4 Things to Improve Flock Health Right Now.
Right now. As in right now.
Number one. It’s summer. Temperatures are warmer. Standing water is going to get gunky and gross.
If your water fountain is not already sparkling clean, free of grime, slime, and there’s not a single tinge of green that can be seen with your eagle eye…then you’re good as gold.
Fret not, pop a cold one, put your feet up and skip onto Number Two below.
Bhuut if you’re one of those 8 out of 10 people [that I recently reached out to who “thought” or does “think” that their fountain is a crystal clean vortx of sanitary pleasure].....and however upon closer inspection realized there’s no way they would drink out of it and it’s actually not that splendid.....then read on.
Right Now Solution:
Scrubby scrub, rinse, refill and add water protector to your poultry fountain[s] for a boost of enzyme health.
Water Protector is no-funny-business, no egg withdrawal, no food coloring, no flavors. Truly natural enzymes that act as a bonus for water hydration, improves their gut health and with that improved gut health you get chicken poops that smell less like something that was buried and unearthed ….and and and all those enzymes pull double-duty and keep your fountain cleaner longer.
You'll be happy to know that water protector can be used in metal and plastic fountains too.
Number Two. Don't freak out bhuut your chickens have a booty full of lice and probably mites too. They’ve got junk in the trunk. Insect freeloaders. The second thing you can do 'right now" is the equivalent of a spa. Chicken style.
Right Now Solution: And now it’s bathing time. You also get two-for-one in tips with this one. Read on.
Bring in the poultry protector. I recommend a bucket or two, or maybe a deep dish pan or a Rubbermaid or large Tupperware container.
Set up a workstation for your bathing beauties. Maybe a table or a bench? It’s best if you can use warm water as it’ll be less shocking to your hands and your sweet little birds bodies.
- Set up your table or your bench.
- Fill your buckets and containers with warm water.
- Add a cap full of poultry protector, or two. Swish it around to get some bubbles.
- One by one dunk your birds, not including their heads, into the one bubbly water.
- Swoosh each booty with the warm bubbles, swishing back and forth really getting into their feathers, wings, and giving them a good saturation. If they’ll tolerate it just hold them there for a minute or longer.
There’s no need to rinse.
Next, you want to allow them to air dry. [I think it goes without saying that it’s best to start this in the early morning so they are fully dry halfway through the day.]
I think it also goes without saying that they’re probably going to be thinking that you’re a real big jerk for doing this but hey - 4H kids do this every year before the fair and their birds even get pedicures.
Pro Tip: Depending on how many birds you have you’ll need to change the water every 2 to 3 birds, per treatment. Otherwise, you’re moving bugs from chicken-to-chicken and the water gets pretty gross.
Here’s your bonus: because you pretty much horrified them with the bath it’s unlikely they’ll be willing to let you pick them up so this next Right Now tip is for roosting time.
What you’re going to want to do is:
Fluff those butts with diatomaceous earth. You can do this by hand, using your actual hand or use our handy little dispenser that you see below.
When using the dispenser...... fill it with diatomaceous earth, flip it upside down and squeeeeze: poof!
You'll want to give each chicken direct application right into his or her nether regions.
- While roosting.
- It makes it so much easier.
- Yes it’s dusty.
- Yes it’s a mess ahnnnd
- Yes, I end up with white dusty matter all over me too. But I also use my Covid mask and then it’s not so terrible.
Pro tip: Dust their butts once a week for a month. Write it on your calendar. I can almost guarantee egg laying will increase as all there freeloading lice and mites die off.
Number Three. This one requires minimal input from you and is about as far on the opposite spectrum as you can get from bathing your birds. It’s an easy one and the results are long-term.
Here's what you need to do: I want you to think about the locations where your flock likes to spend their time. Where do they go for their scratching, pecking: doing their chicken things.
For me it’s around the potted plants in the run, under sage, rosemary and lavender bushes, near the water fountain and predominately all of the shady places. And of course: at the gate-waiting for me to give them treats.
You’ll need a bag of cluck'n sea kelp. To toss out all the granular sprinkles on.the.ground. Yep, toss it around all those places they go and do their things.
And now and once you’ve done this, each day forward for several weeks they’ll be doing their "thing" and eating the kelp along with the dirt, pebbles, leaves, bugs and other weird materials they deem suitable.
What’s the big deal + benefit?
- stronger eggshells, [which means easier to crack and less chances of any internal breakage while trying to lay],
- golden egg yolks [no more pale butter looking yolks here],
- kelp improves shabby feathers and
- takes gut health to a level of fabulous - and I’m talking about poop.
- all in all you'll experience reduced flies in and around the coop too.
- lastly, if you’ve got yourself some baby chicks you can do the same and share these heavenly ocean granules with them as well to reduce coccidiosis outbreaks.
Amen-now, get to sprinkling.
Time. You can absolutely improve your flocks health right now by spending more time with them. Kids, people, animals - we ALL benefit from more time with the ones we love and adore.
So here’s what I know:
- change up the routine if you can.
- Let them out earlier if possible.
- Maybe let them into a different part of the yard or a pen.
- Sit in a chair with them muddled around.
Our chickens are resourceful and very curious characters and when given a little time and stimulation you'll will boost their vigor, energy and you will definitely stave off boredom, that leads to picking and bullying.
Wishing you all the best in health + happiness.