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Beantree

Keeping chickens cool

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Mine did lots of panting yesterday and have very loose poop this morning which I assume is the result of drinking loads of water.

Barbara stood in a litter tray of water and I did pop some ice cubes in a plastic bag in the cube trays last night to keep the cube cool as Barbara went in about 8 last night and it was still very warm.

 

Just a reminder guys that I understand the theory behind wanting to give your girls frozen corn but it does in fact raise there body temprature while trying to digest it so its counter productive.....sorry to be a kill joy:(

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I gave the girls the end of the water melon to enjoy - it was cold and juicy. Maggie got stuck in - the others had been watching too much CSI and were suspicious. "EEk its red, wet and its a body part" but overcame their fear and pecked away.

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I've read two 'authorities' on chicken keeping. One said the optimum water temperature was just 5C and the other said the most preferred temperature was 10-13C, above which they drink less and so insufficient. Guess the important thing is it shouldn't get hot and it may be easier to throw it away and get fresh cold, rather than adding ice? In our case with about 20 bowls it is easiest to add ice in large blocks. I know that chickens love to eat hailstones.

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I gave them a popsicle this morning. Just plain strawberries in water.

 

Scariest thing ever... Something to run away from... (I just put in run! Didn't toss it or anything!) They were hiding out in the back of the run, eyeing the scary white block. :wall::wall::wall:

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I appreciate that giving chucks frozen pellet lollies is probably not necessary, but it's a bit like giving them pellet porridge in winter - it makes me feel I've done something to help them and if nothing else it gives them something different to "play" with - daft, I know, but it's as much for my benefit as theirs :roll:

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They had picked the water melon skin clean. OH is Cypriot and loves water melon so we gorge ourselves on it from Lidl (the best we've found)and hens enjoy the rest. I wonder if its the colour red which freaks them. :think:

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Normally they know perfectly well what to do with a strawberry... But this big block sitting in the middle of your run is just too scary.

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I remember giving my first batch of ex-batts their first ever apple - they just shouted and screamed at it (I imagine along the lines of "Grenade .. Incoming" :lol: ) I had to take it out of the run and cut it up before they would go anywhere near it - it was eaten pretty quickly then!

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We started off with a thin duvet and I mean very thin, on the corner of the run to afford them more shade and I hosed it on Wednesday. They were not happy with it and the ladder holding it in place. Had dreadful trouble getting them back in a few times. Today OH replaced it and put greenhouse shading on the roof, some on the front and a bit to one side. Whilst it is not blacking the sun out, it let's air in and out of the run unlike a sheet or some such. They immediately started dust bathing which they haven't done if a week now. They do have a couple of places which is blocked from the sun by the coop where they like to sit too.

 

I have been taking them out chilled grapes and tomatoes and also galia melons which they love. Wednesday was the worst day for heat and they were panting.

 

I'll let you know how they get on with the netting.

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Popsicles aren't really their thing, but have found some (easier) options to make sure they get enough liquid in.

I fill a bowl with water and add a little splash of pear juice. They will empty it till the last drop.

Also have stuck some cherries in the freezer (only for an hour or so, not completely frozen) and given them to my ladies. They love cherries and they last a little longer when they are cold.

Today is the last day of the heat for a bit. Expected to have thunder in the afternoon...

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