These blazing hot July days may just have your chickens looking for cover for a couple of reasons. And if your hens range far from the coop it’s a good idea to provide some temporary shelter.
This is especially important if you have large open spaces without bushes, vehicles, or anything else your chickens can quickly duck under. You’ve probably considered the obvious need for shelter from the hot summer sun. But in some areas this may be even more important because the overhead predator threat may increase this time of year.
This is especially true in our high-desert climate in western Idaho where it’s common to see birds of prey circling in the distance. Early in the year the land offers an abundance of gophers, but after several days of triple digit heat those little guys have the good sense to burrow into the ground and hibernate. Once they’re gone I want to make sure my hens have plenty of opportunities to duck for cover at the first sign of a hawk. This is especially important when I have white chickens or other colors that don’t camouflage well in the landscape.
One simple and inexpensive solution is to grab a few five-gallon buckets and a piece of plywood. Space the buckets about three-foot apart to form a frame for the plywood and place it on top.
Here’s hoping you and your chickens stay cool!
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