Keeping chickens cool in the summer is an ongoing task here in Phoenix, AZ. Our temps have been nearly 120 degrees in the last week. As you can imagine keeping chickens cool in the desert heat is a challenge. But I can say I’ve never lost one of our hens to the heat in the years I’ve been keeping a backyard flock.
These ideas are not rocket science but they are really helpful in the hot days of summer.
Keeping Chickens Cool in the Summer
Water – Your number 1 defense against heat related deaths is cool, fresh water. Make sure to check the chicken’s water twice a day during the warms months and refill often. Also, it helps to keep their water in a shaded area so that it doesn’t heat up too much during the day. You may also want to add additional water dispensers.
Coop – Make sure your coop space is well ventilated; that is key to keeping them comfortable when laying and resting. It is also important to allow them a little extra space – you wouldn’t want to be crowded into a little space with the temps are rising. You might not want to add a/c to the coop but a fan can add a lot of comfort, air flow and generally cooling to a coop.
Free Ranging – If you able able to allow your chickens to free range, I would recommend it. This way the chickens can dig down under a shade tree or lay in a grassy area; mine like to dig down a laying area on the side of the house where the hose spigot is. Believe me, your chickens know how to find the coolest spots….