tips for hot weather?

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BabyBantam
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tips for hot weather?

Post by BabyBantam » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:29 pm

Wondered if anyone had any tips for what to do/watch out of in hot weather. Just read the heat is going to be unbearable this weekend, so hoping I've got all angles covered.
Obvious ones are check for red mite, keep water cool, fresh and topped up, make sure the girls have shade and (new one for me, check birds for fly attack).
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chrismahon
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Re: tips for hot weather?

Post by chrismahon » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:29 pm

Hotter here BB and they are struggling (32 rising to 36 on Tuesday and I am away). I have rigged up a 15" fan for the Orpingtons, but they don't like the breeze! All the water is fresh (absolutely NO ADDITIVES) and kept topped. We poo pick 4 times a day now to keep the flies down. All the coop vents are fully open and I wish they were twice the size (10% of floor area at the moment). All the pop-holes are partially or fully open at night, either with a block of angled wood under the pop-hole (so that any movement shuts it) or with a mesh external door. We have taken all the side branches off the trees to increase the airflow up the hill (lots of trees). They have plenty of shade but we have also dug out soil baths for every run and filled them with sieved soil, sieved sand and 10% potash.

Will soon be watering the ground on the wind side to lower the air temperature. We are expecting star gazing, which we had with our top Orpington hen in a hot spell a few years back. It is a neurological thing brought on by heat where the neck twists backwards so they are looking backwards and upside down. We watched it develop over just 30 minutes and had to despatch her as she was in fits of panic with the disorientation -she was going to seriously injure herself as she was trying to turn her body over so she could see properly ( terrible to witness). Can't be cured internet says, but if it happens again we will try complete darkness in a very cold place first (in a box with ice packs).

Before checking for fly attack BB make sure they all have clean bottoms. We've been washing the Orpingtons every few days but need to do the Wyandottes. Problem is as they drink more the poos get runny and .....
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foxy
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Re: tips for hot weather?

Post by foxy » Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:06 am

Frozen bottle of water in the nest box can be cooling for them, also freeze treats such as raspberries or strawberries then they can help themselves during the day to these cool treats. Avoid to much stress or noise to keep hens calm. Avoid mixed corn as this can have a heating effect.

Plenty of dust baths, these help cool and hen down and are relaxing for them.

In runs with wood chip you can hose these down to cool them and also keeps dust levels down by increasing humidity.
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BabyBantam
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Re: tips for hot weather?

Post by BabyBantam » Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:59 pm

Think I may need to water down the floor of the run tonight, still humid and tricksy is panting off and on. Bit concerned about the electic bungee as we are on very sandy soil,so watering the earth stake each night to be sure of good connection. Don't really want to leave the pop hole open because of this, unless I really need to :(
The girls have spent the evening 'bottoms up' under the apple tree. Think there may be a good hiding place for insects at the base of the trunk that's keeping them topped up on tasty morsels. They've all got huge crops, so expecting poo from hell tomorrow to keep the flys busy.
Feel an ark move coming on :D
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BabyBantam
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Re: tips for hot weather?

Post by BabyBantam » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:28 pm

Absolutely boiling today, 27degrees now in my house and its 11.30 :( all 3 girls panting and pale faced when I got home from work. Their ark is in the shadiest part of the garden and I'm returning at lunchtime to top up their iced water to try and cool them. I've also been watering the ark grass to keep them cool and have left the pop hole open tonight.
Are pale faces just a symptom of being hot, or do I need to worry.
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chrismahon
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Re: tips for hot weather?

Post by chrismahon » Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:24 am

The Orpingtons have now got used to the fan so stand in front of it around lunchtime when it reaches 32 in the shade (37 forecast next week).

The rearing coops I made with extra large vents (15% of floor area) are still too hot. Despite a mesh pop-hole door they are still hot at night. Last night I lifted the roof on 35mm blocks at the back. The only aspect of those coops that was previously untried and consequently failed is the double perches. They won't cross one to get to another so they are all on the first one. I removed that middle perch in Winter so they were on the far perch at the more sheltered end. So now I will move the one perch to the central position to put them under the vents. So perhaps it wasn't such a disaster after all, as they now have a Winter and Summer perch position.

Ours have pale combs and faces BB and i would have expected them to be bright red as they shift blood to their comb to radiate heat. The Leghorns have blue combs so they are not using them as a radiator either. All the birds are moulting now, brought on by the extreme heat I suppose.
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Marigold
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Re: tips for hot weather?

Post by Marigold » Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:37 am

Yes, Marigold has just recovered for her third session of broodiness this year, and yesterday I found great handfuls of gold feathers all over the run, so I suppose we are now into the moulting season again! Maybe it makes her a bit cooler to shed some of that glorious golden underwear.
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chrismahon
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Re: tips for hot weather?

Post by chrismahon » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:04 pm

It is so hot now I am looking to leave the coop access door open and fit a mesh insert into the aperture. Considered Summer and Winter doors but matching up may be awkward. French doors are always lift-off hinges, which is very useful, but getting two doors to align perfectly on the same pair of hinges will be a pain. 20 degrees at night now and our 'b' rated freezer is working overtime.
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Ellen Barry
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Re: tips for hot weather?

Post by Ellen Barry » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:36 pm

Hi, Tomorrow I'm going to install my new fan in the coop. It's a fan I got on Amazon but I'm sure you can get it anywhere in the US or Europe. It's suitable for 110V to 240V. it's the Axial Fan Series 1225. It's very small, creates enough airflow to help the chickens but is VERY VERY quiet. Here's the link for Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009O ... UTF8&psc=1
You can put it on a thermostat that you plug into an outlet. here's the link for that one:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007 ... UTF8&psc=1
The thermostat will turn the fan on at 78 degrees Fahrenheit and turn it off at 70 degrees fahrenheit. Amazon.co.uk should sell the European/UK equivalent. I will mount it in the coop side, close to the roof top. That way the breeze will stir the air in the coop but the chickens will not be bothered by it. I hope this is helpful for some of the members here.
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chrismahon
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Re: tips for hot weather?

Post by chrismahon » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:37 am

Good idea Ellen, but we have lots of coops a way from the nearest electrical point and wiring them up will be difficult. Trouble here is the temperature doesn't drop much after the sun goes down and it has hit 39C several times here this year. We've noticed that the pent roof coops, fitted with mesh pop-hole doors, ventilate naturally with the cold air coming in at the bottom and the hot leaving from the top vent. The apex roof coops however get heat building up inside the roof which can't escape because the vents are too low. We intend to add vents at the top of the apex and also fit a secure inner mesh access door to one end- opposite to the perch. We have no Orpingtons now, so overheating isn't the huge problem it was.

You may be perhaps be better fitting two fans, so one pushes air in at one end and the other pulls air out at the other?
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