The hot weather in the past week has resulted in us having to put in place a few extraordinary measures to try to help the chickens cope better with the jump in temperature.

 

The first of these was simply to add an extra bucket to the water reservoir so there is approximately 40 litres of water available.  Due to the heat the chickens are lying on the ground around the waterer and when they move they end up spilling the water on the ground.  This creates a nice cool place to lie and ultimately results in more water being spilt.  The result of this is that they are using 60L plus water a day.

ShadeThe second measure that I put in place is a “tent” over the top of the shelters to stop the heat getting directly to the roofing iron.  As you can see in the photos this was simply done by putting two tent poles on the end of the pen and stretching a tarp in between with ropes from each corner to create the tent.

 

This doesn’t affect the ability to move the pens, it just takes a few extra minutes as it is simply a matter of pulling the tent pegs out, moving the pen as per normal and then putting the tent pegs back in once the feeder has been put back in. 

The shade tentThe third measure was to remove an extra panel of iron from the rear of the pen.  This is the benefit of having chicken wire all the way across the back of the pen as the security of the pen isn’t being sacrificed to make this change.

 

Finally we increased the distance between the pens to maximize the chance for any breeze to access the pen.  This may not be necessary but currently the front pen is positioned in the general direction the breezes come from so by adding some extra space this minimizes the potential of the front pen blocking the breeze to the pen behind it.