Yes, I saw the little one to make from a 5 gal bucket, but it's too small.
Does anyone use a swamp cooler for their chickens? I hate watching them in their misery in the summer. They have a fan, mister, open sides to their pen, shade, lots of water.
If you have one for your ladies, could you tell about your setup? I think I will need a cooler that attaches to the hose because when I work I am gone for 24 hours at a time.
Does the dust they create cause a problem with the cooler?
The cool air from this unit runs down thru the night coop (secured / enclosed quite a bit, since our yard is not fenced) ... Thru the 300sqft day yard (air is trapped by 12" high wood 2X border around the bottom of the yard + shade cloth on the entire west side) ... Then into the first 150sqft garden (helping to create a cooler gardening microclimate) ... The future bunny hutch will benefit from the same evap cooler on the East side of the coop ...
We have a rolling portable evap for the humans on the back porch too ... Never used it after the first year ...
This year I have my raised bed garden in the chicken yard which is enclosed in hardware cloth to keep them from snacking. I raised the bottom of it off the ground about 12" and dug out another 6' or so underneath it like a pit. So now they have a cool place to tuck under during the heat. I water in the morning enough to wet the ground under the garden and have a fan blowing under there. It seems to be working very well. They are always in there during the heat of the day. I also have a fan in the coop with the nest boxes. That bucket cooler is a great idea though. I might give it a try for the coop.
I have one for a second year in a row. I purchased it at Home Depot, its called Ultra cool, portable evaporative cooler, paid almost $100.00. For me it was worth it so I can sleep at night. My backyard is against a major street, with the heat from the asphalt and the block wall my backyard is a thermal heat area. I would hear them making noise at night and sleeping during the day. Worth every penny!
In addition I have misters, ceramic water saucer with cold water, trees, and a fan inside the coop, all this wasn't enough.
How do you have your cooler set up? How do you keep it from the dirt ruining it?
It's not sleeping at night I worry about, it's feeling so, so bad for them during the day, in their down jackets. Poor girls.
Its a small evap cooler inside their coop on top of a small table. The back of the cooler is against the wall and it faces their sleeping area. Last year I covered it with a trash bag during the day.
I have to fill it up with water every late afternoon and it runs for 10 hours. They are much happier and I am happy because I get more eggs. At the end of the season I clean it, I have more problems with hard water than dirt.
I'll post a pic later in the day.
I was thinking about building a bucket air if this one brakes down.
Here is a link of what I had in mind.
I tried making an ice chest cooler but with the very hot air sucking in it really no cold air out. So, I extended their coop under a big bushy area and put in a very strong mister. The ground gets pretty wet in some areas and they can root around in it and cool off. Today was 110 and they did very well, not much panting at all. They love it in there. Lots of shade and the mister brings the temp down probably 20 degrees. They are going back into their coop now only to use the nesting box.
We coil mister tubing in circle and attach it on an oscillating fan. Works well for us. We also use shallow pools of water with frozen gallons of water in them for the chickens to soak their toes in and drink from. They love both of these options.
We tried a small window AC unit in our coop Works great until the dust overwhelms the filter, which doesn't take long at all. So we stick to shade, play pools, misters, and frozen water bottles. We have an elevated coop, so we hose down the ground under there--enough to wet it down without getting things muddy--and they seem to like that.
I've heard about using a converted ice chest or water cooler (the round 2-gal kind with the dispenser button) to make a drip waterer--fill with ice and it trickles a supply of cold water as it melts.
We've got a challenge out here with the heat, for sure. It's easier and cheaper to heat things than to cool them down.