Summer is on the way and many animals can suffer in hot conditions if not given appropriate care. Birds can become ill and even pass away during hot spells, so it is essential to keep them as cool as possible.
We use a combination of methods to keep our feathered residents cool. We ensure that chickens have an overhead sprinkler which is activated every few hours and frozen cool drink bottles are placed in water containers to keep water palatable – hens will often refuse to drink hot water, resulting in dehydration.
Frozen food blocks are great fun, providing a cooling treat for heat weary chickens. Ice treats for chickens can be made easily - place frozen corn, peas or muesli (or a mix of all three) in a takeaway food container (filling about half way), top up with water and freeze overnight. Offer different ingredients throughout summer to maintain interest and also include your chickens' favourite foods. Some people hang treats from a string to give birds a challenge.
|Frozen corn treat|
During the heat of the day, nothing beats a few hours in an air-conditioned room or a cool bathroom to comfort heat stressed poultry. A retreat inside, especially for older or ailing individuals, can save their lives.