Keeping It Cool
We had our first heat wave this week in Princess Anne, and temps were in the 90’s for a few days. All the feathers make it difficult for the hens to keep cool, but our barns are built with plenty of ventilation to keep them comfortable. Large trees in the pasture provide shady areas for the chicks who like to be outside in the afternoon. One chore for my niece is to keep the outdoor buckets filled with fresh water. Some hens are too nosy to go back inside the barn to get a drink of cool water! They are afraid they will miss some snip-it of fruit rinds or green bean tips that we throw into the field.
The barns are long and narrow with huge doors on either end. The large fans suck air through the open doors on one end creating a constant flow of air. These are called tunnel fans. The door end of each barn has a foyer section where the oyster shell and flax seed is kept to scoop into the hopper. This area is divided from the main barn with mesh fencing, preventing the hens from escaping through the open doors.
One third of each barn has windows down both sides that are only closed under extreme cold or stormy conditions. Down the length of the barn are doors close to the ground that the stay open and hens can go in and out anytime they please. They love to forage in the grass for insects and to spend time running and chasing flying bugs to eat. On really hot days, they choose to stay inside until the sun begins to set around 4:00 p.m., and the cool of the evening begins. However, there are always a few gals that remain outdoors from sunup to sundown!
The girls enjoy basking in the sun that comes in through the window from the comfort of the cool ground in the barn. The dirt floor of the barn stays cool for the chickens and gives them a place to scratch and bathe in the dirt. They love digging holes and flapping around in the dust. We provide diatomaceous earth in 3’x3’x1′ bins on either end of the barn to assist in their bathing practices. The dust helps to keep their bodies free of pests.
We are keeping it cool as best as we can at Happy Hens Barnyard. Stay hydrated like the girls, and practice safety in the fun of the sun!
Talk to you next week.
Our Barns are Set Up to Provide Good Air Flow Through the Barns
The Hens Enjoy Bathing in the Dust to Keep Cool