With temperatures topping 100F last week, it was time to install and turn the mini-sprinklers on the chickens. The mini-sprinklers we use are the same you would have in your garden. We want enough water to cool the house and chickens but not so much to make a big mess. In addition to shade, which we provide for the main flock by using shade cloth, the chickens need cool water to drink. The mini-sprinklers are set up so that they draw water right before the drinkers. The constant flow of water ensures that it will not get hot in the drinkers. We installed an extra shade cloth last Saturday (100' by 32') which makes a big difference combined with the sprinklers. You can see that they are happier as they are out of the houses eating and scratching in the heat of the afternoon.
In the new flock, the chickens can hide both in and under the house to escape the heat. The cows also took advantage of the cool mist as soon as it was turned on! We will continue to turn on the sprinklers when the afternoon temperature reaches 95F. Keeping the girls cool means less stress and a continued laying of eggs!