Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chickens Don't Sweat

Chickens don’t sweat. When chickens get overheated, they pant. This innocent little fact can lead to a serious loss off egg production from your chickens, especially during hot Texas summers. In hot weather, chickens quite often lay eggs that have very thin shells which are easily broken.  This can happen very frequently and often have disastrous effects on the amount of usable eggs you will get from your chickens. This is a consequence of a disturbance in their systems caused by a loss of calcium carbonate from their systems.

So what causes that loss? When a chicken pants, they are rapidly exhaling carbon dioxide and this seriously affects their bodies. This usually causes a loss of calcium carbonate in their systems which ultimately results in thinner and weaker egg shells. This is not a good thing!

There is a relatively simple solution to this problem. It's cost effective and quite simply accomplished. All you need to do to solve this problem is to make some carbonated water available for them to drink during periods of hotter temperatures. The addition of carbonated water helps reduce the loss of calcium carbonate by their bodies and will help to keep their eggshells stronger. This will help to maintain their egg production during hotter temperatures. This quite simply means you will get better and stronger eggs.

This is due to Chatelier's Principle which can be stated in more general terms as:

“Any change in the status quo prompts an opposing reaction in the responding system.”

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

In summer, when wife is off of work (public school teacher), she also makes a point of taking some refrigerated water for them to drink and pour it in their bowl. Very easy to keep a couple of pint bottles in refrigerator and taking it to them - they return the favor by supplying us eggs all summer long with little reduction in egg supply.

They also appreciate extra 'greens' with their meals, pulling up some grasses also seems appreciated as well.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 7:21

Great tip! You could also put a small chunk of ice in their water also to help them keep cool. If they get too stressed, the carbonated water will help relieve that problem.

Lots of the commercial poultry growers in my area use thermostatically controlled fans to help keep the birds cool but on a small scale it isn't very cost effective.

Thanks anon.


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