Raising a flock of chickens requires several tasks that need to be done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Each and every one of them are essential so as to keep hens healthy, happy, and safe. Sad to say, not every poultry farmer is able to do them for reasons like they are too complicated.
Truth be told, chicken care doesn’t have to be so difficult. This guide is created to assist you in every task you need to do.
These are the tasks every poultry farmer should do daily.
1. Check the water source and refill as needed.
You have to ensure your birds always have access to fresh and clean water. Straw, shavings, and droppings may only contaminate the water, therefore clean them up.
Also, you have to check whether the waterer is slimy or not. Use a dish soap to wash it and rinse with clean water. If possible, use an oxygen bleach product for sanitation purposes. This is very important because, like humans, chickens don’t like drinking dirty, contaminated water.
2. Feed them regularly.
Feeding chickens is one of the most important tasks of poultry farmers. If done right, rest assured you will have a healthy and happy flock that will cluck merrily all the time. When done wrong, expect complications and problems like deformed eggs, reduced egg production, and unruly behaviour.
To make things easier, you can feed them from a hanging feeder as necessary. But it would also be better to feed them a set amount every day.
3. Collect and clean their eggs.
Whether or not you are raising chickens to enjoy fresh eggs or to have something to sell, you have to ensure they are fresh, safe, and clean. So, after gathering them, clean them. And then, package them accordingly in designated cartons. You need not to store them in the fridge, although they will last longer that way.
4. Check their overall health.
Spend a couple of minutes a day to ensure every chicken is eating, drinking, and acting normally. Check their eyes if they are bright and alert. Inspect their feathers if they are smooth. Observe their movements to know if they are still very active.
Below are the weekly tasks every chicken owner should consider doing.
1. Clean up the chicken coop.
Every week, clean the chicken coop and make it a habit to replace the shavings. During the winter season, you can do it more often, depending on the amounts of snow outside. Get rid of anything that don’t break down.
As a chicken farmer, do not forget these monthly chores.
1. Change the bedding.
This chore depends on the litter method you are following. If you are raising chickens in the city, you might need to change the bedding in the chicken coop once a month. However, if you are in a rural area and you have a large flock, you may remove the bedding at least twice a year, especially if you are using the deep litter method.
2. Sanitize the waterers.
To help promote a healthy living environment for chickens, it is a good idea to scrub the waterers with warm water with your preferred sanitizing product. But it is simpler and safer if you use one part of bleach for every 10 parts of water.
3. Make the nesting boxes more comfortable.
Once the nesting boxes become filled with broken shells or poop, clean them and freshen them up. By doing that, you are helping your birds lay more eggs and making the task of cleaning eggs easier and faster.
4. Gear up for changes in the weather.
Like us, chickens need to adjust to the weather, especially if it is winter. When the cold wind starts to blow, extra effort should be exerted to keep your flock warm. If necessary, get heaters. Also, consider using a light to keep the hens laying fresh eggs. You might need to provide roosting space for everyone as well.
5. Sanitize the chicken coop.
Once in a while, you have to remove everything in the chicken coop and wash them individually. If you want, you can also sprinkle diatomaceous earth, also called, GE, to combat mites and keep your girls healthy. Don’t worry if your birds feed on them. Ge is safe for chickens to eat.
Like most pets, chickens need frequent maintenance and care. If there are instances when you can’t do any of your tasks, do your flock a favor and ask your neighbors to look after them. Finding a person to do your tasks might not be a problem because they get to reward themselves with fresh, organic eggs.
If you have any concerns or questions about your chicken care chores, please do not hesitate to ask me below. I’d be more than happy to answer!