If you haven't been outside then you might not know it's been so hot you could probably fry an egg on cement but how hot is it for those that laid that egg? Humans can get heat stroke or heat exhaustion but if you are raising chickens many don't know their feathery friends can also get heat related sicknesses. Chickens, and other birds, can get heat stress which can cause some problems such as stopping hens from laying or even death, so what should you do?
Waiter, I'll Have a Water
It's important to keep your flock of chickens hydrated but when they are out grazing it's kind of difficult to call them to drink. This is why you should provide multiple water sources for your flock and if you could keep those water sources in a shaded area that would reduce how hot the water could potentially get. Most people will also freeze big blocks of ice that they will add to the water in an effort to keep their chickens water cool. This a great way to keep them cool.
What's for Dinner?
Along with freezing water you can also make treat blocks for you chickens by adding vegetables to the water and allowing the flock to peck away at the ice blocks. You can also just stick some vegetables in the freezer that you know your chickens love as a cool and refreshing treat. Remember to stay away from highly acidic treats so that it doesn't affect your flocks quality of eggs.
Hide! The Sun!
It's also very highly recommended to have lots of shade for the flock to be able to get away from the heat but still offering them a lot of opportunity to walk around. If you have a coop make sure that it's very well ventilated and keep an eye on any broody (hens sitting on eggs to hatch chicks) hens as they don't really move around too much. If you have chicks you should wait until they have their own feathers and can regulate their own body temperature to let them out in the extreme heat.
These are just a few quick tips to better the lives of your flock, if you have any fun or creative suggestions on how to keep chickens cool in the Summer let us know in the comments.