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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:06 am 
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Showy Hen
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Location: Junortoun: Suburb of Bendigo,Vic,Australia
Does anyone have any ideas how to keep your chook house cool and how to keep the chooks cool as well :biggrin: :biggrin: :wink: :wink: NUDGE NUDGE :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:24 am 
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Wise One
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In the really hot weather (42degrees here the other day) there's no escaping the heat completely unless we put reverse cycle airconditioning in the ChookHilton, and although I may consider that, :aaargh: my hubby would baulk at the idea :shock:

However, what I do is place and replace heaps of large containers of cool water around the run and the yard. I open the run for the girls to free-range under the trees etc., and place light old curtains around the wire on the "run" fence. Light enough for any breeze to get through. I'd use some light hessian if I had it - it's what my folks used in North West Australia on the edge of the Gibson Desert when I was young. Then I wet the curtains from time to time and it's amazing how this cools the run down. You could place wet hessian or old curtains/sheets over the chookhouse roof too.

I give them treats like cold watermelon or cold rockmelon. They go crazy for both! and if I have them, a large container of cold vege scraps that I've kept in the fridge. This I place in the shade of a tree. Sure takes their minds off the heat for a while.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:28 am 
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Phoenix
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Location: Sydney
James,

Firstly, the free rangers have low trees and bushes, their all time favourite is an avocado tree as it is in one corner of the yard and pretty dark under it, even on the sunniest days. I usually setup a sprinkler early in the mornings on predicted hot days and use very cold bore water, I also fill the duck pond with the cold bore water which the chooks have access to.

For the breeders runs, they are covered in shadecloth, the sides also have shadecloth which is rolled up and can be dropped like a curtain, above these there is a misting system, also using bore water, you roll down the curtains and the water from the misters gathers on the curtains and dribbles down heading for the ground. They act as a coolgardie fridge cooling the internal runs as the water evaporates. It is always cooler in the runs than out in the yard so much so, I usually hang out in there as well.......well thats my excuse :)

I also have automatic drinking waterers, so there is no standing water to get hot, however on really hot days, I do put out a big bowl of water with ice in it.

J

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:47 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
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Location: Tarago, near Goulburn
We're letting ours into the full free-range as they seem to like hanging out in the potting shed to keep cool (despite the fact it's basically an open tin shed). It also means they get the large overflow tubs under the garage tank, which are large and deep and keep water cooler than their drinker, which is unavoidably in the sun for some part of the day (I just can't seem to shade it well enough). They hang around the watertank as well and get the good shade under the gum tree.

They were panting when I came home yesterday so they all got a little hose - Clyde-the-rooster and his fave girl deliberately came into the water, the "babies" hung around looking confused, and everyone else ran away ... but they all got a few droplets.

Went to close up at 9:30pm - it was still 29C!! - and they were perched in their (unfortunately tin) shed but still panting a bit, so we watered the shed - inside briefly as well - which definitely helped. The shed is in good shade under she-oaks, so it wasn't actively roasting them inside - it was no hotter inside than outside (not saying much!!).

There's some elderly watermelon they'll be getting this afternoon, and they get cool-water mash in the morning so they get something to eat before it's too hot to bother. I'm still getting six eggs a day from 12 layers - 3 went broody, so that's actually not bad given the weather.

There's hessian around the pen and it got watered when I watered the plants it's protecting; the chooks love chasing the water dribbles around :)

Luckily, too, we get hot dry heat. Keeping chooks comfy in humidity ...? (Maybe they like it??).


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:09 pm 
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Hatchling
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Location: Highett, Victoria
I had my first hot days with my 18 week olds this week and 1 x6 week Australorp. The Australorp, Which I thought maybe better suited, struggled the most. Maybe because she's younger??

I have a good spot for there run under a big decidious tree which provides good shade. I let them out so they could find their best location themselves and they went to there regular spot under a small group of trees.

I put water around everywhere for them and put ice in the water containers. They were all gasping a bit so I sprayed so misty water through the trees. Which they didnt likemuch at first and then settled down on some of the wet grassy area under shade.

The Australorp seemed to be in a bit of distress so I brought her into the laundry a put a fan on the floor. She sat in front of it and didnt move. After about 45 mins she seemed to have recovered and put her back out. They all seemed fine later in the afternoon/evening and the temperture didnt drop much but at least the sun was lower so no direct heat.

I'm not sure if I was being over cautious but I wish someone treated me like the chickens get treated. I was a bit concerned that they might overheat though.

Scotty


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:32 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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We lost 3 hens yesterday and a chick with the heat even with lots of water around for them an free range area with plenty of shade and trees. Someone has suggested putting 2 lit milk containers filled with water frozen aound the places they like to sit. I did notice they were all huddled around the waterers.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:15 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Location: Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Kazaustralia what temp did it reach and whereabouts are you situated.
Sorry about your loss.

Geoff

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:25 pm 
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Phoenix
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I would love to be able to say James that that these ideas all work.
We pumped the water in to them yesterday ,sprayed changed water etc,etc and still lost 2 OEG pity they were good show birds.
It reached 46.6 yesterday and I am thankful that we only lost two as I believe in this mad weather pattern our loss could have been much more.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:26 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Would hooking a fan up help at all?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:39 pm 
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Phoenix
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We have looked at the fans at field days that you run water through use them in piggery,sheds etc ,just wish we have a bit more water available.
They do work well though. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:21 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Location: rockhampton
8) we have on our pens shade cloth and walk in water trays [sides off 20litre plastic drum] about 2 inches high so that ones in the pens can cool off .ones on the outside have a soak[leaking pipe] beside shed amd kurrajong tree,we haven't lost any ,sorry about your lost :cry:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:39 am 
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Showy Hen
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Location: Newcastle , NSW
My chooks love to keep cool by digging/rolling/lying in wet leaves and mulch. The temperature here has been 41 for consecutive days . A couple of times a day i hose down the heaps of gum leaves i collect and scatter over the shaded part of their yard, they love it and love it even more just after it has been hosed down. They move the leaves around to get to the dirt underneath which has been dampened. Together with extra water bowls in this area even i can notice the drop in temperature after the hose down. What better use for all that gum leave mess !!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:41 am 
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Showy Hen
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Location: Ocean Grove
Hi

I wonder if you could rig a something like a coolgardie safe for the chickens to go in

Kerrieb

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:38 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
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Location: Tarago, near Goulburn
That mightn't be a bad idea; I noticed two of my lunatic "babies" hiding out in their tin shed just 30mins ago, and panting. They COULD have been out in the cooler shade but noooo ... twits.

Australorps are heavily feathered and black birds, so can suffer a bit in direct sunlight, I reckon. They definitely like the mulch and the cooler soil underneath - she-oak is the favourite around here. Some of them seem to dig in so only their head is showing.

We're lucky in that we haven't had extreme heat - 39C but we're relatively high (700m) and the air is rarely still for more than 12 hours, so the chooks aren't suffering cumulative days of heat stress.

I don't think bringing the chooks inside the air-con sounds silly at ALL. HUGE hugs to those who have lost chooks in the heat :(. May the cool change come to you soon and bring rain.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:41 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: North East Victoria, Australia
Hi Geoff

We are in Northeast VIC between Wangaratta and Albury. Temps here reached 43C and the winds were hot. We did have plenty of water out for them, they were given to us last April and some are 10 yrs old, so my only thoughts are the old and the sick could not cope with the heat. Poor chooks I would hate thinking they suffered and died of heat stroke. Will try and prepare with extra water tays and frozen blocks for the heatwave next week.


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