Cleaning the Chicken coop is probably the most dreaded chore we as chicken owners have to do. But keeping the Chickens healthy should always be our top priority. Following Chicken Coop, Management Practices leads to raising healthy Chickens.
Importance of Coop Management
Chickens that are living in dusty, ammonia filled environments for long periods can become susceptible to respiratory illnesses that can affect their quality of life. Everyone will have a different plan of how they will manage their coop, depending on their circumstances. Some say you should never let bedding and droppings build-up, while some rely on stripping and completely replacing the bedding often. Keeping the coop clean and having proper ventilation is key to healthy respiratory function.
We put together a simple plan to properly clean and manage your chicken coop.
Coop Management Schedule:
Yearly: Completely strip the coop, power wash it and let it air dry, Spring cleaning.
Monthly: Strip the litter and replace it without washing it
Weekly: Turn over the litter in the coop so that it can naturally compost on itself
Daily: Ensure your feeder and waterer are clean and mold-free. Providing fresh clean water and feed daily. Furthermore, observe your flock daily for any signs of illness.
Proper tools and products will help make managing your coop and your flock much more efficient. Hillandale Quality Feeds carries an assortment of chicken grit, bedding options, probiotics, electrolytes, and de-wormers. You will also find a nice selection of poultry feeders and waters at HQF in a variety of sizes. We have poultry treats, and scratch gains as well.
Respiratory Disease in Chickens
Even if we do everything right to include maintaining a clean coop, providing quality nutrition and selecting chicks from good breeders, there is a chance your chickens can come in contact with something parasitical, viral or bacterial, that can cause respiratory issues.
So, what are the most common causes of respiratory illness?
Chickens living for long periods of time in a dusty environment, or if ammonia levels in the air are high, can show significant respiratory disease.
Keeping the dust to a minimum can go a long way with aiding in prevention. Try to use bedding that doesn’t give off much dust, and provide adequate ventilation to chickens living inside. Regularly removing feces can help keep the ammonia levels down.
Some common signs or symptoms of respiratory disease are:
Wheezy/gurgling breathing sounds
Discharge around the nostrils and eyes
The signs or symptoms can be seen all at once, or you might notice one or two at a time. It can show up in one chicken or a number of chickens all at once.
Understanding and carefully monitoring your bird’s normal behavior can be very beneficial and is part of good animal husbandry. It will better help you recognize when a member of your flock is ill.
How to help prevent respiratory disease in chickens:
Chicken Coop Management Practices listed above
Keep the environment clean and dust-free
Clean feeders and waterers daily
Keep stress to a minimum
Quarantine any new birds before adding them to your flock.
If you spot any ill birds, separate them immediately to prevent the spread of disease
Being set up for success is going to set you up for a fun chicken raising experience!
And remember a Clean coop leads to a happy and healthy flock!
Come see us at Hillandale Quality feeds for all your poultry and game bird feeds and supplies.
Hillandale Quality Feeds is located in Lake Butler, Florida. We work hard to provide high-quality feed to the community. Stop in today and speak with one of our expert staff.