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Old 06-19-2012, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:23 AM
 
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Why not start, now, planting trees and shrubs where you pan on putting the chicken yard?  Even small trees will give some shade and they will grow.  Shrubs provide shade and hiding space, as well.  Go with native species so you know they will be hardy to the local environment. 

 

They do make those misting systems that you could attach to the fence and put it on a timer.  This way, they would get humidity in their area, regularly and those systems can help lower the temp noticibly (we have friends in Arizona that have it on their patio).

 

If nothing else, go buy a couple of cheap folding tables at Wal-Mart or a thrift store and set them up in the chicken yard.  They can settle underneath in the dirt.  If you go in and raked the soil regularly, too, they will have a broken surface to rest and do dust bathing, instead of hardpan.

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Old 06-20-2012, 10:30 AM
 
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The misting system is a good idea. I know they make regular "soaker" hoses that you can find at the store that are basically just a flat-ish hose with a bunch of tiny holes poked in it. When you turn the water on it sprays lightly/mists. You could attach it to the coop somehow so it could mist down on them. We live in MN and have been having 90+ degree days with high humidity. I have noticed my chickens panting. I think my ducks are making fun of them because they have a kiddy pool to swim in and the chickens don't swim so they can't really enjoy it.


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Old 06-20-2012, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by grahamsmom98 View Post

Why not start, now, planting trees and shrubs where you pan on putting the chicken yard?  Even small trees will give some shade and they will grow.  Shrubs provide shade and hiding space, as well.  Go with native species so you know they will be hardy to the local environment. 

 

They do make those misting systems that you could attach to the fence and put it on a timer.  This way, they would get humidity in their area, regularly and those systems can help lower the temp noticibly (we have friends in Arizona that have it on their patio).

 

If nothing else, go buy a couple of cheap folding tables at Wal-Mart or a thrift store and set them up in the chicken yard.  They can settle underneath in the dirt.  If you go in and raked the soil regularly, too, they will have a broken surface to rest and do dust bathing, instead of hardpan.

 

we can't do the shrubs and such at this moment as we're saving up to build a coop/buy the feed/buy the chickens but the cheap folding tables idea is do-able! I'm thinking we'll be doing a moveable coop/chicken tractor.

 

we do plan on getting some small trees and shrubs eventually though. I'll look into the mister.

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The misting system is a good idea. I know they make regular "soaker" hoses that you can find at the store that are basically just a flat-ish hose with a bunch of tiny holes poked in it. When you turn the water on it sprays lightly/mists. You could attach it to the coop somehow so it could mist down on them. We live in MN and have been having 90+ degree days with high humidity. I have noticed my chickens panting. I think my ducks are making fun of them because they have a kiddy pool to swim in and the chickens don't swim so they can't really enjoy it.

lol aww, poor chickens. I like the soaker hoses idea. I'm assuming a chicken wouldn't make its way to a kiddie pool to cool off, if needed? I read somewhere that if they were hot they wouldn't want to walk thru the sun to get  to the cool water/shade.

 

 

As I was getting the laundry off the line yesterday around 7pm I noticed that the area where we'd be putting the chickens was nice and shady. I guess it all depends upon the time of day. innocent.gif


 

 

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Old 06-20-2012, 04:40 PM
 
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Afternoon shade is the most important, so it sounds do-able to me.  If you are making a chicken tractor it will be more difficult to add shade like tables, but you can use that reflective bubble wrap insulation in the roof of the chicken tractor to keep it cooler.  You will need to put a barrier between the bubble wrap and the chickens or they will eat it.  We use billboard tarps for our tractors because they are cheap, really durable, and lighter weight than most roofing (light weight is necessary for moving the tractor easily).  So you can do one layer tarp, a layer of bubble wrap, and then another layer of tarp on top.  Be sure to design plenty of ventilation into it.  Chickens can tolerate a lot of heat, but it does reduce egg production.


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Old 06-21-2012, 09:01 AM
 
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...we can't do the shrubs and such at this moment as we're saving up to build a coop/buy the feed/buy the chickens...

Look around your area for any new construction about to begin.  If there are shrubs or small trees (that will be bulldozed or removed anyway), you might be able to get them, at no cost, if you are willing to dig them up yourself (offered a plate of homemade cookies, a kind contractor might even use their heavy equipment to dig them for you!).  It's certainly worth a try and will add shade and beauty to your property and cover for the birds.  Just make sure to give them a big enough hole on your property and water, water, water to establish them and ease their shock.

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Old 06-21-2012, 09:58 AM
 
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Shade cloth, old plywood, anything to keep them cool.  Yes, you need sun protection for your run.  We have old cedar siding on two sides of their night pen and in their new day pen we will have a plywood tent for them to retreat to, with enough room at all times of the day for every hen.  Make sure there is water, lots of it, in several locations and especially in the shady spots where the water will stay cool.  I've never figured out how to put ice in their waterers without buying a bag of ice, but instead, I change their water in the afternoon and replace it with cooler water.  

 

You can create shade without planting shrubs and trees.  Keep giant pots of bamboo and large, leafy shrubs in the run.  Keep the black pots shaded with straw or hay and keep them well watered.   Put a couple of cherry tomato plants in there too.  They love love love tomatoes!  Nice and juicy, too.  You can feed them cantaloupe and tomatoes, too, to keep them hydrated.  Wet down their feed (chickens loooove wet feed.  Makes it nice and smelly!)  Soak the cracked corn or other grains you give as treats (always a good idea anyhow.)  My chickens love soaked split peas I grind up in the food processor.  Really protein heavy, though, so use in moderation.  Lots of leafy weeds.

 

It cannot be understated how important water is to chickens during the heat.  You will be amazed at how much they go through.  Water is far more important than shade, though shade is still very important.  

 

If it gets really hot, do not be surprised if you see a drop in egg laying.


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Old 06-24-2012, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamsmom98 View Post

Quote:

...we can't do the shrubs and such at this moment as we're saving up to build a coop/buy the feed/buy the chickens...

Look around your area for any new construction about to begin.  If there are shrubs or small trees (that will be bulldozed or removed anyway), you might be able to get them, at no cost, if you are willing to dig them up yourself (offered a plate of homemade cookies, a kind contractor might even use their heavy equipment to dig them for you!).  It's certainly worth a try and will add shade and beauty to your property and cover for the birds.  Just make sure to give them a big enough hole on your property and water, water, water to establish them and ease their shock.

 

Well right across from us is all kinds of small trees and such but they're covered in weeds that are taller than me. We have the okay to get them but haven't just yet because they're pretty far back. I'm afraid theres snakes.

 

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Shade cloth, old plywood, anything to keep them cool.  Yes, you need sun protection for your run.  We have old cedar siding on two sides of their night pen and in their new day pen we will have a plywood tent for them to retreat to, with enough room at all times of the day for every hen.  Make sure there is water, lots of it, in several locations and especially in the shady spots where the water will stay cool.  I've never figured out how to put ice in their waterers without buying a bag of ice, but instead, I change their water in the afternoon and replace it with cooler water.  

 

You can create shade without planting shrubs and trees.  Keep giant pots of bamboo and large, leafy shrubs in the run.  Keep the black pots shaded with straw or hay and keep them well watered.   Put a couple of cherry tomato plants in there too.  They love love love tomatoes!  Nice and juicy, too.  You can feed them cantaloupe and tomatoes, too, to keep them hydrated.  Wet down their feed (chickens loooove wet feed.  Makes it nice and smelly!)  Soak the cracked corn or other grains you give as treats (always a good idea anyhow.)  My chickens love soaked split peas I grind up in the food processor.  Really protein heavy, though, so use in moderation.  Lots of leafy weeds.

 

It cannot be understated how important water is to chickens during the heat.  You will be amazed at how much they go through.  Water is far more important than shade, though shade is still very important.  

 

If it gets really hot, do not be surprised if you see a drop in egg laying.

 

The local farmers market had some tall tomato plants last week. Will have to grab some when next they're there :D

 

 

 

Since I posted this, we decided to put them on the SIDE of the house because it's *always* shady. Would that be fine?


 

 

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Old 06-24-2012, 06:43 PM
 
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Since I posted this, we decided to put them on the SIDE of the house because it's *always* shady. Would that be fine?

They like some sun as well.  If you can extend the run to include part of the sunny backyard, plus some of the always-shady-side yard that would be about perfect.  You can put the labor-intensive hutch and predator-proof night pen on the side, and an easy-to-fence day run extending into the sunny spots?


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Old 06-25-2012, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're gonna put them in the original spot we'd planned to put them at but with lots of shade on the run/coop and the proper hot weather precautions.


 

 

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