Chickens Coop Blues?

Backyard hen and chicks

Backyard hen and chicks

On this date of April 10, it certainly doesn't feel too much like spring. With much longer days, adults chickens are "kicking into gear" with egg production. Make sure you check nest boxes every day (and maybe a few other places you'd least expect)!

After being cooped up during the winter months, it's time for mature birds to be outside soaking up a bit of sun, dust bathing (ahhh...feels so good!), and scratching around for tasty bugs, and for gobbling up grit. We have a large fenced-in area which has kept our girls very happy over the years. Make sure your area is protected against predators of the 4-legged sort and of the winged variety. Ours is not protected from above, and fortunately we do not have problems with hawks. We owe this to always having a rooster. Though these guys can be a hassle in other ways, they surely earn their keep in protecting their harem. 

We are not believers in free ranging all the time for the aforementioned reasons. However, an hour or so before dusk, we often let them out into the wild green yonder to  graze, scratch in the compost pile, and pilfer the seed below our bird feeders. These distractions, plus the time of the day, keeps them from kicking up a storm in my flowers beds- NOT a good idea! The flock always heads back to the coop as darkness approaches, and the rooster makes sure of that. Young girls always like to push the limits, though-haha!

To those of you who have ordered baby chicks for May delivery, we are always ready for all your apparatus needs. For decades we have loved the full line of Blue Seal poultry feeds. Getting your chicks off to a great start begins with our highest quality starter feed. We always begin with Chick Starter (with amprollium medication) to help prevent coccidiosis, then at about 8 weeks of age a transition to a non-medicated grower, and lastly to a layer feed at 18 weeks.  With clean water daily, a clean coop, room to get out to do their chicken thing, and superior feed, we have always had happy, healthy chickens for the better part of 40 years. 
So get out with the girls and listen to the soft clucking communication of the flock. It's so de-stressing. 

I add a glass of wine, and a garden fork to keep up in the perennial bed. Life just doesn't get much better!

Judy Ratta-Harrington