Be Prepared For Intense Weather
Its no surprise that in Texas a heat spell can be bring devastation to farm livestock. This includes chickens. When the temperature rises above 95 degrees for most of the afternoon your chickens will need relief from the heat. There are several things you can do. First, be sure that the chickens have a covered area or shady plants to stay near for a cool spot. Second, make sure that chicken have fresh cool water and that the water is in a shady area too. It won't help your chickens if the water container is in the 100 degree heat. The water is too hot to drink.
The best weather for poultry is consistent weather, not too humid, and actually dry is best for poultry overall. So what can you do during season changes? Over medication is not the answer neither is under caring for your chickens either. If you use "antibiotics". IMPORTANT: DO NOT OVER MEDICATE. ITS BEST NOT TO USE ANY MEDICINES IF YOU CAN AVOID IT OR USE AS NEEDED DURING HEAVY COLD RAINS OR FLOODING
I have learned over the years that sudden weather changes causes bacteria in the soil to go from dormant to active and this is what can get chickens to become ill.
Be aware of the weather reports
Have supplies on hand BEFORE a storm
Keep extra hay or bedding add to standing water in a pinch to keep chickens from standing in water
Use extra hay for warmth, keep away from heat lamps
If you choose to use medications, use Corid for Cocci and or Tylan or LS-50 is best if you need antibiotics. There are other medications available too.
For high wind situations be sure to put up boards or bracing
For heavy down pours be sure to hang heavy duty 6 ml plastic on windows and doors
The WORST thing for chickens is the temperature drop. Before it rains hang up warm heat lamps if possible to dry up humidity in the coop
Do not try to clean coop until all rains are passed and mud is stable to walk on.
And finally, consider cool mud ( a few inches) for a "mud bath" chickens love to lay in cool dirt or mud. Also, each year I add a water sprinkler to the coops. I set the timer to start spraying BEFORE the water is hot. So even though most chicken egg laying cycle slows down or stops in hot summer days. You may still be able to keep most of your chickens laying during part of the summer using ways to keep them comfortable from the heat.
On really HOT days you can offer our chickens a cool spray from a hose or sprinkler
If you are in Texas (or anywhere actually) and the weather changes suddenly, this can create a bad living environment for your chickens. Its not only the drop on pressure, or the temperature but the problems can lie in the chickens health and how they can handle the changes. A typical fall in Texas can range from nearly 90 degrees in the day time dry weather, and suddenly drastically change to 35 or 40 degrees and a "blue norther" full of a sudden downpour and several inches of cold rain.
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