High temperatures in the Coastal Bend are taking a toll on egg laying production

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jul 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-21 23:17:57-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The high temperatures are taking a toll on farm animals like chickens. They’re trying to cool down and that means they lay less eggs.

Daniel Graves is the owner of Mother Clucker Farms where they've been battling severe temps and heat indices since mid- June.

“Just like people they get overheated. One of the big things with chickens is that they can’t sweat. So, they have to be able to pant and breathe to try and release a lot of that heat,” Graves said.

Graves told Action 10 News that chickens naturally run from 105 to 107 degrees. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the triple digits have impacted egg production.

“We’ve gone from 110 to 120 chicken eggs a day to now the 50 to 60 range,” Graves said. “We’re at about 50% capacity right now.”

After doing this for three years. Graves said this summer is by far the worst for egg laying and meat bird production.

“We’ve lost upwards to 10 birds already and we had to start prematurely processing some of our meat birds just do to the amount of heat they’re exposed too,” Graves said.

To keep his business going Graves keeps his chickens hydrated, well- shaded and gives them frozen fruit so they can survive the summer.

"They need to have fresh clean water," he said. "We go through 50 gallons of water for our birds."

So the message for chickens is the same that applies for humans - stay hydrated and stay safe in this heat wave.