Looking after your Chickens if there are cold nights.
We’ve had some fantastic weather over the Bank Holiday, but the nights could still bring a chill.
Their feathers will keep their bodies warm but their combs and wattles are exposed. If you apply vaseline to these areas it will help protect them from the cold temperatures.
Like us, in cold weather, birds burn more calories. Offer approximately 10% more food to help the birds during these colder nights. The food you offer should be pellets or mash not treats – don’t be tempted!
It is also tempting to bung up all the ventilation holes in the hen house to keep it warmer. This is not a good idea as these holes allow nasty gases, like ammonia, to escape.
Ammonia is released from faeces and can be irritant to the eyes. Birds can scratch at their eyes and damage them. Damage to the airway can lead to infections like bronchitis. Respiratory diseases are more likely in the colder weather because of this.
Hopefully we’ve seen the last of the frosts, but you never know! In case of frozen drinkers, don’t be tempted to add salt. It is harmful to your hens. Empty the drinkers at night or put ping pong balls in the water to stop it freezing! A clever trick!
Some days it is better for your hens to stay in. Bedding will get wetter in the wetter weather and will need changing more regularly.
Like us these help but too many are harmful.
Poultry Vitamins can help keep your birds in good health.