Yes. You read that correctly. We put an air conditioner in the chicken coop. Are my chickens spoiled? Perhaps. But they are alive!!
Living in Phoenix, I am challenged with keeping my chickens alive during the summer. Our temps have been known to creep up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, that isn't normal. But 110 is still darn hot!!!
In the past, I have set up misters for our hens to cool off with. However, after we moved, I discovered that the place where the misters could be set up also happened to be in full sun. The chickens aren't too dumb. They realized that they could cool off in the misters, but didn't spend too much time there in the afternoon as it didn't offer any shade.
A month ago, or so, we had a 118 degree day. Hot. Way too hot. Despite the misters being on and available for cooling, we still lost a hen to the heat. My husband and I started discussing how we were going to keep the chickens alive this summer and he painted a picture of something similar to the Cool Zone on an NFL sideline. Perfect!
I started looking for a small and simple evaporative cooler that we could put into the coop on those extra hot days! There are lots of portable evap coolers, but they were a bit larger than what I was looking for. Then, by a stroke of luck while on Amazon, I saw a “if you like this, then you might like this…” picture of a small air conditioner. Wait. AC? In my chicken coop? Would that work?
Well, why not?? And it would be easier because all we would have to do would be plug it in! We didn't have to consider the water factor. The fact that it could be easily installed AND it was less than $200 sealed the deal.
I ordered an air conditioner on amazon for my chickens. Yes, I did shake my head and laugh out loud. And I also wondered why I hadn't thought of this before!
The chickens LOVE it! I think they are relieved, actually. I always felt bad for them because even after the sun went down, they never really got to cool off! I will say, it isn't freezing in there – I mean, it is a wood shed – not exactly air tight. BUT! It is at least 20 degrees cooler than outside. They must love it because when I check on them, they are ALL in the coop, perched on their roost opposite the AC, with their feathers blowing in the cool breeze.
Yes, it is a tad ridiculous. But they give me food! And if they are super stressed about the heat, they won't give me their delicious eggs! So, if I can cool them off a bit, keep them alive, and keep us in eggs, everyone is winning!
Does anyone else in warm climates air condition your chickens? Please, tell me all about it! At least I won't be the only crazy chicken lady!