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 the drinkers regularly to make sure they don't go green from algae. They are less likely to go green if left in the shade. 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 the heat. 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 away.
3) Ensure your hens have somewhere to take a dust bath, whether it be in a wide 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 away - putting Diatom in their favourite bathing area is a sneaky way of letting them self-administer it!
4) Your hens will need 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. If you let them run free, you'll find that they'll spend most of their time under the bushes in the shade.
5) Do not give them iced water as it upsets their temperature regulation.
Here is one of our hens enjoying dustbathing.