Thursday, June 15, 2006

Low stress chicken

I like fried chicken as it happens. But I don’t care for it until it is purposely cooked up.

The other day the temperature got up into the high nineties, along with the humidity. This is typical Florida summertime stuff, just a little early is all.

Most of the critters here just find a shady place to lie about through the hottest part of the day, no problem. These Cornish Cross broiler chickens are not as hearty as normal chickens though and I had a few that used the heat as an excuse to drop dead.

Prematurely fried chicken, not good.

In the past I just raised these birds in the fall. Temperatures would get lower as the birds grew bigger and I didn’t have any problems.

I have a fan in my shop that I used years ago when I would tune up an air-cooled Motorcycle engine. It kept it from overheating when I ran it for a long while when it was not moving.

The chickens seem to enjoy it. They are obviously much more comfortable.

No more heat stress.

They sit in front of the fan like a dog with its head out the car window.

My young laying hens coped with the heat just fine, but then tropical storm Alberto came by and blew the roof off their pen.

I was intending to remove the pen to integrate them with the older hens. This just caused that plan to speed up.

No smashed hens by the way.

There has been less fighting among the hens than I expected, the young ones have accepted a lower spot in the pecking order, and that seemed to satisfy the older (and larger) hens.

In the nearby photo they are all roosting together in the hoop house.

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