When the weather begins to heat up, so do your hens. It’s important to keep an eye on them in really hot periods and to give them ways to keep themselves as cool as possible. Here are several steps you can take to achieve this:
Ensure access to fresh, cool water at all times
Coldwater is going to be your hens’ best friend during the summer months. To make sure it stays cool, keep it under a shaded area and check if they need more throughout the day. To make sure it’s refreshing and cool, try to replenish it twice a day, especially if you find it’s become warm.
Provide a shady area
Your hens will need a shady area to cool down in during the hot midday sun. An area underneath their hen house, if this is raised, is ideal. Other ways to do this is to use a parasol near the run or create a ‘den’ style shady area using chairs and a blanket. This is a creative way of involving the kids.
Provide dust bathing spots for your hens – they like to get ‘clean’ when the weather is warm. This can either be a makeshift dust bath in an old litter tray or sun pit or your hens will most likely find a good spot in your flowerbeds! To find out more about dust baths and the perfect dust bath recipe, take a look here.
Ventilation is key
Ensure your hen house is well ventilated during the night, a cool breeze with help your hens become a little more comfortable on those warm nights! You can use wire mesh across windows if you’re worried about predators entering.
Beware of the red mite!
Remember to treat for red mite! The bane of all hen keepers, these little critters will undoubtedly make an appearance over the summer months. Use a powder such as diatomaceous earth and a disinfectant spray to keep them under control.
If you’ve just adopted some feather bare hens, remember they may need sun cream on bald patches, just like us! Keep it in the fridge to really give them a cooling down effect.
Finally, your girls will go crazy for some sweetcorn or melon frozen inside an ice cube as a tasty treat! Just make sure the sweetcorn has been cooked properly before freezing. For more advice on food safety with your hens click the link here.