All backyard chicken-keepers have an interest in keeping their pet chickens happy and healthy. There are a number of small steps that can be taken to promote the health of backyard chickens. Here are our top tips!
- Use the correct feed
Chickens at different development stages require different feed formulations to live long and healthy lives whilst producing tasty and nutritious eggs. Laying hens should be fed layer feed once they have laid their first egg, this feed contains calcium which hens need for eggshell production
- Clean your coop
Chickens have sensitive respiratory systems and they are early irritated by mould and ammonia from droppings. Clean coops are less likely to house external parasites meaning you’ll have happy healthy chickens.
- Check your chickens droppings
This sounds weird but the first sign of a potential health problem will often be found in a chicken's dropping. Installing a droppings' board underneath the roost provides a regular and easy away for you to check for potential abnormalities.
- Provide dust baths
A dust bath is the chicken equivalent of a daily shower. These can be as simple as a dry patch of dirt for your chickens to dig shallow spots and work into their feathers and skin to control parasites.
- Protect from predators
If you’re new to raising chickens you might be unaware of what predators are around. Protect your hens from outside threats by providing your chicken coop with a door that shuts securely and regularly checking for any holes where predators could gain entry. If you’re in the city motion sensor lights can work in your favour by scaring skittish foxes and cats.
Although keeping chickens may seem overwhelming at first, you’ll rest easy knowing you’re taking the best possible care of your investment. There are plenty of books and articles widely available if you’re looking for further information on how to get the most out of your hens.