Anyone else's flocks suffering in the brutal wet summer heat?
My poor birds... panting like dogs with wings outstretched, even in the shade buried in cool dirt. I try to keep them supplied with fresh cool water, I put a fan in the main coop at night to get some air moving around but still, it's HOT.
I'm collecting hard-boiled eggs from the nesting boxes, LOL!
OK not really, but you get the idea.
A few girls have had a relapse with the lung issue thanks to the heat, one is isolated and on penicillin since she stopped eating and was acting really downbeaten (my sweet buff orpington Holly). The others are still laying and acting fine so I'm leaving them alone.
Gotta get the coop ready for two new girls tomorrow, a white leghorn and a red production hen - both at POL (point of lay). I've gotten hens twice from this breeder before and they're awesome so I'm hoping all goes well this time too.
Yes I have a lot of chickens but not many are regular layers, I'm getting between 14 and 20 eggs a day for almost 60 birds - bad, eh? Yes OK I have baby chicks, pullets too young to lay, old hens past their prime and a handful of roosters, hens in molt and others who just don't lay much at all no matter what.
I have to stress the point that these are my pets, eggs are a side-benefit!
But... people want those pastured (free range) eggs real bad so... I gotta get me more young, ambitious and reliable layers, no?