Summer is finally here! Whilst these warmer temperatures are great for most of us here in Australia, spare a thought for our feathery friends who often struggle in the outdoor heat.
Here are our top five things to consider this summer to ensure your chickens are happy.
1 – Space
This is the first key thing that will keep your chickens clucking with joy. Most chickens need at least four-square feet per bird, but it is best to give a chicken as much space as possible so they can forage and run around. Chickens will also need a fairly large run and coop to ensure they are not squashed when you lock them away for the night.
2 – Clean their coop
Chickens don’t like to be dirty, so you have to make sure their coop is as clean as possible. As well as keeping happiness levels high, this will also stop any diseases from spreading amongst your feathery friends. In the summer months your neighbours would probably love it too. To clean the coop, be prepared to get your hands dirty and follow these simple steps:
- Scrape away all of the manure, dirt, bedding, feathers, etc.
- Hose it down.
- Scrape away anything that is left.
- Disinfect the coop
- Rinse again with water.
- Leave it to dry out.
Then you can put your chickens back in and watch them thrive in their nice clean home.
3 – Dust Baths
Chickens love dust bathing. It helps a lot with their health and happiness, as it can stop parasites and allow them to cool off in the summer. You should leave an area in your garden with no grass and let your chickens have their dust baths there. Alternatively, if you don’t want your chickens to destroy your garden, you can set up a dust bath in a shallow tub or paddling pool.
4 – Treats
Chickens obviously love it when you give them treats, but you also need to keep them healthy. Some tasty options include pumpkin or squash innards, watermelon (which is great to help them cool off in summer) or meal worms, which chickens absolutely love.
5 – Free Ranging
This is one of the easiest ways to make sure your chickens are happy. Allowing them to roam around outside of the coop will mean that they can forage for plants and insects. This will also allow them to lay better eggs, with richer orange yolks.
And remember… always ensure they have plenty of water!
We hope you find these tips useful. If you would like to share any tips that chicken owners would find helpful please do drop us a line on our Australian Facebook page.