Springtime Chook Care
3 Necessities for Your Chooks During the Warmer Season
Welcome back spring and warm weather! We’re all happy to see you again, but now it’s time for spring poultry tasks to help them enjoy the weather change, too.
Spring is a great time for chicken keeping, as they’re most often happy to be clucking around, finding fresh foods and laying again. As a responsible chicken keeper, it’s up to you to make sure your feathered friends are healthy, comfortable, and pest-free.
Here are three necessities that should become seasonal rituals to help your chooks transition safely and happily into the warmer season.
Chook houses need spring cleaning, too, and most likely a deep one! Make sure you practice timely cleaning of chicken coops, that way you’re avoiding unwanted pests like lice and mites.
- First Muck out the bedding by removing everything out of the coop, including the feeders, drinkers, perches, and nesting trays. You can compost the old bedding!
- Second Scrape away any leftover dried bits of bedding, chicken poo, dust, etc. You can pick up a good coop cleaner and scrub away, especially in stubborn places like corners, edges, and tough stains. Do the same for the nesting box trays, then let everything dry.
- Third Fresh is best, especially when it comes to bedding! Layer it well once the coop is completely dried out.
- Finally Use Pestene Lice & Mite Powder as a natural pesticide. Sprinkle it liberally throughout the chicken coop (and onto the chickens, too!) as an effective treatment for controlling lice, mites, and fleas. Mites are often brought in by wild birds or new chooks, and can last through the hardest of winters. The really start to wreak havoc and can make your chooks not only uncomfortable, but very, very sick.
The thought of intestinal parasitic worms makes my skin crawl. Most intestinal worms can cause a lot of damage and discomfort to your chooks, including decreased appetite, a shabby, unhealthy appearance, stunted growth, diarrhea, and even intestinal blockages.
Three of the most important intestinal worms in poultry are:
- Round Worms – the most common infestations in chickens
- Caucal/Cecal Worms – live in the ceca of the chicken
- Hair Worms – also called capillaria worms, can cause diarrhea and anemia
Although these three intestinal worms are common, they can also be very painful, cause more sicknesses, and are highly contagious even to humans. Vetsense Kilverm comes highly recommended as an effective treatment against strains of these particular parasites. It comes in liquid form and is mixed with the chicken’s drinking water with specific instructions. It’s used as a preventative method, so should be administered every six months, unless there is a worming problem then the dosage will be slightly different. An added bonus is there is no withholding period for eggs!
Supplements aren’t just for humans, they’re “for the birds” too. They are an added health boost, especially during winter, molting season, and in the full heat of summer. Additional calcium, electrolytes, and a good multi-vitamin with amino acids are sure ways to keep your chooks healthy at the turn of the season. Our three favourites are from Vetsense:
- Vetsense Avi-CALCIUM is a soluble supplement that contains vitamin D3, which then helps with calcium absorption. This is a huge bonus as calcium supplementation adds eggshell integrity in layers and is great for normal bone development in young birds. It can easily be taken with Vetsense Avi-LYTE and Avi-VITAL.
- Vetsense Avi-LYTE is a liquid electrolyte that provides energy for your chooks and replaces elecrolytes that are lost during periods of stress or change. Some of these stress factors include very hot days, illnesses, transportation, and vaccinations. When Avi-LYTE is mixed with Avi-CALCIUM, the eggshell quality greatly improves, especially during the hotter months!
- Vetsense Avi-VITAL as the name suggests, provides many of the vital supplements needed for your chook. It supplies multi vitamins, essential minerals, amino acids, and prebiotic supplement. It’s best used during reduced feed intake or to supplement after a long period lacking adequate nutrient levels. The prebiotic supplement helps to improve gut health by nurturing good bacteria growth assisting in a healthy digestive process and absorption of nutrients.
Spring is even better now that you’re well-equipped with the know-how of helping your chooks transition into the warmer season. They’ll be happy, healthy, and clucking along nicely! Poplar Petfood has all of these highly recommended chook products available. Come in store today, and we can help you select the best product for your feathered friends.
Written by Miranda S. Altice