Although pleasant, the arrival of summer days signals the return of heat waves that are difficult to bear for all gallinaceans.
If you observe a restless hen, open mouth, panting with wings spread along the body ... no doubt! she fights against the dreaded heat stroke ...
Discover all our tips for effectively protecting chickens from heat waves.
Recognize a hot hen
A hen panting, unresponsive, lying on the ground with wings spread suffer from heat stroke.
To save her, gently wet her with a spray bottle or a damp towel.
Let it dry in the shade, away from other hens. Provide fresh water and a waterlogged food such as a portion of strawberries.
A suitable outdoor space
Parked in a dedicated space or in total freedom in the garden, our casseroles need abeneficial shade.
- High and bushy hedges to block out the sun's rays.
- Low, evergreen shrubs or shrubs for shelter.
- A rest area with a wooden roof. Why not get some pallet boards or vegetable crates to make these useful sun shades?
A well-designed habitat
Ideally placed behind a wall or a hedge, the hen house should be well thought out.
- Built with wood to ensure good insulation (unlike the jail).
- Have a window and a door to allow a draft.
- Have several closable ventilation holes at night and in winter to protect residents from predators and to combat the cold.
- Be waterproof. Moisture is another formidable enemy for chickens.
Refresh the home by watering the roof or installing a fan during the hottest hours and change the straw regularly. Hygiene is paramount.
Despite the heat, these ladies should not be deprived of their dust bathdaily. Indispensable, it contributes to the eradication of pests on their plumage and to its beauty.
Placed in the shade, the bath box should be 30 cm deep and ideally contain fine sand, sifted ash and organic pyrethrum powder. Renew it regularly!
An area with a good thickness of dry soil works just as well
Water ad libitum
In times of extreme heat, the chickens drinkabout 300 ml of water each per day, i.e. twice as much as usual.Provide several drinkers to prevent fights, and of sufficient size to meet needs.
- Change the water several times a day to prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Place in the shade, cool with ice cubes or with freezer ice packs.
Food rich in water
To provide optimal hydration to your chickens, offer them fruits and vegetableswaterloggedto supplement their daily ration.
- Watermelon, cucumber, tomato, cherry, melon, zucchini, etc.
Regularly remove oxidized foods.
Choose or not moisten the seedsof your chickens. Feed them in the evening.Their appetites are better when it is cooler.
What about egg laying?
During heat waves, the laying is less important. The eggs are smaller and their shell is brittle and irregular.
- An addition to food of crushed oyster shells is an excellent dietary supplement. Particularly rich in calcium, they promote the strength of the eggs and give them a smoother appearance.
- It is possible to find vitamins and trace elements in pet stores, in liquid form to be incorporated into the water of hens. This supplement helps them get through this difficult time.
Breeds of hens that suffer from heat
Orpington, Brahma, Cochin, Faverolles and Bourbonnaise(non-exhaustive list) are hens that suffer particularly from the heat of summer, due to their abundant and bulky plumage and their large size.
The Naked Couch because of its poor plumage and dwarf breeds are more acclimatized to scorching periods.
By watering the roof during the hottest hours you bring freshness and humidity to your chickens.