Welcome to our series "Feathered Friend Friday." Every Friday I write a post with interesting facts, photos, or funny stories about our chickens and guineas. If you need to catch up, you'll find all the Feathered Friend Friday posts here.
It's no secret that we have recently been stuck in a huge heat wave in the US. Most of the country has been suffering the past few weeks with crazy heat and humidity. When the temperature rises it is uncomfortable for us humans, but it's even worse for our feathered friends. I always provide plenty of fresh, cool drinking water for my chickens, but in addition to that, I've found the quickest and easiest way to give them some relief from the heat is to create shallow puddles for them to splash around in and get their feet wet.
I know lots of chicken owners like to buy kiddie pools for their girls and boys to cool their feet in, but my flock won't go near them! (FYI - If you do have a pool for your chickens, just make sure it's only a few inches deep - you don't want them getting their feathers soaked because that interferes with how they regulate their body temperature and is actually very bad for them.) Instead of a plastic pool, my flock prefers smaller puddles or streams of water, so I like to pull the hose out and just let it run for a while.
They love to just stand in the water and get several drinks to help them cool off. If I see any of them looking particularly hot (lethargic, pale comb/wattles, dull appearance, panting) I will pick them up and place their feet in cool water and they seem to bounce right back. Placing a cold compress on their combs and wattles can help cool them down quickly as well.
What is your favorite way to help your chickens stay cool?
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