Easy Chicken Care Tasks to Make Part of Your Routine
Having a flock of chickens requires some tasks that you need to tend to on a regular basis. These chores will keep your hens happy, healthy, and safe. Chicken care does not have to be complicated.
Daily Chicken Care Tasks
Check the water, and clean/refill it as needed. Make sure your hens always have a clean source of fresh water. Chickens dont like to drink dirty water, and they can dehydrate if they are without a clean drinking source even for a short time. Shavings, straw, and poop can get in the water throughout the day and muck it up.
So refresh the water if you notice any debris or sliminess in the container. Use dish soap and water for regular cleanings, and rinse well before refilling. Also, you can use chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach as needed to sanitize the water container, as long as you rinse it thoroughly.
- Feed the chickens. You can free feed your chickens with a large hanging feeder, adding the chicken feed as needed. Or you can feed them a set amount each day.
- Collect eggs. Collecting eggs daily ensures that they are as clean as possible. It also minimizes cracked eggs and maximizes freshness.
- Observe the chickens. Spend some time with the flock, observing the chickens to make sure they are healthy. Active, alert chickens with bright eyes and smooth feathers are a good sign.
Monthly Chicken Care Tasks
Manage the bedding. How you do this depends on the litter method you are using. For flocks that only have a small area, typically change the bedding in the coop at least monthly. But flocks in larger spaces can use the deep litter method. For this method, begin with 3 to 4 inches of bedding. Each month (or when droppings build up), add more bedding until you have 6 inches or more. Then, remove all the bedding twice a year and start over. Moreover, you can compost chicken litter for use in the garden; it is rich in nitrogen.
Freshen the nest boxes. When the bedding in the nest box becomes soiled with poop or broken eggs, pull out the dirty parts and put in fresh bedding material. This helps to keep your hens laying in the nest boxes, and it makes the job of cleaning eggs easier.
Sanitize the waterers. At least monthly, you should give the water containers a deep clean. Sanitize them with your choice of solution; the simplest is 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Then, scrub the waterers with dish soap and warm water, and rinse well to remove any remaining bleach and soap before refilling with fresh water.