Shut chooks into their secure night-time housing by sunset This is vital to protect the flock from predators and ensure they are sheltered overnight. Set an alarm to remind you. On hot nights, make sure the sleeping area is well ventilated. If the weather is cold, wet or windy, ensure the coop is not exposed to bad weather.
Check the supply of grit and top up if necessary Hens need grit, such as broken shells, fine gravel or blue metal fragments, to assist with digestion. As they don’t have teeth, they start digesting food in their crop (part of the oesophagus). The grit should be rough and no less than 3mm in size.
Clean out or top up nesting boxes Nesting boxes can become soiled with droppings or broken eggs. It may be necessary to do a thorough clean-up once a week and renew the nesting materials.
Clean up uneaten food scraps Rake up uneaten food in the yard regularly as it can attract vermin. Keep a compost bin in the chook yard to easily dispose of uneaten scraps, droppings and spoiled litter.
Check litter, clean and top up if necessary Dry straw, hay or wood shavings on the floor of the coop absorb droppings and allow chooks to scratch about. Remove and compost droppings from under where they roost.
Check fences and security Ensure perimeters are keeping your hens safe. Check more frequently after strong winds and storms, or if you’ve sighted a fox or heard warning calls from your birds.