HOT CHICKEN COOP


(Glenn MI)

Question:

What are ways to keep inside coop cool for chicks/hens and at what is a good average temp to try to keep it at? What is too hot?

PS chicks are now about 8/10 weeks old, are inside and out and their feathers are almost all in.

Answer:
The best test of the coop temperature is if you are comfortable there. When you see chickens panting, they are cooling their bodies naturally.

If they become lethargic and unresponsive they are suffering from heat stroke. The best cooling is shade in open areas prone to a breeze.

Installing an thermostatically controlled exhaust fan at the high point inside the coop can help, especially if it can draw air in from the coolest side. Large windows help with ventilation.

If direct sunlight beats down on the roof and walls of the coop during hot weather, it can be hotter inside the coop than outside without good ventilation. Light colors don't absorb as much heat as dark.

I've built awnings from the roof line to the ground, out about 6' on the ground, on the West and East sides of my coop.

The North side is shaded most of the day and the South takes most of the sun. By about noon in the Summer, tall evergreens shade the West end of the chicken yard.

My chickens love to rest in the cool grassy shade there. Chickens in good health can handle the heat if they have access to cool water, shade and all the nutrients they need.

Providing vitamins and electrolytes can really help chickens deal with the physical stress of hot days. Keeping plenty of water in shaded areas helps.

I freeze quart containers of water and add the big chunks of ice to water buckets on very hot afternoons (nothing like a cool drink on a hot day).

Our domestic chicken breeds were developed from Jungle Fowl living in hot and humid tropical climates.

Some breeds have been developed for certain climates and do best in those. Some people air condition their coops.

When temperatures are dangerously high for people, they are for chickens, too. Over 80 degrees F and it is good to check on your chickens often and make sure they have all they need to get through the hot day.

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