In this heat it's important to make sure that your hens are comfortable. Here are Weeke Farm's top tips for happy hens during a heatwave:
1) Ensure that the hens have plenty of fresh drinking water and clean them regularly to make sure they don't go green from algae. Apple Cider Vinegar is an excellent tonic for the hens and also acts as a natural wormer. Hens will benefit from it being added to their water in this heat (and they'll drink it like it's Gin and Tonic!). Your hens may have quite watery droppings as they will drink more than normal, drinking over 500mL a day.
2) Keep the red mites at bay by cleaning out the coop regularly, dusting the house with red mite powders and dusting your hens as a preventative method. Red mites flourish in the heat and can really cause problems with your flock so it's worthwhile putting in a bit of extra effort to keep them at bay.
3) Ensure your hens have somewhere to take a dust bath, whether it be in a bucket of sand, in the flower bed or in the middle of the lawn. They need to bathe in the dust to keep the lice at bay - putting Diatom in their favourite bathing area is a sneaky way of letting them self-administer it!
4) Your hens will need some shade, preferably outside. If you don't have natural shade over their coop, you will need to put something up on the roof of their coop to protect them from the sun. They will prefer to be outside in the shade than in the house, where it can get quite hot - especially if it's in the middle of your lawn. If you let them run free, you'll find that they'll spend most of their time under the bushes in the shade.
Here is one of our hens enjoying dustbathing.