As Winter comes to an end and the days grow longer, chicken keepers eagerly anticipate the arrival of Spring. With the change in seasons comes a host of tasks and opportunities to ensure the health and happiness of your feathered friends – and likely an uptick in egg production! In this blog post, we’ll walk you through essential steps to help you prepare for spring in your chicken coop and yard.
1. Clean and Refresh the Coop:
The first step in preparing for spring is a thorough coop cleaning. Remove any accumulated debris, droppings, and old bedding. Scrub and disinfect surfaces to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria. Ensure proper ventilation by cleaning out vents and windows. Finally, add fresh bedding or clean nest bottoms to provide your chickens with a clean and comfortable environment.
2. Check for Repairs:
Inspect the coop for any signs of wear and tear. Repair or replace damaged roofing, siding, and fencing. Make sure windows and doors are in good working condition. Ensuring a secure and well-maintained coop is essential for protecting your chickens from predators and the elements.
3. Spring Feeding:
Spring brings changes in your chickens’ nutritional needs. As they become more active and potentially start laying more eggs, adjust their diet accordingly. Consider adding calcium supplements or oyster shells to support eggshell production. Provide a balanced diet with access to fresh water at all times.
4. Assess Health:
Schedule a health check for your chickens. Look for signs of illness or parasites, such as mites or lice. Consult with a veterinarian if necessary and administer any recommended treatments. Keep an eye on their overall well-being, as spring is a time when chickens might be more susceptible to stress-related issues.
5. Plan for Predators:
Spring can bring a resurgence of predatory animals looking for an easy meal. Secure the coop with locks and add deterrents like motion-activated lights or alarms. Consider burying hardware cloth around the coop’s perimeter to prevent digging predators. Another popular predator deterrent is Solar Night Eyes, which imitate the glow of a predator’s eyes at night. To be extra secure, consider installing a coop door or coop camera.
6. Springtime Foraging:
With the arrival of spring, your chickens will have more opportunities to forage for insects, worms, and fresh greens. Encourage this natural behavior by allowing them access to outdoor areas or creating a chicken-friendly garden with plants they can safely nibble on. If you don’t have space for a garden, get them some healthy & delicious treats to forage for.
7. Springtime Egg Collection:
Egg production tends to increase as the days lengthen. Be diligent about collecting eggs regularly to prevent them from becoming dirty or cracked. If they do get dirty, consider using an all-natural egg soap or wipes. Consider implementing an efficient egg collection system to make this task easier. Don’t forget to stock up on egg cartons so you don’t run out of storage space!
8. Garden Preparations:
If you have a garden, plan how to protect it from your chickens’ foraging. Use chicken wire or fencing to keep them out of specific areas while still allowing them access to other parts of the yard. This will help preserve both your garden and your chickens’ access to fresh greens.
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9. Plan for Broody Hens:
10. Enjoy Springtime:
Lastly, remember to enjoy the arrival of spring with your chickens. Spend time observing their behaviors, interacting with them, and simply appreciating their presence in your backyard.
Spring is an exciting time for both chicken keepers and their flocks. By taking these steps to prepare for the season, you’ll create a healthier and happier environment for your chickens and make the most of the opportunities that the season brings. With a well-maintained coop, a balanced diet, and careful attention to their well-being, your chickens will thrive as they enjoy the changing of the seasons.