Monday, 3 October 2011

Keeping Chickens Under Extreme Weather Situations

Chickens, especially when they're young, are quite sensitive and vulnerable to extreme temperatures and diseases. Some baby chicks have a weak immune system and may succumb to harsh climate situations. Other breeds of chickens have a stronger immune systems which permits them to survive regardless of the extremes of climate and various diseases. Because of this, you should certainly take into account the weather conditions in your region when choosing a breed of chicken to raise. The two essential seasons which an individual must be careful about are summer season and winter, since these two seasons see the most extreme weather conditions.

If an individual has his home situated in a location with extreme summer temperatures most of the time, the chickens can suffer from excess heat exposure resulting in dehydration. There is a possibility for hens to lay an excessive amount of eggs in hot weather. Excessive egg laying is not a good thing, since it will cause a lot of stress to the hens..

Sufficient water needs to be provided for the chickens, and it needs to be clean and hygienic. It should be given to the chickens constantly during hot weather. The waterer has to be refilled on occasion to make sure that the water remains clear and fresh. The chickens need to be kept within the shade when the temperatures are high. Most importantly, correct air flow and ventilation have to be maintained inside the chicken coop.

Be aware that chickens can adapt to the tough weather conditions in the winter. Their metabolism undergoes a natural change to help them to survive low temperatures. Just make sure that the chickens are properly sheltered from the weather, and not exposed to drafts. After that, you need to provide warmth inside the coop. The easiest way to do this is by hanging a heating lamp from the ceiling. The lamp should be at a sufficiently long distance away from the ground and from any flammable materials. The water also needs to be heated to keep it from getting frozen. Without water the chickens can die, so this always needs to be taken care of. It is also a good idea to spread some straw or sawdust on the floor to help keep the coop insulated

Every morning, watch the chickens for their health status. Look at their physical attitude. Do they look bright, active, and healthy? If they don't look anything close to normal, then you should call or see the vet to ask for suggestions and answers. The chickens may show teary eyes, sneezing, loss of appetite, melancholy, subnormal stools, mites, etc. If your chickens show any of these signs, they should be placed in quarantine immediately to stop the illness from spreading to the rest of the flock. The isolated birds have to be kept under close supervision, even after it has been diagnosed. If the birds are fortunate enough to recuperate, they may be safely introduced back to the flock.

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