They say, if you’re raising poultry, it all comes down to feed, water, heat and light. But in the summer, beating the heat is equally important. Water and proper shelter can play a big role in your flock’s health and welfare. Here are some tips to help you and your flock survive the summer months.
- Birds require unlimited access to fresh, clean water, especially in the hot summer months.
- Birds—even free-range birds—need access to shade in the summer. If there is none, you’ll need to create it by building a structure.
- Placing your poultry in a well-ventilated area will reduce the incidence of heat stress. In a chicken coop or chicken house in summer, make sure nothing obstructs the flow of fresh air, and don’t allow ammonia to accumulate.
- A misting fan or fogging system in a well-ventilated area can help birds cool themselves.
- Poultry experience a major moult (shedding feathers) in late summer. It consumes a great deal of energy, so they may devote most of their calories to replacing their feathers and maintaining body temperature instead of producing eggs. Be sure to provide a good quality feed during this time.
- Germs multiply even more quickly in the summer heat. To keep your flock healthy, disinfect incubators, feeders, water containers and other equipment periodically, particularly between broods.