When I started raising chickens I thought that I could just figure it out as I go. It’s not that difficult to keep chickens alive and laying eggs, but there are many things I should have researched before getting chickens. Here a bunch of things that I learned about chickens and how to deal with them.
Keeping Chickens Happy and Healthy with Homegrown Treats
When I first got my chickens I looked into growing some of my own feed. As I delved deeper into this I started to realize that I could have a whole garden full of treats, food, and medicine for my chickens. To make it really easy I decided to dedicate one raised bed in my gardens to growing for my chickens and bought this amazing variety pack of seeds to plant.
What’s That Smell?!?
Guess what, chickens stink! The first thing you need to do to keep your backyard from smelling like crap (literally!) is to regularly clean the coop. More on that later.
When I don’t have time to clean out the coop or just when I notice the smell I use fresh herbs and a natural deodorizer recipe.
There are many herbs that will keep your chickens happy and the coop smelling great. Try mint, basil, lavender, lemon balm, and rose petals if you have them. If you don’t have your own herb garden or roses, just get a couple pounds of this. Just a light dusting of herbs in the bedding on the bottom of the coop makes a huge difference.
Minty Coop Refresh Spray
1 cup of fresh mint
1 cup of fresh lavender leaves or buds
Bottle of white vinegar (or inexpensive vodka)
I just throw all of this in a gallon jug for a week and then strain it out into a spray bottle or two. A few spritzes will easily keep your coop smelling fresh.
Chickens are Dirty!
The most annoying things about chickens besides the smell is how dirty the coop gets. It’s not really that bad if you stay on top of it so I do about 10 minutes of cleaning every morning and things stay clean and fresh.
Check this out for a very easy way of keeping your coop clean. This method has some store-bought items but it’s seriously easy.
I recommend this great recipe for cleaning your coop instead of store-bought sprays:
- 2 Vanilla Beans
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Several citrus fruits (4 oranges, 5 lemons, 6 limes, or a few grapefruit)
- One bottle of white vinegar or cheap vodka
Again, I just throw it all into a gallon jug and let it sit for a week and then strain all the stuff out. It smells great and cleans better than some other cleaners I’ve tried
Chickens and Water Don’t Mix
It’s important to keep water out of the coop. If you have a small leak in your coop it can quickly make all the bedding wet. Wet bedding will quickly turn mold and can rot your coop faster than you might think.
Standing water can breed bacteria and make your chickens sick. Make sure the water you supply your chickens for drinking is clean at all times and that you frequently change it. This is a great idea for a chicken waterer and a poop hammock to keep poop where you want it.
This site has a ton of great tips on raising chickens and keeping them healthy. One of the best sites on chicken raising I have seen.
The Chicken Chick’s Resource Page is simply amazing!