BULLARD, Texas (KETK) – Kattie Struhall has been raising chickens in Bullard since 2020. Unfortunately, the intense heat this summer has killed six of her chickens.

“Six is a lot to lose,” Struhall said.

Struhall and her children have grown attached to the hens. So, when one dies, it’s like losing a family member.

“There was one we lost that I’ve had, she was one of my originals that I got in 2020, so that was kind of rough,” said Struhall.

That’s why she’s adding extra precautions to help keep the chickens cool.

“I put ton of shade in here, I keep adding shade,” Struhall said. “Every time I lose a bird, I do something more. Mainly they just don’t eat and they stay in the shade, and what makes it hard is they will dehydrate because they won’t get out to drink.”

Owner of Circle C Farm and Ranch Steve Carpenter says keeping your chickens hydrated in this heat is key to their survival.

“Keep them hydrated and keep plenty of electrolytes in front of them, fresh feed and fresh water everyday and just kind of keep an eye on your birds,” Carpenter said.

You can help ensure your chickens are staying cool by having extra cool water, shade and even a box fan to help ventilate the air.

“They have a hard time getting air to them, because they can’t move around a whole lot,” Carpenter said.

It is important to watch out for signs that your chickens are overheating.

“Chickens are really lethargic, laying around not moving much or if you have them panting and gasping a whole lot,” said Carpenter.

Struhall is even providing frozen treats to keep her hens cool such as peas, carrots, apples and watermelons, doing all she can to keep her hens healthy in the heat.

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