Photo credit: Tracy Halladay

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Heat

First, you may notice a new link on the right to a blog called "Fresh Eggs Daily" They have had great advice and fantastic pictures.  I love seeing pictures of other peoples chickens, coops and yards.  I think it is worth having a link on the sidebar to make it easy for you to find them because they have had great advice. 

Which brings me to today's topic...HEAT.  Weather here in Utah is inching up (sometimes jumping) and this can be a shock on chicken's bodies...I have noticed a drop in egg laying (especially by my brown layers for some reason) as the heat crept upward.  I did a lot of reading and to counter the higher temperatures, I have made a few changes in how I treat the girls in the back yard.

Check out the size of that middle green egg!

First, I cut back on treats.  They love a handful of scratch and I was giving them more than that.  Scratch is high in fat, has a lot of corn and can cause them to heat up quite a bit.  They need about 18% protein in their diet to optimally provide eggs, so I made sure to give them fewer treats and keep them stocked on their laying feed.

Second,  I change their water more often.  In the cooler weather, the water stayed cool and they would drink until the waterer was nearly empty.  Now I dump it and put fresh in about every other day.  They have liked that alot.

Third, I have hung a fabric on the east side of their run (the west is protected by the hen house).  This has kept temperatures in the run cooler while letting air through.  I let them free range in my backyard in the evenings and they really appreciate finding cool shady areas to rest.

Now, instead of copying the whole post, I want to encourage you to go to http://fresh-eggs-daily.blogspot.com/2012/03/beating-heat.html.  Fresh Eggs Daily has some great ideas and photos for how they beat the heat as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment