Here in the Carolinas, it’s not abnormal to reach temperatures of 100 degrees or higher during the summer months. High heat is dangerous for chickens, any time temperatures suddenly increase over 85 ˚ F extra precautions must be taken to decrease the chance of heat stroke, heat-induced stress, and death. Fresh clean water is the most important thing you can provide for your flock. Eggs contain mostly water so keeping your chickens hydrated is essential for health and egg production.
Signs that your chickens may be overheating include:
- wings away from their sides
- pale wattle and comb
A fun way to help your chickens cool off during the summer is to provide frozen treats. The heat started very early on this morning so I decided to make a mint ice block for my flock. Mint has natural cooling properties and acts to lower the body temperature of humans and animals. Since my mint plants that I was gifted from a friend have done so well I wanted to share some of their cooling attributes with my feathered friends.
Here’s how I put together the chicken ice block:
All you need is a pan or ice cube trays. Fresh mint [and other yummy fresh treats]. And water.
Start by roughly chopping some fresh mint leaves into your chosen container. This time I had extra cherry tomatoes, so I also halved these and added them along with the mint. [Other variations could include strawberry tops, frozen peas, blueberries, squash, watermelon, etc.]
Then fill your container with water and freeze! It’s as easy as that and your chickens will be very thankful.
In the meantime my girls will be enjoying another great frozen treat that also reduces waste in our home. Frozen watermelon rind! [I leave a good amount of watermelon for the girls. Like I’ve said … they’re spoiled.]