How To Keep Your Chickens Safe On Halloween

How To Keep Your Chickens Safe On Halloween

So I’m a huge fan of Halloween! I think it’s so fun for kids and I love the costumes, the pumpkins, and all of the fall decorations.

However, especially if you’re raising chickens in an urban or suburban area, Halloween can be a pretty stressful and scary time for your chickens. So today we’re going to talk about how to keep your chickens safe on Halloween.

Now the thing about Halloween, is that it’s really fun for us humans, but for animals it can be kind of a scary time, especially if you have domestic animals. There’s going to be a lot more activity in your neighborhood during Halloween and that can be very stressful for chickens and other pets.

 

Trick-or Treating People

The number one thing to remember during Halloween and Trick-or-Treating, is that not every neighborhood Trick-or-Treats at night.

Usually chickens will go in their coop at night and you’ll keep them safely cooped up all night long night, so you might think you don’t need to take any extra steps to keep them safe.

But some areas tend to have Trick-or-Treating hours during the day, or at dusk, right before sunset, which are times when your chickens might be out and about and hunting and pecking instead of safely in their coop.

So you definitely want to make sure that you coop your chickens up during the hours of Trick-or-Treating, especially if they’re during the day.

More and more neighborhoods are shifting more towards day hours to protect kids. And so younger kids who might go to bed earlier, can still enjoy Trick-or-Treating.

So definitely make sure that your chickens are cooped up. And make sure that the coops are secure. You’re going to want to make sure that other people can’t easily get into your coop. 

I would also consider keeping your chickens cooped up the night before Halloween because that tends to be mischief night. Mischief night is a big deal in some areas.

It’s not such a big deal in our area. We live in a very rural neighborhood, and I grew up in a rural neighborhood where we actually never got Trick-or-Treaters.

But in some areas that I have lived in, mischief night has been a big deal, especially if you have a lot of teenagers around or young adults who might be impetuous.

It could be a pretty disastrous situation for your chickens. So my suggestion is just all Halloween, the night before Halloween and Halloween day, and that block of time around Halloween, just keep your chickens cooped up, or if you do allow them to forage and run around, supervise them just for the sake of safety.

It’s not worth somebody possibly harming your chickens, to let them roam around free.

My recommendation is that you keep your chickens cooped up or make sure that they are being supervised, so that you can make sure they stay safe.

 

Dogs

This is another reason why you should coop your chickens up on Halloween. A lot of people, as they’re taking their kids around Trick-or-Treating, bring their dog with them. And we all know that even the most family friendly dog, when it sees a chicken, can turn into a killer.

I know this from personal experience. Our dog was a great family dog. Loved people and was so friendly, but the second he got around a chicken, he turned into a chicken killer.

Not every dog out there is going to be like that, obviously. But you really don’t want to take the chance that’s somebody’s neighborhood dog could get at your chickens. That’s just another reason to keep your chickens cooped up earlier on Halloween.

 

Predators

Because of all the candy and all the food around during Halloween, predators might be a bigger issue. Namely, things like possums and raccoons.

Raccoons are pretty nondiscriminatory when it comes to what they eat. If it’s there, they’re going to go for it.

So because of all the candy and food around, raccoons are more likely to be out than they would any other night. They’re going to be out every night, but they’re probably going to be out in droves on Halloween (and probably a couple days after too).

So I recommend that you double check that your coop is secure, so that your chickens will be safe from predators.

Traffic

Another reason to keep your chickens cooped up around Trick-or-Treat time, is because of higher volumes of traffic. I remember when we were kids, my parents didn’t want to walk with their kids from house to house. It’s not fun. It’s tiring. You’re an adult. You’ve been working all day. So what do you do? You get the car out.

The problem with this, (I’m sure you’re already put it all together) is that chickens sometimes aren’t the brightest when it comes to traffic. I know mine aren’t. We’ve actually never had a chicken get hit, but it can happen because people aren’t paying attention. They’re watching their kids. They’re watching the dog. They’re not paying attention to what your chickens are doing.

Then there’s the people who’ll hit your chickens on purpose. So best advice, during Trick-or-Treat hours, after Trick-or-Treat hours, and on mischief night, just keep your chickens cooped up.

Your chickens won’t be harmed in any way by keeping them cooped up. Just make sure that they have plenty of food and water. You can give them extra treats and boredom busters to keep them entertained, but I would recommend you keep them in their coop.

Candy

Don’t be tempted to give your chickens candy. As we all know, chickens are curious creatures, and when given the opportunity, they’ll taste anything. If you’ve been thinking about giving them candy during Halloween, don’t do it. Just don’t do it. They don’t need it.

There are plenty of other healthy treat options you can give your chickens if you want to spoil them on Halloween. You could give them corn (real corn, NOT candy corn!), lettuce, Black Soldier Fly Larvae, mealworms, or one of my treat mixes, but please don’t give them candy.

Now another thing to keep in mind, is to make sure that you keep your trash cans lidded up tightly, so that your chickens can’t scavenge in the trash cans.

For the most part they’ll pretty much eat whatever they can find. Candy can mess with their blood sugar and it can mess with a whole ton of other things.

The other thing is that certain candies, such as hard candies, gumballs, or candy corn, can be choking hazards for your chickens. Once they swallow the candy it goes into their crop. Eventually it hits the gizzard. The gizzard has rocks in it and it grinds everything up.

But in the meantime, as it’s going down the esophagus, there’s a chance that they might choke on it. Especially if it’s something big and hard.

Don’t give your chickens candy and try not to throw candy in your yard. You just want to make sure that your yard is fairly clean before you let your chickens out of their coop again.

Chances of them choking on candy are probably slim (they could also just as easily choke on a piece of hard corn) but for the sake of making things easy on ourselves, just avoid giving your chickens candy.

The final thing that I’ll say about candy, is to not give your chickens anything that’s been unwrapped. As an example of this is, some families prefer to give out healthy treats, so they’ll give out apples, or oranges, or bananas.

My suggestion is although it might be tempting to throw them in the compost pile, or to feed it to your chickens as their Halloween treat, don’t feed them anything that’s come from another person that’s been unwrapped.

It’s the same reason as we don’t give it to our children. You don’t know what somebody’s put in it. You don’t know if they’ve put poison in it. You don’t know if they’ve put pins in it.

We all hear the stories every year of somebody where someone found pins or other stuff in their kid’s Halloween candy. It can happen. My suggestion is stay safe, don’t feed your chickens any unwrapped fruit or vegetables from other people, because again, you don’t know what’s been in them.

Candy Wrappers

So as we all know, chickens are opportunistic eaters. They might very well go ahead and try and eat candy wrappers. And that’s definitely not good for them.

So just make sure that when your kids are eating the candy that all the candy wrappers get cleaned up so your chickens don’t accidentally ingest them.

Candy wrappers are something that could very easily mess with your chickens digestive system. It might not hurt them immediately, but it could cause some serious problems later on.

Make sure your chickens can’t get at any candy wrappers and be sure that you keep your trashcans lidded so that your chickens can’t get in them and dig around and accidentally ingest a candy wrapper or anything else that they really should not be eating.

It’s good to keep the raccoons away too, so I highly suggest you lid your garbage cans.

 

Can your chickens eat pumpkins or gourds?

We’ve talked about all of the scary stuff, so now let’s talk about feeding your chickens pumpkins! If you have unpainted pumpkins or other sorts of gourds, go ahead and chop them up and feed them to your chickens.

They will absolutely love you for it! If the pumpkin or the gourd has been painted, I probably would not feed the peel itself to your chickens. We don’t really know what’s in those paints so it’s not good for them. And as the person eating their eggs, you don’t want to ingest any of that either.

Go ahead and cut away the painted part, then feed it to your chickens. If the whole outside has been painted, maybe just cut it open and scoop out the interior.

There is a belief that pumpkin seeds can help your chickens with worms. I don’t really see any proof of that, but at the end of the day, the chickens love the seeds. They think they taste great and they’re good for them. And the pumpkin itself is very good for them. It has a lot of nutrients in it!

My one tip when it comes to pumpkin and gourds, is to wait to buy them until the day after Halloween. The grocery stores in our area heavily discount gourds after Halloween, so I will often buy like 10 gourds for only five bucks.

I feed them to my pigs, I feed them to the chickens. We even feed them to our goats too!

It’s a perfect opportunity for people like us to go score really inexpensive food for our chickens and the other livestock on our farm. It’s super healthy for them and they love it! They get to dig through it and they’ll just have the best time ever.

So yes, your chickens can eat pumpkins and gourds. They will love it, and it’ll be very nutritious for them. So go ahead and feed them away to your flock!

So that’s all folks, I hope you were able to learn a little bit more about how to keep your chickens safe for Halloween! Let me know in the comments below what you do to keep you chickens safe for Halloween!

Hot Chicken Coop? Add Windows With This DIY Tutorial!

Hot Chicken Coop? Add Windows With This DIY Tutorial!

Adding a window to your chicken coop is easy – as long as you have a plan.

 

While the coop we bought for our hens is largely perfect, when the summer time heat hit, it got just a little bit too stuffy in there for my comfort.

 

Backyard chickens don’t sweat like humans do – so they feel heat more and chickens have a hard time cooling down.

 

It’s very important your coop has great ventilation and air flow so your hens don’t develop respiratory issues and suffer heat stroke – so we decided to add a few windows to our chicken coop to reduce the heat inside AND increase the airflow.

 

Before we get started, know that there’s a LOT of decisions to make before you start cutting a hole in the wall of your coop…..practical AND style decisions.

 

And since you’ll be looking at your coop for a LONG time, both of these types of decisions are equally important.

 

For those who can’t wait to discover what window we chose, we opted for a $30, pre-fab, single hung windows with screens. You’ll learn why as you read the article.

 

Backyard chicken coop window tutorial

 

You should choose the type of window that works best for your own situation, however.

 

Here’s how we did it, and how you can add a window to your chicken coop yourself.

 

Tools needed:

  • Sawzaw or other way to cut a hole in your coop wall
  • Window & manufacturer’s window installation kit
  • Molding or wood to frame the window
  • Broom to sweep up wood shavings and dust
  • Measuring tape
  • Ear plugs (yes, these are important – you don’t want ringing ears!)
  • 1-inch drill bit & drill
  • Electric screwdriver
  • A carpenter’s pencil or a marker

 

Step 1: Decide Where To Put The Window

This is critical – once you cut a hole in your coop wall, it’s permanent, so keep the following questions in mind before adding the window.

 

Where does the wind blow?

The goal is to create air flow – so you want to make sure you stand a good chance by putting the window where there tends to be a lot of airflow already.

 

Don’t make this decision lightly – you need to keep airflow from all seasons in mind.

 

On our farm, we have a lot of wind from the North, so it seems it would be best to place the window on the North side of the coop.

 

But in the winter, the North wind come from Canada, and it’s cold and bitter. So, the North side isn’t the best place.

 

The coop already has a window to the South, so we decided on an East/West location for the windows. We get a good West wind, and during the winter, it’s not as bitter as the North wind.

 

Are you adding more than one window?

Not every coop needs multiple windows. Ours does, so we decided to add 2 windows.

 

But going back to airflow….

 

You might need more than one window if your coop is very hot and stuffy over the summer, or if you want a lot of light in your coop and live in a cooler area, so make this decision before deciding on the final placement of your chicken coop window.

 

Is there a spot that tends to get super wet with rain (avoid this spot)?

An open window is an invitation for wet weather to seep into your coop. If you have a particular spot that’s more likely to bring water into the coop, this might not be the best place to add a window.

 

For example, we rarely have East winds – so we know we’re less likely to have our coop soaked during a sudden rainstorm with a window that faces the East.

 

This is key to reduce moisture in your coop and keep your chickens healthy.

 

What height should you put it at to avoid predators?

If chicken predators plague your area, you want the window to be high enough that they can’t just jump into your coop or rip open any screens.

 

In our area, we don’t have much trouble with predators. However, we still make sure the window is several feet off the ground.

 

Backyard chicken coop window

The goat had to inspect our work

Where does the window look the most attractive?

Really, this IS important, so don’t gloss over this because it seems frivolous.

 

You’ll be looking at this new window for a long time – choose a spot on the chicken coop wall that looks “right” and not funky.

 

The last thing you want is to regret the placing decision and spend the next 20 years kicking yourself.

 

Do you need to move any structural beams or add bracing?

Go inside your chicken coop and look at the overall structure. To install the window, will you need to move any beams and will you need to brace the walls around the window?

 

For our coop, the interior 2×4 beams were largely for looks – they didn’t really support the walls at all. So, we were free to remove them as needed.

 

However, your coop might not be structured the same way, and you might need to brace a wall in order to keep your flock’s home structurally sound.

 

Adding bracing is pretty easy. We had to do it in our farm house when we installed French doors, but it’s important to know whether you have to do it – so you don’t walk out one morning to a crumpled heap of wood.

 

So, take these decisions into consideration when deciding where to place the window in your chicken coop.

 

Do you plan to buy a pre-fab window or build one yourself (or simply cut a hole in the wall??)

Ask yourself whether you plan to DIY the window (which brings up another host of questions) or if you’ll buy a window and kit and just install it yourself.

 

We opted to buy windows – they cost about $30 each and look better than just a hole in the wall.

 

Step 2: Will the window close?

Ask yourself whether you plan to close the window at any point. This is also an important decision.

 

In the past, we simply cut holes in the wall, slapped some hardware cloth in it, and left it at that.

 

Then winter rolled around, and we regretted being so cavalier – because we then had to cover the chicken coop window with really ugly tin.

 

In some areas (such as areas with little rainfall and high temperatures), a window that closes isn’t as important.

 

So, you need to consider your local climate.

 

But if you plan to close the window during bad weather, you’ll need to buy or make a window that has the ability to close.

 

Do you plan to use hardware cloth or a screen?

The purpose of a window is to create airflow, but you also don’t want your flock to escape through the window.

 

So, you’ll need some sort of covering for the big gaping hole you’re about to create. We wanted to keep bugs out of the coop as much as possible, so we opted for a prefab window that had a screen.

 

If you live in an area with a lot of predators, a screen might not be the best option. In fact, if you live in an area with bears, you might want to consider safety bars.

 

If raccoons or opossums are an issue in your area, then ¼ inch hardware cloth might be a better option. For areas with aggressive neighborhood dogs, ½ inch hardware cloth will work well.

 

We don’t have a lot of predators, and certainly no bears, but we do have a LOT of flies in our chicken coop……so we went with a screen that gave us a bit of bug control.

 

Before cutting, ask yourself whether you’ll use hardware cloth or a screen.

 

Single hung or double hung?

This is kind of a minor decision, but ask yourself whether you want a single or double hung window to grace the wall of your chicken coop.

 

Single hung windows are cheaper, so we went with that.

 

Step 3: Cut A Hole In The Wall The Size Of The Window

Now it’s time to actually install the window. First, keep your chickens out of the coop if possible – they will be disturbed by the loud noise and wood particles in the air.

 

Let your hens free range and enjoy some time outside hunting bugs while you improve their home.

 

Next, make sure you don’t need to move any structural beams.

 

Measure the size of your window, and measure the wall – if any beams are in the way, they’ll need to be moved or you’ll need to find a new spot. Don’t start cutting until you’ve figured this out.

 

Backyard chicken coop window measuring

 

If you’re using a prefab window, consult the window installation kit and instructions before cutting.

 

Remember, you can’t do this twice, so measure twice, cut once!

 

To cut the hole in the wall, we started by tracing an outline of the window on the wall, and then used a drill to create a hole large enough for the sawsaw to fit through.

 

Using the tracing as a guide, we cut a hole the length and width of the window. Easy!

 

Backyard chicken coop window opening

Step 4: Following The Instruction With Your Window Kit, Install The Window

Installing the window was easy – most of the work is making all those pre-installation decisions!

 

Using the manufacturer screws, we easily affixed the window to the chicken coop wall.

 

If you’re using hardware cloth, add it inside the coop. You can use small hardware staples or screws with washers to keep it in place.

 

For extra security from predators, you can also add a wood frame over the hardware cloth to make it even harder to remove.

Backyard chicken coop window installation complete

Step 5: Finish Off The Installation By Framing Your New Chicken Coop Window

You can leave the window as is, or frame it to complete the look. I highly recommend framing it – it’ll keep the window looking nicer for longer, and cover up any mistakes (and we made plenty!).

 

You can also add shutters or a window box for an additional cute finishing touch to your new chicken coop window, like we did with this window:

 

Backyard chicken coop window installation tutorial

How To Keep A Dog House Warm In Winter

How To Keep A Dog House Warm In Winter

Got a pup that keeps your flock safe, and wondering how to keep a dog house warm in winter?

 

I know many of you out there use livestock guardian dogs to protect your chickens. Which means you’ll probably need your dog to stay outdoors, lest a predator takes down your entire flock in one evening.

 

herbs for backyard chickens

 

While I think dogs should be kept indoors when it’s very cold, if your pooch’s job is to protect your chickens, goats, or sheep from freeloading predators, it’s understandable why you would need to keep a dog house.

 

Then there’s the breeds that are bred to do well in cold weather. Our dog was a Chow Chow, and he LOVED winter. Summers would make him sweat and pant, but winter is when that dog shined.

 

He didn’t need a dog house to stay warm, and he loved to lay in the snow and try to eat snowflakes.

 

However much your pup loves the snow, letting him or her live outside without some sort of shelter is bad news; it’ll decrease their lifespan and make them more prone to illness. So, whether your dog is full time outdoors or just a part time guardian, you’ll want to provide some sort of dog house.

 

If your livestock guardian dog (LGD) lives outdoors and your worried he’ll freeze, and aren’t sure how to keep a dog house warm in winter, then you can try any of these strategies.

 

Hopefully one will work for you!

herbs for backyard chickens

How large is the dog house?

While it should be large enough to comfortably house your LGD, if the dog house is big, you’re going to have a tougher time getting it to retain heat.

 

As air circulates, it’ll chill and the house won’t stay warm. You’ll also have to use more pet-friendly insulation.  Your pup’s body heat will also warm up a smaller space faster than a large dog house.

 

Keep it out of drafts

If you want the best “how to keep a dog house warm in winter” tip, this is the best place to start. Try to place the dog house in a sheltered part of your yard so it’s not subject to drafts or gusts of Northern wind.

 

On our farm, if the wind comes from the North, it’s about 20 degrees colder than the wind from the South; as a consequence, the North side of our house is always colder than the South side when the wind blows.

 

Your pup’s experience won’t be much different, and you can likely increase the temperatures in the dog house by about 10 degrees just by keeping it out of the wind.

 

Got a LGD and not sure how to keep a doghouse warm in winter? Here's easy to use tips!

 

Make sure the dog house stays dry inside

This one is kind of a no-brainer, but I’ll mention it anyway.

 

Wet + cold weather = bad news. You don’t want your pup getting wet without a warm place to dry off.

 

Make sure you don’t accidentally put your dog house in an area of your yard that gets standing water, it’s just a bad idea all around. It’ll never get warm and your dog probably won’t even use it.

 

Adequate bedding and insulation

The type of bedding you use will absolutely dictate how warm your dog is inside its house. You don’t want your pet to lie on the chilly ground; he won’t be able to get warm that way.

 

He/she needs to be kept off the ground and on something that can retain heat and block the wind.

 

Assuming the dog house is well-constructed and has some sort of insulation, bedding such as straw does wonders for helping retain heat. On top of the bedding, you can also provide a fleece bed or blanket to help seal in even more heat.

 

It’s also easy to clean; every couple days, pull out the old straw and throw in some new.  Our pigs love their winter-time straw beds and it always helps them stay warm regardless of the temperature.

 

If your pup happens to mess in their house, then straw makes for easy and sanitary clean up. At $3.50 a bale (at least in our area), it’s also easy to afford.

herbs for backyard chickens

Proper Insulation

For a pet-friendly insulation, you can use bales of straw outside the dog house. If straw isn’t your thing, thick styrofoam also can do the trick, although your dog might chew it and it’s not very sturdy.

 

Fix any holes or leaks before cold weather starts

It’s particularly important to make sure your dog house don’t have any leaks or cracks that can let in cold air or rain. The best time to figure this out is BEFORE cold weather starts, but should something break mid-season, then you’ll have to go out and patch it.

 

If you’re not 100% sure your pet can stay dry, then putting a tarp on the home is always an option.

 

Feeding a warm meal before bedtime

While this tip isn’t really about how to keep a dog HOUSE warm in winter, it’s still a good tip nonetheless. Feeding a warm meal will help raise your pooch’s body temperature and give him or her calories to burn to stay warm.

 

You can mix dry food with warm water or make a special oatmeal bedtime snack.

 

These are just some “how to keep a dog house warm in winter” strategies to get you started. Do you have any of your own to add?

herbs for backyard chickens

13 Heartwarming Stories Of Animals Rescued During Hurricane Harvey

13 Heartwarming Stories Of Animals Rescued During Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey didn’t just impact millions of people – it was also devastating to pets and livestock who lost their families.

 

Rescuers have spent hundreds of man hours rescuing pets from the rising waters, braving the floods that could have killed them to bring dogs, cats, horses and more to safety.

 

Shockingly, in many cases, the animals weren’t just abandoned to save themselves – many of them were purposely locked up by their humans to meet whatever fate awaited.

 

Luckily, rescuers got to these 10 lucky pets before the rising waves ended their lives.

 

Here’s 10 heartwarming stories of humans who went out of their way to rescue pets and in some cases, reunite them with their owners!

 

This dog who jumped into a rescuer’s Jeep, and thanks to one man and the power of Twitter, was reunited with his family.

 

These 120 cats from the Cattery Cat Shelter who were evacuated by the SPCA of Texas before Hurricane Harvey hit Corpus Christi:

 

 

These adorable kittens rescued by a brave woman from underneath a porch in Houston:

 

These adorable baby squirrels who were taken in by the Wildlife Center of Texas:

 

These poor dogs thankfully rescued from locked kennel before the water got too high:

 

If you have animals and can't get them out let me know so I can come get them. To the sick assholes that left these two poor dogs locked in a kennel on your porch to drown, hope God had a special plan for you.

Posted by Jared Carter on Sunday, August 27, 2017

 

This lucky dog that was rescued from flooding waters by concerned citizens:

These panicking horses locked in a flooded pen and saved by a brave teen before the worst happened:

All animals were saved

Posted by Chance Ward on Monday, August 28, 2017

 

Frankie & Bear, two stranded dogs lucky to be saved by rescuers:

 

This unfortunate dog that was tied to a post and saved by a photographer:

 

This pet pig, whose family refused to leave him behind:

Family Flees The Hurricane With Their Pet Pig

When Hurricane Harvey hit, this family knew they couldn't leave their sweet pet pig behind 🐷💙

Posted by The Dodo on Friday, September 1, 2017

 

“Harvey the Hurricane Hawk” who took shelter in a man’s vehicle after becoming injured and unable to get to safety:

 

 

(Harvey is currently being cared for by the Texas Wildlife Rehab Coalition.)

 

This VERY vocal pig rescued from high water in Texas.

This herd of cattle who were thankfully moooooved to safety by Texas police:

 

Bugs Bugging Your Pets? Here’s 3 All Natural Essential Oils You Can Use To Keep Bugs At Bay!

Bugs Bugging Your Pets? Here’s 3 All Natural Essential Oils You Can Use To Keep Bugs At Bay!

Today, I’m going to show you how you can use essential oils to prevent and deter insects that can bother your pets.

 

With some notable exceptions (which we’ll talk about below), essential oils are safe to use on and around your pets when diluted with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil (on large animals, I’ve been able to put them directly on depending on the situation.)

 

Naturally, when using oils, you want to remember safety first – when in doubt, dilute. Oils are powerful stuff!

 

In this article, we’re going to talk about keeping pet-annoying insects at bay, including:

 

  • Fleas
  • Mites
  • Ticks

 

We’ll cover using oils with dogs, chickens, and large animals.

 

A word about cats: Certain oils, when used in large quantities, can harm our feline friends, so we won’t be including cats in our discussion today. Citrus oils, in particular, are known to cause problems with feline livers, preventing them from functioning correctly.

 

We’ve diffused citrus oils (bergamot, orange) around our two cats a couple times a week, and always give the kitties a chance to leave the room. Our cats have been fine, but I would hesitate to diffuse oils consistently in a closed room with our cats, and I would not personally use citrus oils directly on them either.

 

I recommend you speak to a knowledgeable vet before using any essential oils on your cats.

 

Now, on to the bugs we’ll eliminate today!

 

Get Rid Of Bugs That Bother Your Pets

 

When it comes to fighting bugs and getting rid of bug itchies, lavender essential oil is your best bet. It counters all the insects we’ll discuss, and it’s soothing enough to use. Lavender also promotes healthy skin, so you can use it topically on your pets (diluted with coconut oil).

 

To prevent insects like fleas in your home, you can diffuse lavender as well – and as a bonus, it’ll make your house smell nice (and help you destress….or help your kids stop climbing the walls).

 

Fleas

When someone asks me about preventing insects on their pets with oils, they’re usually thinking of fleas.

 

One summer, we had a TERRIBLE flea infestation in our home. I cannot say how it started….but it started.

 

Lavender was my go to – and after I constantly started diffusing it, lo and behold our infestation stopped. Immediately. What a relief!

 

Preventative Spray

If you want to an all-natural preventative spray you can use regularly on your pets (particularly dogs), then go grab your favorite spray bottle, and fill it with water.

 

Add 2-3 drops of your favorite lavender essential oil (keeping purity in mind  – DON’T buy these on Amazon. Go with an established brand so you know you’re putting only lavender oil on your pet).

 

Shake before using and carefully spray your pet. Avoid eyes, nose, and ears.

 

You can also use this spray on pet beds and blankets. Allow bedding to air dry so your pet doesn’t get the oils in their eyes or noses.

 

Homemade Flea Collar

Commercial flea collars are full of chemicals….so you might not be so crazy about using them on your pets. You CAN make your own all-natural flea collars with oils, though!

 

To make an all-natural flea collar, grab a clean bandana and add 5 drops of oil evenly spread throughout the cloth. Tie the bandana around your dog to prevent fleas. Re-apply the lavender oil every couple of days as needed.

 

Flea Dip

If things have gotten bad enough, you’ll probably want to give your pet a good old fashioned flea dip.  To make a homemade flea dip, you’ll need:

  • Water
  • 1 teaspoon castile soap
  • 2 drops lavender oil

 

Fill your tub with water (I go for “just barely warm” water so I don’t accidentally scald my pets). Add in 2 drops of oil, making sure to keep your pet’s face out of the water. If you don’t think this is possible, then leave the oil out, and use the all-natural preventative bandana after your pet is dry.

 

Rub in the castile soap, making sure to thoroughly coat your pet. Let sit for a couple minutes, if your pet will allow it. You will probably start to see fleas emerging. It’s a slightly-disgusting-but-satisfying feeling.

 

Hose off the castile soap/lavender water mixture. Dry your pet, and use the all-natural flea collar bandana above to prevent fleas from returning.

 

You can also use cedarwood essential oil in addition to or instead of lavender.

 

Mites

Mites are no good for any animal. We once were given a rabbit with such a bad mite infestation in his ears, he could not walk properly (the infection was giving him vertigo). Since then, I try to stay up-to-date on preventing mites. On our farm, we’ve used oils to prevent fleas on dogs, rabbits, and chickens.

 

Dogs

For dogs, lavender oil is a good option (see fleas above).

 

Backyard chickens

To prevent mites in your chicken coop, a peppermint oil coop spray is ideal. To make the peppermint oil coop spray, grab your favorite spray bottle and fill it with 8 oz WHITE vinegar.

 

Add 5-10 drops of peppermint essential oil, and spray liberally around the coop (making sure to get all nooks and crannies). Make sure your flock is out of the area (the oils are safe, but better safe than sorry). You can read more about using peppermint oil in your coop here.

 

For mites ON your chickens, diatomaceous earth is my go-to. You can read about it here. If you want to use oils instead of DE, 1 drop of peppermint diluted in 4 tablespoons coconut oil is my go-to to promote healthy skin. Apply to the area of concern 2-3 times a day, or as needed.

 

Rabbits

For our rabbits that have mite infestations in their ears, we carefully clean the ears so they’re free of build up. We then follow up with 1 drop of lavender diluted in 4 tablespoons of coconut oil (melt the oil then add the drop of lavender).

 

Rub it on the flesh inside the ear, but only the upper portion – NOT inside the ear. Keep the ears clean regularly, and reapply the coconut/lavender oil.

 

Ticks

Once your pets have ticks, you just have to pull them out. To clean the wound, you can use 1 drop oregano oil mixed with 1 tablespoon coconut oil and apply after washing the wound well.

 

To make an all-natural repellent spray, mix 3 drops of lavender in 8 oz of water. Spray liberally before your pet goes outside, making sure to avoid the face, eyes, ears, and nose. You can also use cedarwood.

 

The CDC has even said that these oils are safe essential oils to repel certain insects, ticks included.