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Keeping your chickens healthy

 Keeping your chickens healthy


My healthy Silver Laced Wyandotte free ranging!



Here are some ways to keep your chickens healthy and happy.


1.Cleaning the coop

Cleaning the coop is very important for keeping happy, healthy chickens. If you don't clean the coop you risk an infestation of lice, mites, and other parasites. Cleaning your coop isn't always easy but it sure is worth it. Start by getting all the bedding from the floor of the coop and the nesting boxes and dumping it. If any eggs have cracked then make sure to clean up that mess too. Then if needed you can scrub any really soiled spots with some soap and water. Dry it then put some fresh shavings in. Don't Use Cedar. It is toxic. (I use pine  shavings) Also if you want to you can use a Garden and Poultry  Dust to dust the coop and it keeps out parasites. My chickens sometimes perch in the nesting boxes and poop in them instead of laying eggs in them. Clean out the poop in the nesting boxes everyday or when needed.  If your chickens (like mine) perch on top of the coop during the day, there will be a lot of poop up there. Scrape it off.


2.Cleaning Feeders and Waterers

Cleaning these out around every two weeks is a good idea. If you have a plastic waterer it gets pretty slimy so you will need to scrub that with some soap and water. If you want to put some Apple Cider Vinegar in the water, but only in plastic waterers not in metal. If there is any poop in the water dump it out and give them some fresh water. Make sure your chickens have fresh clean water at all times. The feeders aren't very dirty unless they have been pooped on or have gotten dirt or something in them. Clean the with soap and water. And make sure you rinse them well.


3. Keeping Feed Clean

Make sure that you store your feed in places were bugs, mice, and rats wont get into. Plastic containers or metal trash cans work fine. Always make sure that the tops are closed and make sure that the feed inside cant get wet and turn moldy. Make sure there is no poop in the feed (like mice and rat poop).


4.Worming Your Chickens

If you want to worm your chickens then worm them if you see any worms in there poop or if your chickens have been around other poultry that has them. There are a lot of different wormers, and you can easily find them in your local store like Tractor Supply or Southern States.


5.Letting your chickens free range

This is a great way for you chickens to get some nutrition by eating fresh bugs and grass. Also getting out in the fresh air is good for them instead up being cooped up in a run. If you cant free range your chickens then instead you could move there pen to a fresh patch of grass (if you have a  movable coop) you could also buy a pen and use that for them. They love being able to go run around in a new place.




These are just a few of the things to keep your flock healthy. There are a lot of ways to help your flock stay happy and healthy but these are the basics. I'm sure you can find other ways too. Reading a searching for ways to keep your flock healthy is a good idea if you want to make sure they get the care they need, and some times you come across something very helpful you didn't expect.




My Mutt Rooster and Buff Orpington Hen free ranging.


Thank you for checking out this page. If you have any comments or questions feel free to ask me. I would be happy to answer it and to see your comments.




~Willow Branch Farm~


Comments (77)

what can I put into the chicken area to keep it from getting muddy? Gravel or rocks?
I am going to try bark shaving tomorrow in a small corner, I will let you know how I get on?
Thanks for being short and sweet :) This article helped.
@Mylilchickies - Do they have other places to get to that wont be gravel or rocks? Cause I dont know if its a good idea for them to be walking on hard rocks all the time.
@Indio-Hens -Ok sounds great!!
@ChickaBangBang -Thank you that was really nice of you. Im glad it helped. :)
@TNBEARCHICK -I'm sorry :( do you know what made them get sick and die?? I hope the antibiotics help.
In the coop I have been using working hay would shavings be better? I do change it out dailey..
If there not eating it, you change it often and it stays dry I think it will be fine.
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I was thinking of trying saw dust in the bottom of my coop, anyone ever use this?
@littleluciex - as long as its not really,really dusty I think it will be fine. Make sure they dont eat it though. :) What type of wood is it??
Our coop sits on a cement slab. We can move the coop, scrub down the slab, and replace it when necessary. We make it a point to clean the bottom of the coop, refresh their water, and refill their food on a daily basis when we let them out in the morning. We use hay for bedding and pine shavings under the bedding to help adsorb the poop and make it easier to rake from the bottom of the coop to keep it clean. Our chickens (6 RIRs) are free-range and have plenty of yard to run around, so they are pretty healthy and happy. We treat them like they are our children - LOL!
will putting apple cider viniger in thier water keep it from getting slimy? i use a 5 gal bucket with chicken nipples on the bottom, keeps the water cleaner (well at least from dirt,shaving and just messy chickens) how much apple cider viniger to water?
What about for those using the deep litter method?
can you also use yogurt as a natural de-wormer/ treat?
@raygirl-I dont think it will keep it from getting slimy. But its good for the chickens. I dont know about the yogurt. But that would save money if it is a natural de-wormer.
Use sawdust for inside the coop, and bark works fine for a grazing area - chuck used bark on the compost and get new about once month.
Mix Diatomaceous Earth dust into the bedding , put a bit in the feed, and find a dry sunny corner to put some into sand for a dust bath- this way the chickens will dust themselves against lice and mites!
Straw isnt good - mites and lice hide inside the straws - hay isnt good either, the chooks eat it and it gets tangled up in a ball inside because its too tough for hem to break small bits off.
Young light birds are ok on gravel and stones but old heavy birds can get bumblefoot- a lesion on the ball of the foot that lets infection into the centre of the foot. Check your birds' feet underneath regularly (it looks like a black plug in around hole) if they are on hard rough ground.
Finally protect wood from infestation by treating three times a year with a wood preservative or bleach, and in between times dust it with the Diatom Dust into all the cracks and under the bedding.
Use vaseline on any sore chicken places that need waterproofing, and an antiseptic cream on any grazes or sore combs...
happy healthy chickens !
I been using straw for my bedding and only change it ever 2 weeks ..seems to work for me and i have 150 birds..i do how ever KEEP THE WATER outside in the run ..i have ducks in with the ckickens and there sooo messy ...seemed to keep the coop dryer run is completely inclosed (whick means wire on top of run) they can go in and out at i have the pool for the ducks ..but some of the chickens think there ducks ..too funny ..any your post :)
how to raise city chickens and have grass???I have 9 hens on a 80x130 yard.At first I allowed them to free range and within a year I didnt have a single blade of grass.I have tried to rotate parts of the yard but again I end up with no grass.I have ended up giving them 1/4 of the yard so I can have some grass for me and the 5 dogs but I feel so bad for the chickens.I cant afford to keep buying greens at the grocery store for them.So how do you supply enough greens to keep them happy (and eggs that nice bright yellow)
I have 5 hens and a rooster. I got them last year as chicks from a local feed store. They're around 13 months old. My question is: What could be causing them to lose their feathers mainly on their lower back area? I thought they might be molting at first but they don't look like the pics I've seen of molting chickens and they have continued laying. Only one of the chickens has not lost any feathers. They have been doing this for 5 or 6 months. They are in a 8 x 15 run with a 4 x 8 coop and I clean it regularly. I keep them fresh water and food although they don't have access to very much grass. Any ideas you have would be appreciated.
copperrigerose you got a rooster and they are mating thats the one with feathers
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