for chickens to keep themselves warm in winter than it is for them to cool down during the summer? It isn’t just an issue of comfort either – chickens can die of heatstroke. Since chickens have a hard time cooling themselves down and when it gets extremely hot they rely on you to help them. So, what can you do to help your chickens keep cool in the summer heat? Here are our 7 top tips.

1. Warm weather means plenty of water

Eggs consist mainly of water, so producing an egg absorbs a lot of water from a hen’s body. Drinking cool water is also one of the main ways chickens cool themselves down. Your chickens will therefore need lots of fresh, clean and cool water in the heat of the summer. It’s best to change the water every day to make sure they have this. It’s also a good idea to provide several water sources so all your chickens can drink at the same time and avoid fighting for access.

Another way you can use water to help your chickens cool down is by providing some shallow pools where they can dip and cool their feet and legs – remember, this is one of the areas where heat leaves their bodies. Try filling some shallow bowls or tubs and leaving them around in the run or your garden. If your chickens don’t like to stand directly in the water you can try placing a brick in there which will be cooled by the water and the chickens can then stand on top of it.

2. Soak up the shade

It’s absolutely essential to provide shade for your chickens and even more so when it gets really hot. If you let your chickens free-range in the garden they might be able to find shade under trees and bushes but in any case, it’s a good idea to provide shade in the run as well. You can easily create shady spots in the run by having a raised coop and/or attaching chicken run covers.

3. Summertime snacking

Try giving your hens some cool treats such as frozen berries, vegetables or pieces of fruit. You could even create hanging treats by freezing your chickens’ favourite treats in the Caddi Treat Holder or an ice cube tray with a string in the middle so they can hang in the run. Or, try keeping a whole watermelon in the fridge to cool it down before serving it as a summery treat.

Be careful not to give your chickens too many treats though, as you want to make sure they still eat their layers pellets. Chickens eat less when it’s extremely hot because digestion produces more body heat, so it’s important to make sure they eat the right things and get the vitamins and minerals they require. Try feeding your chickens during the cooler parts of the day such as in the evening.

4. Nutritional supplements

It’s also wise to give your hens supplements in the heat such as vitamins and tonics which can be added directly to their food or water. These can improve the absorption of minerals, boost your chickens’ overall health, and help them cope better with the heat. Apple cider vinegar, for example, can help with calcium absorption in the body which is essential for eggshell production.

5. Dust bath galore

Chickens love to dust bathe in the warm weather, but you might not want them scraping around in your flower beds. The best thing to do is to build another flower bed and fill it with some sand, soil and some louse powder. If you have a large flock you might even want to provide several spaces so all your chickens have a chance to dust bathe in the shade. Be sure to place the dust bath in a sheltered spot or cover it up when your chickens aren’t using it otherwise the rain might turn it into a mud bath.

6. Give them space

Your chickens will need plenty of space during the hot summer months so make sure they aren’t overcrowded. Chickens need to be able to spread out and spread their wings for ventilation, and everyone in the flock needs to be able to drink cool water and lie in the shade at any time.

7. Keeping the coop cool

All Omlet Eglu chicken coops have a unique twin-wall insulation system which works similarly to double glazing. This means your hens won’t overheat in the summer. The Eglus are also built with a draught-free ventilation system, carefully designed to avoid air blowing directly over the roosting area whilst allowing fresh air to circulate.

If you have a wooden chicken coop, it’s important to think about how you can keep the coop nice and cool for your chickens. Make sure you create plenty of ventilation either by opening windows in the coop or by using a fan. Be careful not to have too much thick and heavy bedding as it absorbs heat. Also, keep an eye out for mould if you’ve got a wooden coop. Mould can make straw and hay start to rot faster, thereby producing more heat.

Omlet and your chickens’ summer

At Omlet, we design products that are built to last a lifetime and thrive in every season. From our Omlet Eglu Chicken Coops to our Caddi Treat Holders, our innovative creations mean happy owners and even happier pets. We wish you and your chickens a lovely summer.

Pouring water into the Omlet Chicken Waterer in the Omlet Walk In Chicken Run

This entry was posted in Chickens

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *