Let’s deal with it: I’ve taken a prolonged leave from this blog because I started a new, full-time writing job at a medical device company. A great job, but I arrive home out of words. And dealing with the long days, taking care of the animals, family and occasionally cleaning the house, blogging hasn’t been top-of-mind. But, perhaps the word bank has had enough deposits.
The heat of this summer has been/is something I’ve not seen in many years….well, actually, make that ever. Though we had had some hot summer, I didn’t have chickens, so perhaps didn’t notice the weather quite so much. Now I am aware of every nuance, as it can affect my livestock.
Luckily the Buttercups are a Mediterranean breed, light of body, large comb to cool off the body. They’ve been ok. But a new behavior has emerged that I’ve not seen before: wading chickens. I’ve read pro and con about spraying water on chickens to cool them off. Doesn’t matter much for me, my birds wouldn’t hold still even if I tried. But…one of the hottest days of this summer I had put out extra water pans for the birds. All I had were those shallow black feed pans, so I scrubbed several out and filled them with water.
I noticed when I got home that night that some of the pans were filthy with dirt. And, as I watched, several chickens walked through the water pan and out again. Could it have been an accident? I kept watching and saw that they were taking turns standing in the water to cool off and then moved into the shade.
I filled an extra kiddie pool for my large pen of birds–just a couple of inches–and left it under a shady tree. Success.
So until the heat abates (which I don’t think is going to happen for some time), I’m keeping the shallow “wading pool” pans in all of my chicken pens. Its a bit more trouble scrubbing those things out every night, so darn, I still can’t get to the vacuuming or clothes folding
Such is life!