Want to keep chickens but not sure if they’ll require a lot of care? Well, chicken care isn’t that hard. And we’re here to tell you you’re in for a great adventure that the whole family can take part in. Read on to learn the chores you should definitely not forget to do to make sure your chickens are healthy and happy
Check and refill the water
Chickens like clean water. Avoid getting sand, food, straw or algae buildup in their drinking trough. To be sure this doesn’t happen, the first to-do is to do a daily check to see whether the drinking trough is still clean. The ultimate in chicken care is making sure your birds always have enough fresh water.
This speaks for itself, of course! Whole grain mixtures and grit form a good basis for their diet. Laying hens also benefit from extra vitamins as this provides them with better resistance and stronger immune systems, and minerals make their egg shells nice and firm.
Everything still okay?
The secret to chicken care is knowing your birds. Watch your chickens every day to find out what their normal behavior is. Do your chickens run to come and eat in the morning? Are they scurrying around happily? Is their stool the usual consistency and colour? If it’s too soft, green or bloody, you should immediately call a vet.
How often you change the chicken coop depends on how many chickens you have and how much outdoor space there is. A good rule of thumb is to change it at least once a week, and more often if possible. Remove all faeces and any broken eggs, and scatter a good layer of clean, dry straw, especially where they nest.
Disinfecting water buckets
Another must for the optimal care of your chickens: every two or three weeks you should thoroughly clean the water troughs. Bring on the bleach! Yes, this is okay to do (1/10 bleach, 9/10 water), as long as you thoroughly rinse it afterward.
The loft needs a thorough cleaning every year or every six months. Feel free to bring out the big guns: a high-pressure cleaner will come in handy. Pay particular attention to cleaning out the cracks and crevices. Harmful insects often hide there, such as red mite which can cause anemia. Fortunately, there is a spray against this that you can use as a preventive measure.
The ideal time to do this? A sunny day that’s not too hot: then the chickens can enjoy the outdoors while you’re working. The added bonus is that the coop will dry easily.