It is only natural for humans to want to cool off when it is hot outside. Chickens are no different, as they also need proper hydration and shade.
Chickens may enjoy a kiddie pool in the backyard. However, chickens are not excellent swimmers and should only be allowed in smaller bodies of water. You can cool off chickens by putting ice in their water and giving them yummy frozen fruits.
Even though many chickens do not like to be in the water, some seem to enjoy it. If you want to know if chickens like kiddie pools and how to cool them off, peruse this article.
Why Chickens Are Not the Best Swimmers
Chickens can swim, but you need to be careful with them. The best way to allow your chicken to cool off in a body of water is to have them get into a kiddie pool.
Chickens would love a kiddie pool to cool off when the weather is warm. However, chickens are not very good swimmers and should not be placed in a large body of water.
Some of the reasons chickens are not the best swimmers:
- They do not have webbing between their toes the way that ducks do
- Chickens do not have oil on their feathers to keep them waterproof
- If they tip over in the water, they could easily drown
Chickens may paddle in the water but cannot swim like ducks. However, chickens should not be left alone in any body of water that covers them because they could potentially drown.
It is why a kiddie pool is an excellent option for them. Please don’t make the water deep and stay with them.
- Chickens may not be able to swim if they panic and do not remain calm.
- Some chickens panic and can drown as a result.
- Breeds of chicken that maintain a more tranquil mood are generally better swimmers.
- It may also depend on the individual chicken and how well they can swim.
Here’s a cool video showing chickens playing in a kiddie pool:
What About Chickens and Swimming Pools?
Some chickens can paddle around a backyard pool and enjoy cooling off in the water. They seem to be happy as they are having fun floating and splashing. However, they have physical limitations when it comes to swimming.
Another concern is the chemicals added to the water to keep it clean:
- Various enzymes
It is not known how long-term exposure to chemicals can affect chickens. However, if you use a hose to fill up a kiddie pool, it is probably safe. Chickens may also be prone to getting chills.
They can even suffer from hypothermia if left unchecked for too long. If you see one of your chickens soaking wet, you should dry them off immediately and ensure they are okay.
To be safe, keep baby chicks out of the water, as they are small and weak, and do not yet know how to use their legs in the water, keep their balance, and move around. You can put marbles in the water to help them drink without drowning.
You can DIY your own little chicken pool. Use a baking tray and fill it up so the chickens can stand in the water. Chickens who do not like swimming or getting wet will find this a refreshing alternative. They will appreciate the lovely gesture.
Another option to keep your chickens cool is to create a mud puddle area. Wet the ground with a hose and give them some muddy water because chickens “dig” the dirt! And it may be a better alternative for them.
What Are Some Ways to Keep My Chickens Cool?
Summer can be distressing for animals who require comfortable temperatures to survive. In the debilitating heat of the extra hot months, your chickens could use some help cooling off.
Some indications of heat stress consist of the following:
- Keeping their beak open
- Laying on the ground with their wings stretched out
- Pale comb or wattles
- Breathless or Panting
Chickens experience the heat more so through their combs, legs, and wattles, as they lack sweat glands. You must keep your chicken safe and comfortable during the heat wave. The following includes some great ways to help your chicken cool off:
Offer Them Plenty of Water
Offer your chickens fresh, clean, cold water to keep them hydrated in the heat. It would be best if you changed their water multiple times each day when it is hot outside.
- You can add ice cubes to their water to keep it cool and refreshing.
- Keep water in many different areas for them to be able to get to.
Offer Them a Shady Retreat
Give your chicken somewhere they can retreat to a cooler area where it is shady and safe. There may be a bush or tree for them to hide under.
If there is nowhere safe for them to retreat, provide them with a shade cloth over the door. Know the sun’s position during the day, and create a barrier to block it. You can also purchase one or two free-standing parasols and keep them at each end of the pen.
Provide a Smooth Air Flow
Put a fan in the coop to help keep your chickens cool and decrease humidity. It is an excellent idea for chickens housed in enclosed coops or runs. Only give them a thin layer of bedding to keep them from overheating. Excess bedding is unnecessary and will make the chickens too hot.
Give Them Frozen Treats
Feed your chickens cold or frozen food. Frozen fruit is a great option, as they will love the combination of the taste and the cold.
Some fruits chickens will adore:
Take the fruits and chop them up into small pieces and freeze them. It will likely only take a couple of hours to freeze, and you can give them to your flock.
Get a Mister
Get a misting attachment for your hose to cool off your chickens. When you put the attachment onto the hose, you can hang it down off a tree branch to make it easy to access. Misting the air drops the temperature by a good ten or fifteen degrees. Your chickens will love it!
Chickens are not particularly good swimmers but may enjoy a small wading or kiddie pool. Just be careful and monitor your chickens, so they do not fall over and drown.