Whilst the warmer months bring benefits to chicken owners with extended daylight hours, better weather conditions and, of course, more eggs, it is important not to forget that summer can be a stressful time for your flock. Nettex have shared some top tips with us to help look after your chickens during the summer months.
Pesky Pest Infestations
The warm weather brings an increased threat of Worms, Lice and Mite infestations so it’s essential to support your hen’s immune system during this time, as well as tackling those Pesky Pests in the housing and on the birds.
Parasites can cause severe health issues and stress to their immune system. Signs of parasite infestation include birds which look anaemic, appear irritated or they could even stop laying. It’s important to support them with a nutritional supplement to help them recover faster.
Chickens are susceptible to heat stress as their body temperature is much higher than humans and they are unable to sweat to cool down. Make sure your flock has access to shade and plenty of fresh, cool water. On hot days you can pop a frozen bottle of water into their drinker to help keep the water cool! Again, a nutritional supplement can help birds to cope with heat stress.
Avoid giving too much ACV
Apple cider vinegar is a fantastic supplement for chickens, full of natural vitamins and minerals, with wonderful antibacterial benefits for digestion and the respiratory system. However during the summer months too much vinegar can make chickens susceptible to other health issues, so it's best to limit its use during very hot weather.
New Birds to the Flock
Summer is the time of year when many poultry keepers consider introducing new birds to their existing flock, which can cause major stress - so it needs to be planned with consideration and then undertaken slowly. Ensure that you check new chickens to ensure they are free from parasites before you introduce them to your flock.
New chickens should be quarantined initially near to your original flock and introduced gradually, whilst monitoring the flock and taking action quickly to separate any chickens being bullied. To reduce bullying it’s a good idea to use environmental stimulation to keep your chickens entertained and ensure you have additional food and water stations. It’s advisable to put the new chickens into the coop after the existing ones have gone to sleep.
All of the these scenarios can have a detrimental impact on how often your hens lay good quality, tasty eggs. Chickens are seasonal breeders, so most hens will stop laying as we move towards the winter months. However even during summer sometimes hens can lay eggs which have thin, soft no shells, or stop laying all together. If this happens, ensure your hens are healthy by conducting a health check to identify any issues, check they are not infested with parasites, being pecked by other birds or overheating.
Provide your hens with high-quality layers feed, making sure that this is a significant proportion of their diet and keep treats to a minimum. Soft shelled eggs might be more common at the start or end of the laying period, or when the hens are older.
Nettex are giving 10% off selected supplements this month, to keep those chickens in good health!
Tuesday 12th July 2022