The days are getting longer, your birds are courting and spring is just around the corner.
You should notice egg production picking up around this time, so if you are looking to breed and haven’t already done so, get those incubators ready. Look out for broody hens in nesting boxes who might be about to raise chicks as nature intended.
Keep an eye on your hens and fit poultry saddles to them so they don’t lose feathers from their backs. A poultry saddle is usually made of tough leather or canvas and it fits onto the back of your hen, protecting her from the cock’s feet and spurs during mating. Next time you visit us, take a look at our range.
To ensure the best quality eggs, make sure that you feed your birds high-quality layers pellets in the morning. All other foodstuffs can be given later in the day. This way you know the birds will have eaten the mineral rich pellets before filling up on treats!
Your girls are using up a lot of energy while producing eggs, so make sure that you refresh their drinkers regularly – at least once a day. Eggs are 70% water, so fresh water is crucial to quality eggs. A lack of water can seriously affect the health of your birds and their laying ability.
To darken the colour of yolks, as well as improve the health of your birds, you could consider giving them dried seaweed. We stock a good selection so call in and take a look or ask our Poultry team for advice.
At this time of year, it’s a good idea to turn over the ground in a fixed run if it isn’t frozen. Once your birds have gone to bed, use some poultry disinfectant and ground sanitiser to keep down disease and destroy worm eggs before chickens eat them. Applying this at night gives it time to “fume off”. Then apply some fresh bark to the run. If the ground is frozen, make sure you throw out lots of fresh greens.
If you have a cockerel, it’s a good idea to rub Vaseline on its comb to help protect it from frost.