Hi guys! these are my top tips [rules] in maintaining flock harmony and health. PS: these methods may not work in a high predator area or you may be buying a new flock pretty soon!
1; ALWAYS, ALWAYS make sure your girls have enough to eat, enough to drink and are given a balanced diet of greens vedgie scraps, premium layer pellets [or mash] and shell grit!
2; never have chicks of mixed ages, the older ones will pick on the younger ones.
3; make sure your coop is locked EVERY SINGLE NIGHT!!!!! or a predator may come and eat your girls. I have never been to bothered about this rule 'coze we have a very crotchety old dog who will not tolerate anything in his yard. as you can probably now tell, we have very fit chickens!
4; to maintain a health flock, provide places to dust bath, and sprinkle a bit of DE in each bath [I don't bother with every single bath because our hens free range and have about ten baths each!
5; DO NOT TOERATE BULLYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! a picked on hen can surcome to depression and die! house the ring leader seperatly for a while and reintroduce her in about 2 weeks. the pecking order will be scrambled and chances are the poor picked on hen will have a higher rank then the bully!
6; respect the pecking order! there is such a thing and it's okay for a but of argy bargy, but remember rule number 5!
7;ealth check your birds regularly. a sick hen will try to hide her weakness so it is vital that you know your girls. that way, if something's not quite right, you know imediantly and can treat it.
8; enjoy your girls! don't make them all work and no enjoyment. have fun with your girls and get to know their quirky personalites!
BONUS pics of my flock!
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PS: these are old pics. look on some of my threads for newer ones.