Looking after my chookie
Once you have purchased your poultry, like dogs and cats, they need to be looked after to stay healthy. They will only lay if they are healthy, vermin free and happy.
ALL CHOOKS NEED
- To keep them happy they need to be able to get out on green grass to scratch about and dust bath (free range). They need feed that is full of vitamins and mineral such as a good layer mash or course grain. No matter what scraps you throw them from the garden the vitamin and minerals in bought grain/mash is a necessity. You can buy poultry vitamin from your local produce store. These vitamins can be used as a supplement or if you grow and make your own chookie food.
- Poultry need fresh water every day.
- Poultry need a dry shed to sleep in and get out of the weather. They need a roost to sleep on(it helps them feel safe) and a nest to lay in.
- They need to be able to keep warm and out of the rain and cold.
Poultry need to be wormed 3-4 times a year. If poultry are wormy they often won’t lay, they are listless and worms are often seen in there dropping.
Lice and mites need to be kept off the poultry and out of the pens. I drop normal old garden lime in their pens and they dust bath in it, this keeps the majority of lice and mites off. You can buy lice/mites powder commercially to dust them with, these powders are great too.
Chook are also very social and need the company of other chookies. If you are introducing a new chook to the flock though you need to do it slowly, place the new poultry in a pen next to the old poultry for at least 2 weeks. When you do finally put them together they will fight to establish a pecking order but the old ones will not gang up on the new poultry and kill them (we hope).
Pens, water containers and feed dishes all need to be cleaned regularly. You get sick if you eat off dirty plates and so do chookies. Pens need to be cleaned at least once a month, feeders and waterers weekly if not more often. Never let mould or bacteria grow in them. When I clean pens I rake out all of the old bedding material, then using a high pressure hose I hose out all cobwebs, dirt etc off the ceiling, walls and floor. Next I put bleach through the floor and roosting areas, after this I used a strong disinfectant such as “Virkon S” or “FS10” and put this through any area the chookie might touch and leave it empty to dry completely before replacing clean bedding and the chooks. Cleaning of pens helps to keep lice and mites out and also helps keep the chookie healthy.
Breathe Eze is a good product to clean with and to put in their water. It is an aqueous chorine dioxide is helpful in keeping disease out of your flock. Exstinkt mould kill and activator is also great for killing the actual mould germ so it does not grow back. Available from http://zydox.com.au/ or from Country Wide Rural Malanda 40 965 222. Check out this link to discover more http://forum.backyardpoultry.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=7992510&start=0&sid=22281882da71244ce0da38381db51db8
I have added some online sites of where you can buy poultry wormers and lice/mite powder, poultry products. They are in no particular order. There are heaps of other places on the net. If you wish me to add your link then please email me.