One of the most popular animals to keep, especially in the countryside are chickens. They don’t require much energy and everyone loves to watch them go about their day. These feathered pets need to be kept safe from predators as well as themselves. If you have your own flock or plan on keeping one, you should know how to keep them healthy and help them thrive. You should be prepared before bringing the chicks home because they can get sick and die rather easily when they’re young.
To help you create a haven for your chickens in your backyard, we are going to provide you with some crucial tips on how to design the perfect environment for them, so let’s get right to it.
Take Care of the Coop
You should build a coop to keep your chickens inside and protect them from harsh weather conditions. However, you should make sure that it is dry at all times because humidity creates the optimum environment for molds and bacteria to grow. Even if the weather is relatively cold and dry, chickens produce bodily heat that raises the temperature inside the coop and aids in the formation of water vapor. That’s why you should install a ventilation system; you can use a combination of windows, vents, and fans.
Regular maintenance is important to notice the existence of holes early on. As soon as you discover access points where small animals can enter, you should block them. The most common predators of poultry are cats and snakes. If they make their way inside, they can kill half of your flock overnight. Moreover, they will eat the eggs that you have been waiting for since the day you got the chicken. That’s why you should reinforce any spot that gets compromised due to repeated forced entry attempts. It is also mandatory to preserve the cleanliness of the coop by regularly removing old debris to avoid having a smelly barn. A pro tip is to use essential oils such as lavender which gives a nice scent and helps repel predators. You should also make it a habit to spray the area with chemicals that kill any parasites such as lice.
Prevent Parasite Infestations
No matter how hard you try to keep your chicken away from parasites, they can get infected anyway. This happens when a chicken eats bugs that usually carry different kinds of worms. You should know how to treat your poultry by consulting a veterinarian immediately because the infestation can spread fast. If you want to take on the mission by yourself, the animal enthusiasts at Chook City recommend using natural or artificial dewormers. You should use the ones that are toxic to parasites but safe for your chickens. You can look for safe dewormers and find some insights on how to keep other parasites at bay in addition to ways to keep your flock healthy, all with a quick online search.
Food and Water Supplies
The type of food you offer your backyard chickens plays a huge part in their health. You should keep the water and the feeders clean at all times to avoid infections and diseases. Instead of going through the pain of cleaning them every day, you can use dispensers that are set up away from the ground. That way, the chicken won’t be able to scatter debris all over the food and water sources. Moreover, make sure to feed them high-quality food and ensure that they get enough vitamins and herbs to assist their growth.
Install Electric Fences and Safety Shelters
Some people prefer to let their chicken go wild and give them their freedom. If you want to let them roam free, you should keep them safe by installing electric fences around the backyard to keep predators away. In case of an airborne attack, you should build safety shelters where your flock can run to if a bird tries to hunt one of them.
Adopt a Dog
To up your safety game, you should adopt a dog and keep it in the backyard. Most predators will stay away from your garden when they smell your furry guard. It is better to get a puppy to allow it to get familiar with your flock from a young age. That way, they will be loyal to your chicken and will protect them instead of hunting them. Keeping backyard chickens is an easy task if you know how to keep them safe and healthy. Predators can find their way into the coop easily, which is why you should take the necessary precautions to protect your chickens, from installing shelters to keeping guard dogs. You also need to prevent infestations and supply the chicken with nutritious food and medicine that will help them fight off any infection.