Designing Your Garden

Let the chooks out after sunrise Open the door to the coop to release the flock from its night-time accommodation. If they have space, water and food they can be left in the coop until you’re ready to let them out.

Clean and refill water containers It’s vital to keep water clean and replenished. Scrub the containers and refill them. On hot days, leave out extra water containers.

Check and top up feed Allow about 11 Og of high-protein pellets per bird per day. Don’t mix grains and pellets.

Observe the flock for general health and wellbeing If a bird seems slow, is staying away from the rest of the flock, isn’t eating or has other symptoms, such as bedraggled feathers or a dirty bottom, separate her from the flock. For example, bring her into the laundry, and make sure she is eating and drinking. Sick birds can be taken to the vet. If a bird dies, remove the body and bury it deeply.

Provide greens and kitchen scraps Extra greens and scraps add variety to the bird’s diet, particularly for chooks without access to a yard or area for foraging. Greens can be placed in a net bag and hung up as a fun backyard activity – the birds need to jump and stretch to reach their treat.

Collect eggs Gently clean dirty eggs. Date eggs using a felt-tip pen or soft lead pencil. Eggshells from older birds may be soft. Occasionally abnormalities occur, such as an egg without a shell.

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