Spring has officially sprung and as we adjust to the clucks going back and waking up an hour earlier, it’s time to spare a thought for your feathered friends as their bodies adapt to daylight saving. Take a sneak beak at our top tips to ease your chickens into spring.
- Adjust their routines
Not everyone is an early bird and waking up an hour earlier puts some people into a fowl mood. The same can be said for your hens. Switching up their routine overnight can lead to confusion. One way to make the transition smoother is to slowly tweak their daily routine by a few minutes each day to make up for the extra hour. Start by waking them up and feeding them a little earlier in the mornings and adjust their evening routine too.
- Ditch the artificial light
If you added artificial light to the coop during winter to help increase egg production, spring is an eggcellent time to start gradually decreasing this so that your chickens become more accustomed to longer days. As the number of hours of daylight increases, your chickens will naturally start to lay more eggs.
- Spring clean
With clocks springing forward, it’s time to inspect your chicken coop and carry out a deep spring clean. First take everything out of the coop (including roosts and nesting boxes) and then, using a dust pan and brush, remove any soiled bedding, dirt, feathers, nesting material and droppings. Once the coop has been swept and dusted, clean it inside out using warm water and a pet-friendly disinfectant. When everything is dry, lay down fresh bedding and welcome your chickens back to their nest.
- Warmer weather
As the temperature starts to rise, it’s important to prepare your chicken coop for warmer weather. Gradually remove excess insulation to allow your chickens time to acclimatise to the summer sun. Also ensure that there is also plenty of ventilation in the coop. Chickens produce moisture, ammonia and heat. High humidity can lead to respiratory disease, so it’s important that there’s plenty of fresh air-flow to keep your hens happy and healthy.
- Prepare for predators
As life springs into action, it’s important to check your coop to make sure it hasn’t suffered any damage over winter, particularly as pesky predators like foxes and rats will start to become more active. Keep an eye out for any small holes in the structure of the coop and secure the floor and runs with hardware wire. It’s also a good idea to install security features such as a ChickenGuard Premium door opener. This device opens and closes your chicken coop using a timer or light sensor and keeps your chickens safe.
The above tips are by no means exhaustive, but they should help you to ease your chickens into spring and keep them happily clucking away. We’d love to hear how you help your chickens’ transition from winter to spring so feel free to share your stories and tips on our social media channels!