It all happened in the blink of an eye. The baby chicks that were brought home in early spring were quite adorable and cuddly. Who can resist these cuties?
Now they’re almost all grown up and you have no idea what to do. Don’t worry; you’ve made a sound investment. With a little TLC you’ll be enjoying fresh eggs every day and have a pest free yard. So, take a breath, relax, you can do this. Here’s a guide to Summer Chicken Care now that they’re growing up.
Know Their Age
Whether you hatched them in an incubator or adopted them from a local farm, knowing the age of your chickens is all too important. How they are fed is different and as they approach maturity and begin to lay you’ll want to ensure the proper nutrients are instilled into their diet. This in turn, goes to their eggs and when you have fresh eggs available in your home;you’ll know you’re getting those nutrients too. Don’t forget to give them grit too–a necessary need. Depending on the breed of the chicken, eggs will start to earlier than you might think. Check out this forum.
Make Sure The Coop Is Right
There are a lot of options out there for Chicken Coops and it can be divided into two main categories, Do It Yourself or purchase from a manufacturer. The DIY way can be personally satisfying, but if you’re new to the backyard chickening world, make sure you follow standards for healthy and humane living. If you decide to purchase from a manufacturer Advantek has you covered. From our humane standards to our line of chicken coops, we have one to fit your needs.
Remember that nesting boxes is not a place for hens to sleep. These need to be set up in advance of the hen laying an egg–yet another reason why it’s important to know how old they are.
Eggs Will Come
Be patient. Just because they can start laying eggs at a specific time doesn’t necessarily mean that they will. Many factors can affect egg production and keeping your hens stress free in humane conditions will give you a great start. For suggested humane standards, please click here.
Don’t be surprised if the first egg is misshapen or small. This is very common and it does not mean the egg is bad. In fact, it’s not uncommon for eggs to not be in the shape we know or expect them to be. Hens all over the world lay misshapen eggs. Those meant for mass production are usually cracked and sold. Just because it’s a little off doesn’t mean it’s of poor quality.
Keep Them Cool
Chickens like most animals need to be kept cool on those hot summer days.
While proper ventilation should be built into the chicken coop that you own, finding ways to add additional air flow is key to keeping chickens cool as the weather heats up. This includes adding a fan inside of the coop–that isn’t always a viable option depending on the size of the coop, but if a workaround can be done, go for it. The usual warning applies here in regards to live wire or cords that chickens could get injured on. To assist in cooler temps inside, ensure that there’s only a thin layer of shavings on the ground. This will act as an insulator and keep the coop warmer.
On those extreme hot days where we open up the freezer door and just stand there letting the cold air envelop us, think of that kind of cold relief for your chickens too. One of the best ways of keeping chickens cool is to put ice in their water. Keeping their H2O fresh and clean is a no-brainer task and adding ice to the bowl helps keep the water cool as your chickens drink it up. It also helps maintain proper body temperature of the chickens.
Be careful of the choice in feed for those really hot days. Certain foods take longer to digest which in turn creates additional body heat. Put some berries into the freezer and share them with your chickens. Raspberries, blueberries and strawberries are ideal for a frozen treat. melons work great too. Cut one in half and freeze it and let your chickens pick out of the melon bowl will go a long way in keeping your chickens cool. Here’s a link for a quick read on what to not feed your chickens.
Keeping chickens out of direct sunlight is the obvious answer to the shade situation, but there are many small ways that shade can be offered and it will make a huge difference. Having a roof over your chicken coop is smart for many reasons, but the sun is sneaky and can find ways to shine right upon the chickens
What do you think? How are your new chickens?