Loading... Please wait...

Sign Up for our Newsletter

Our Newsletter


Get your chickens ready for spring

It’s been a long, cold winter. But spring is just around the corner and as the weather warms up, so will the chicken coop. Here are some tips to get your chooks ready to spring into spring!

Are your girls spring chickens?

You may have noticed that eggs have been a bit scarce over the winter. As days get shorter, it is normal for birds to moult and go off the lay. After all, forage isn’t so abundant and they need their energy just to keep warm! 
 
As we enter spring and it begins to get warmer and the days get longer, your birds should start laying again. But chooks aren’t the only things that start living it up in the springtime. Warmer weather is also great for parasites – mites, lice and other pests that might have been dormant over winter will take advantage of the rising temperatures to start breeding. So what can you do to keep spring chickens clucking?

Give your chooks a spring in their step this season

Make sure your birds are prepared for the warm weather and the changes it brings with these simple tips:

1. Boost your chickens’ diet

In the wild, birds go nuts for the first lush, green growth of spring. If your chooks don’t have much forage in their pen, pick them some greens so they can get their fill of all the vitamins and minerals that they may have missed out on over winter.

Some of the most nutritious spring greens are weeds, so kill two birds with one stone (so to speak) and pick your hens some:

  • Dandelion (true dandelion, not flatweed)
  • Thistles (use gloves!)
  • Chickweed (of course)
  • Purslane
  • Clover
  • Nettles (gloves again)
  • Plantain 

spring-forage-plants-captioned.png

 

Tie bunches of weeds with string and hang them in the coop to make it easier for the chooks to peck at them. If you want chicken forage on tap, it is also the perfect time of year to buy a chicken forage seed mix and plant it out. Or click here to read about our favourite plants for chicken forage, perfect for planting now.

Now that your hens are laying again, they will also need plenty of calcium and protein. Make sure you have a supply of grit and supplement their complete feed with a protein-rich treat like dried mealworms or grubs from the garden.

2. Spring clean the chicken coop

Make sure your chickens aren’t going to be assailed by mites, lice and other parasites as the weather gets warmer. Give the chicken coop a good spring clean. Completely replace bedding and use an insecticide or a natural alternative to kill any insects or eggs that are hiding in cracks.

You might like to scatter some herbs on the bedding and litter to help freshen the pen and discourage insects that dislike strong smells. Mint, rosemary, fennel and lavender are all recommended. Always use dried herbs in nesting boxes in case of mould, and never use herbs that have been sprayed or that may be toxic to chickens.

3. Treat your chooks

Prevention is always better than a cure, so spring is the ideal time to deworm your chickens and to treat them for external parasites like lice or mites.  
 
 

Do you want more hints and tips on keeping chickens?

Sign up for our Newsletter. Not only will you get helpful articles like these delivered straight to your inbox, you will also get exclusive special offers and more! Click to subscribe.

 signup-gif-new.gif

For more ideas about how you can spring into spring, visit our Chook School.