Provide correct feed
Chickens need correct feed; if you have laying hens this is even more important. Providing layer pellets or mash is crucial for laying flock as it provides calcium for eggshell production. In winter, consider feeding corn at night or introducing flock blocks.
Although this is common sense, clean water is essential for your chickens’ health.
Chickens have a sensitive respiratory tract, so a clean coop is essential for good health. Clean coops are less likely to harbour external parasites such as mites.
Wet bedding is a breeding ground for many harmful organisms such as coccidian, an intestinal tract parasite. Make sure you supply dry bedding.
Provide dust-bathing areas
Dust baths are important to maintain skin and feather health alongside parasite control.
Break up and monitor broody hens
Don’t just leave a broody hen to her own agenda especially if you do not want chicks. A broody hen will sit for long periods of time and this can be of detriment to her health, so you need to monitor her.
Knowing what normal faecal matter looks like is very important for understanding the interior gut health of your flock. If the droppings change, you may need to look at diet or introducing a probiotic.
Think about play toys
Chickens are intelligent and can get bored, so consider enrichment for them. A great play toy is a cauliflower head hung from a string. It encourages the chicken to work for their food and keeps them entertained.
Have more than one chicken
Chickens are flock animals and have a social network; the hierarchical “pecking order”. The social network and flock hierarchy makes for very happy chickens.
Be careful introducing birds to your flock
It is important to isolate and monitor any new chicken/s for 30 days, prior to addition to a flock, to ensure they are not ill or have parasites.