The Best Way to Keep Chickens Cool During a Heatwave

Written by Alyssa Shea
Updated: July 17, 2023
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When the summer heat strikes, provide some relief for your outdoor chickens. From solar-powered fans to misters to baby pools, there are options available to ensure your flocks stay safe and cool.

Flock of Silkie Chickens of Various Colors.

A flock of Silkie chickens in their coop.

©SherSS/Shutterstock.com

Provide Sufficient Shade

It can be hard to spot signs of overheating in chickens. If you notice that they’re panting or holding their wings away from their bodies, it’s crucial to act fast. A big, shaded area is an excellent way to cool them down quickly. Bushes, shrubs, and trees are a great option if you’re planning ahead for our chickens. If you need shade quickly, try tying a tarp overhead to cool the area fast.

Freeze Water Bottles

The water you have outside for your chickens can heat up quickly when temperatures rise. If you want to cool off their water, grab as many water bottles as possible and freeze them until they’re solid. Place them in their waterers, and they will act as ice cubes!

Ventilate the Coop

A chicken coop needs good ventilation, no matter what the season. You can quickly drill holes in the walls if you need more ventilation as soon as possible. You can add a screen door to the coop and ensure that vents are placed high above the perches or roosting areas. Wind turbines are also added to the roofs of coops to circulate air and suck the heat right out of the coop.

automatic chicken coop door

You can drill holes in the walls of your chicken coop if you see that your animals need more ventilation.

©Cynthia Farmer/Shutterstock.com

Frozen Treats

Handing out treats is one of the many fun benefits of owning chickens. If you’re expecting a heatwave, you should consider freezing their treats! Take an ice cube tray, loaf, or bundt pan, and toss in your chickens’ favorite treats. Add water and ensure that they freeze all the way through. Then, pop out the frozen treats and let your chickens peck at their frozen goodies!

Utilize a Kiddie Pool or Sprinkler

It’s time for a pool party for your favorite feathery friends! You can get a sprinkler or kiddie pool from local stores or online. Set it up in a shaded area and let your chickens splash around! Chickens love having a water source close by that they can cool off in.

Have Space for a Dust Bath

Are you curious about how to create dust baths for your chickens? It might surprise you to find out that chickens get clean by rolling around in the dirt! As chickens burrow down into the dirt, they find cooler soil that helps relieve them from the heat. If you don’t want to dig into the ground, you can use a kiddie pool to create a dust bath area, too!

Keep Nesting Boxes and Perches Low

It’s common knowledge that heat rises, which is why areas closer to roofs tend to be hotter. Chickens enjoy roosting up high, which can create an issue during warmer weather. Lowering their perches closer to the ground can help them avoid the heat!

Cinnamon Queen, red chicken laying an egg in the nesting box.

A nesting area close to the ground helps keep chickens cool.

©Kathy D. Reasor/Shutterstock.com

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/PeopleImages


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About the Author

I'm a 36-year-old mother of 2 and military wife. I have 2 dogs and a cat that I'm thoroughly obsessed with. When I'm not writing for work, I'm writing as a hobby. You can find me knee deep in a pile of books or way too invested in a video game.

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