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Caring for you Poultry

Chickens are very easy to keep and maintain.  They like to be let out in the morning when it is light; and they don't mind a lie in on the late starting winter's mornings either.  As the birds are making their way out in the mornings you should check the house and replenish their food and water.

During the day check for eggs, avoid leaving eggs laid during the day in the chicken house overnight.  The eggs may get broken accidentally, even deliberately; some chickens can develop a taste for eggs.  You will get to learn your chickens' laying patterns as they will develop a routine once they are settled. 

Remember - don't disturb your chickens while they are laying, they will more often then not take umbrage and climb off and out of the nest.Ensure your birds have a fresh supply of water, if they run out it can effect her egg production for a number of days if she has to go without water for a period of time.Chickens have very poor eyesight, so they will tend to put themselves to bed in the evening.  They will be vulnerable at night due to predation from foxes, so locking them in the henhouse is for their own safety.  If your henhouse is fenced in and over, they will appreciate having the door left open during the summer so they can come and go as they please.

The care and welfare of your birds not only involves the birds themselves, but also their home and surroundings.  The chicken house should be cleaned out daily, removal of droppings and water replenishment should be part of your daily routine.  Once a week the henhouse should be cleaned out thoroughly - new straw, roosting bars and nest box should be given a light scrub and hose down.  Every few months you should give the henhouse a more thorough spring clean, disinfecting inside, roosting bars etc.