Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The first really hot day this summer!

The temperature here got to 43 degrees celcius yesterday and I spent quite a few hours going around putting bottles of ice in the chooks' water and spraying water everywhere in an effort to keep them cool.
It worked pretty well although we lost five hens through heat exhaustion.
I don't know why I should be amazed, but I always am at the different reactions henshave to summer heat. Some lay around basking in the sunshine - as though they are posing on the beach at San Tropez. Others perch in the trees and try to lose body heat by opening their wings and their beaks to pant away the unwanted heat. And then some huddle together - increasing the heat problem. That's how the five died yesterday.
If they had been on the slatted floor in one of the mobile sheds, there may have been enough airflow to keep them cool. But they chose to huddle on the ground under the sheds.
As the sheds are on skids, there was enough room for the air to flow freely around those on the outside of the 'group hug' but it obviously couldn't reach those in the middle which probably ended up suffering temperatures of over 50 degrees C.

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