Do Chickens Need Sunscreen?

Summer is a season of abundant sunshine and warm temperatures, but for backyard chickens, the sun’s intense heat can pose some risks. A common question that arises is, “Do chickens need sunscreen?” Let’s tackle this query and further explore the sun and heat risks for your flock.

Chickens and Sun Exposurechickens sitting on perch underneath a tree

Unlike humans, chickens do not need sunscreen. They are covered in feathers, which provide natural protection against the sun’s harmful rays. However, chickens, particularly breeds with larger combs and wattles, can get sunburned on these unprotected areas.

Protecting Your Chickens from Sunburn

To prevent sunburn, ensure your flock has access to shade throughout the day. This can be a coop, a covered run, or natural shade from trees or shrubs. If your chickens do get sunburned, applying a mild, animal-safe aloe vera gel can soothe the affected areas. However, prevention is always better than treatment, so prioritizing shade access is key.

Heat Risks for Your Chickens

While the sun itself may not pose a huge risk to chickens, the heat can. High temperatures can cause heat stress, leading to decreased egg production, lethargy, and, in severe cases, death. Therefore, managing heat and ensuring your chickens have plenty of cool, clean water to drink is essential. On extremely hot days, providing frozen treats, like watermelon, can also help your flock stay cool.

While your chickens won’t need to borrow your sunscreen this summer, they will need some extra care to navigate the warmest season safely. Ensuring access to shade, plenty of water, and a cool environment can keep your flock happy and healthy all summer long.

Need more tips for managing your flock in the summer? At Chickens for Backyards, we have a range of resources to help you take the best care of your chickens in every season. Visit our website to learn more.