Basic Daily Care to Keep Your Chickens Healthy And Happy
"Chickens are relatively undemanding pets, with fairly basic needsAand this is one of the reasons why chicken keeping isAso popular. HoweverAthere are some simple tasks that do need to be carried out daily to ensure that you keep a clean and healthy chicken coop, but theseAshould only take a few minutes a day.
Ideally you should let your chickens out in the morning. Then make sure that their feeding and drinking utensils are clean and in good condition and that they areAfilled with clean food and water.AChickens will eat most of their food in the morning and also lay their eggs then. They usually come out to eat and scratch about a bit andAthen return to their nesting areaAto lay an egg. If possible you should collect any eggs that have been laid, storing them with the blunt end up in a cool place or have them fresh for breakfast.
Always watch your chickens for a few minutes to ensure that they look active and healthy and that they are feeding normally.ACheck your chicken coop for any signs of damage or disturbance from predators. If any repairs are necessary do them immediately as most predators wont give up until they have got inside and are therefore likely to quicklyA return.
At dusk your chickens will normally return to their house to roost of their own accord. Always lock the coop at night with your chickens safely inside, never be tempted to leave the coop open at night as even in urban settings there are plenty of predators, such as foxes,Aon the prowl who will be only too glad toAhave a chicken you thinkAthat you are not going to be able to always do this, you should considerAan automatic closer on theAchicken coop should also check that your chickens have fresh water and food for the night and remove any wet bedding if possible.A
Your chicken coop should be cleaned once a week, or twice a month if you only have a few hens. However, you should always be vigilant daily about damp bedding, which might indicate a leak in the coop roof,Aremove it and replace it with dry bedding as soon as possible as dampness can quickly lead to respiratory and other problems in chickens.
If you have to go away for a few days then it is possible to leave your chickens as long as they are in a secure coop and have an adequate supply of water and food. There are many good automatic feeders on the market which you can use. If you plan on being away for longer then you must arrange for someone to come in and look after your chickens.
Obviously daily care will change slightly depending upon the weather. In summer your chickens will need more water and also some shade to allow themAtoAescape from the sun.A
In winter depending upon how cold it gets, you may need to provide extra insulation to the coop. Also chickens will still need to drink a lot of water, soAit is important that this does not freeze and you may even need to consider a warmer under the water dish if you are not able to check regularly for freezing throughoutAthe day. Chickens are also prone to frostbite on their combs and wattles. This can be prevented by applying petroleum jelly to the areas every couple of days.
Establish a good daily routine from the start and your chickens will be happy and healthy."