October Chicken Coop Checklist: What To Do In Your Coop In October

October Chicken Coop Checklist: What To Do In Your Coop In October

It’s fall, y’all….and that means you gotta make sure your backyard chickens are ready before the cold sets in.

 

I know in some parts of Canada (looking at you, Alberta) that it’s already snowing….but for most of the United States, it’s just starting to get cool.

 

And there’s lots you can do right now BOTH to celebrate the season AND prepare your flock for the upcoming wind and ice.

 

Although chickens weather winter pretty well in most locations (their feathers help!), just a few tweaks can mean an easier time when the mercury dips.

 

Even if you live in a temperate climate, there’s ideas on this list to help your backyard chicken flock stay healthy year round.

 

There’s also LOTS of treat ideas to make the most out of fall!

 

Give a good clean out before cold sets in

Now is the time to give your coop a final clean before the cold makes it miserable outside. You likely won’t want to clean it again (a deep clean at least) until the spring thaw.

 

In addition to sweeping out any old bedding, be sure to wash off any accumulated poop on or under roosting bars, and wipe down nesting boxes that might have bits of broken egg or feathers lodged in them.

 

If you have a wooden or cement floor, give it a good wash to reduce the chances of ammonia build up, which can effect your chickens’ lungs.

 

Decide how to keep water from freezing

Now is the time to figure out how you’ll keep water unfrozen in your chicken coop. Will you use heated bowls, solar energy, or add water throughout the day?

 

There’s lots of options (you can view them in this article about keeping water from freezing), and you’ll have to find one that works for your particular situation.

 

Remember, what works in Southern Missouri likely won’t work in Northern Dakota, right?

 

Keep an eye on local super markets for pumpkin sales

This time of year, there’s lots of pumpkins to buy. Don’t pay retail – wait until they go on sale and stock up for your backyard chickens.

 

Pumpkin is very healthy for chickens, with lots of vitamins and nutrients for chickens – and they love pecking at it!

 

Most stores start to discount pumpkins well before October 31.

 

Pumpkins keep for a while, and stored in a cool, dry location, you can have healthy treats for your hens for the next month or two!

 

If you REALLY want to buy one now, you can make a cute coop decoration by carving out a pumpkin into a flower pot.

 

After a week, you can then feed it to your chickens! Just make sure you use flowers that aren’t poisonous.

 

Help molting hens or hens experiencing feather loss from roosters with a high protein diet.

Yep, every fall, some or all of your chickens will lose their feathers due to molt.

 

It’s normal – and there’s something you can do to help regrow those feathers quickly!

 

Giving your flock a high protein diet that include black soldier fly larvae or Fluffiest Feathers Ever! (28% protein) is an easy way to provide a high protein diet – and chickens LOVE both!

 

Double check coop security – food is getting scarce for predators.

While predators might leave your fluffy butts alone during summer, as the days get shorter and food becomes more scarce, they might turn an eye to your chickens.

 

Now is the time to check that your coop is completely secure and make adjustments as needed.

 

Make sure all doors and windows latch tightly, and upgrade the wiring around your coop if necessary. You don’t want predators to get OVER your coop walls or UNDER them!

 

See tracks and not sure what predator is hanging around? Check out my predator footprint guide here!

 

Head out to farmers markets and/or orchards.

You can usually purchase seconds (bruised or unattractive fruit that’s still fresh and edible) for pennies on the dollar. They still make great treats for your fluffy butts!

 

Some great ideas for fruit and veggies to feed backyard chickens are peaches (without the pits), apples (without the seeds), and leafy greens!

 

You can also grow your own leafy greens over winter for your backyard chickens with this guide.

What To Do In Your Chicken Coop In September

What To Do In Your Chicken Coop In September

September is here…..which means it’s time to think about what to do in your chicken coop in September!

 

It’s pumpkin season, and there’s lots you can do in your coop this month! Help your flock stay healthy and keep your coop in top shape with these tips!

 

If it gets cold early in your area, do a final deep clean before cool weather sets in.

You won’t want to do it when the ground is frozen and you need 3 sets of gloves to stay warm. If you live in a temperate area, now is still the time to deep clean your coop before the days get shorter and you run out of time.

 

You can also decide if the deep litter method is for you.

silkie pullet backyard chicken

Double check windows/doors for tight seals during chilly fall nights

When the wind is howling and there’s freezing rain, those tight seals can mean the difference between life and death. Just double check all your windows and doors seal well, and if not, fix it.

 

Offer your flock pumpkin and/or pumpkin seeds every week. They’ll love the treat, and it’s super healthy for them!

Pumpkin is full of vitamins and minerals, and chickens LOVE to peck at it. The pumpkin seeds might (repeat, might) help your flock rid themselves of worms (studies are inconclusive, but it’s can’t hurt), or at the very least, provide a yummy distraction since bugs and leaves are dying off.

 

You can also make a pumpkin planter like this one, and offer it to your flock when you’re done with it. Just be sure not to paint it!

 

If you have chicks, double check your coop stays the right temperature at night.

This will depend on the age of your chicks – if they only have down or are partially feathered, they will need your help to stay warm.

 

If not, either fix it or come up with a plan to keep chicks warm enough until they’re fully feathered. Remember that heat lamps get very hot and can cause a fire, so avoid them.

 

Hang some fall wreaths or add fall flowers to window boxes

Fall is all about color – and adding a wreath or flowers to your window boxes can brighten up your surroundings and help your flock feel pampered.

 

Backyard chicken coop window

 

If your coop is painted, do a fresh coat before cool weather sets in so your coop looks bright and colorful when the leaves are gone.

Ditto above. When fall’s colors fade, you’ll be glad you made the extra effort to repaint your coop so it looks cheerful even when it’s grey outside.

 

Start adding even more protein to your flock’s diet with mealworms, black soldier fly larvae, or Fluffiest Feathers Ever!

If your flock is molting, a high protein diet will help their feathers regrow. High protein diets also make sure flocks are in great shape to battle the cooler weather. You can feed a high protein diet or treats full time, or just during the molting season.

 

Make a plan for how you’ll keep their water from freezing

It’s bound to happen if you live in a cool area – so now is the time to decide how you’ll prevent freezing, or at least keep fresh water consistently available.

 

Here’s my best ideas for keeping your chickens’ water from freezing.

 

Spend more time with your flock – soon, the weather will be cold and you won’t want to be outside as much.

Nuff said. Here’s a great treat you can make – it includes pumpkin seeds, sage, and more!

 

Add a light to your coop if you want eggs all winter.

As the days get shorter, your hens might stop laying. This is natural, but it’s okay to still want eggs all winter. If you do, then add a light to their coop.

 

If you don’t have power in your coop, you can use a solar generator or a battery powered light. The bulb should stay cool and be a daylight simulator. You can also use a timer to turn it automatically on and off.

What To Do In Your Coop In November

What To Do In Your Coop In November

November is here…..and there’s plenty you can do in your chicken coop to keep your hens and roosters healthy.

 

Fall is typically when we see an uptick in predators AND you might notice signs your flock is slowing down due to the lack of light and the cold.

 

You likely already noticed your chickens aren’t laying as many eggs…..and there’s lots of reasons for that!

 

Now is when your flock needs some extra TLC and support.

 

Here’s 7 care items you should do in November to raise a healthy flock of backyard chickens!

backyard chicken baby chick

Buy all the pumpkins you can at a hefty discount

Get out there and start hauling some pumpkins home. Leftover Halloween pumpkins go for about $1 after everyone’s done trick or treating.

 

Ones to especially keep an eye on are the “ugly” pumpkins, also known as Hubbard squashes.

 

They’re typically $9 before Halloween, but you can score them for nearly free, since most people don’t realize they’re edible!

 

Store your haul in a cool, dark location. They’ll keep for months, and you’ll be providing your flock with LOTS of juicy nutrients right when they need it most.

 

Want ALL the pumpkins a store has? You might be able to get a bulk discount if you talk to the manager!

 

Be sure to remove the rind before feeding or crack them open – your chickens likely WON’T peck through the hard rind.

 

Have a plan for freezing rain days

Freezing rain is even more deadly than snow or even sub zero temperatures. And the WORST is when it starts to rain and you have no way to keep your flock dry and warm.

 

Make a plan NOW and decide how you’ll deal with freezing rain so your chickens stay warm. Is your run uncovered? Can you cover it at the drop of a hat?

 

Is your coop completely enclosed? What will you do if a hen is wet, and it’s 20 degrees outside?

 

Making these decisions NOW makes life easier down the road for you AND your backyard chickens.

 

Check for signs of predators

Prevent a problem before it becomes a big problem. Don’t wait for a hen to go missing – look for signs of predators and get rid of them before you lose a backyard chicken.

 

Look for:

  • Footprints
  • Flighty flock/sudden change in flock behavior
  • Critters getting into your trash or other signs

 

Signs such as footprints and a trash-filled yard are easy to spot signs. But flock behavior requires a bit more introspection on your side.

 

Note your flock’s behavior: Have they suddenly stopped going to one part of your property? Are they insisting on roosting constantly?

 

Any behavior that’s different is a sign that a predator might be around.

 

If you have a “gut feeling” something isn’t right but you can’t tell exactly what, you can always install a game camera.

backyard chicken rooster with comb

Want eggs? Add a light bulb to your coop

This time of year, I get LOTS of questions about why chickens stop laying eggs. Usually, it’s due to the fewer daylight hours.

 

If you want an egg supply during the winter, try adding a daylight simulating bulb to your chicken coop, and let it run 2 hours before dawn and 2 hours after sunset.

 

Of course, if you don’t want eggs, then skip this suggestion!

 

Take photos of your flock with all the autumn leaves!

Don’t forget to enjoy this season – fall only happens once a year, and it’s a HUGE photo opp!

 

Spend a few afternoons taking photos of your chickens against the pretty fall leaves. You won’t regret it!

 

If you’re not a great photographer, you can always hire a pro! People hire photographers for their dogs, right?

 

Add “warming spices” on cold days

Certain spices will increase circulation, which can help your flock get an extra little kick of warmth.

 

Some options are:

  • Chili
  • Nutmeg
  • Sage
  • Prickly Ash

 

You can add the herbs to their feed to ensure your flock eats them. Just a pinch per chicken will do!

 

Provide herbs that are traditionally used to support healthy immune systems

You might worry your flock will feel the effects of winter, just like humans do. To support them and to raise healthy backyard chickens, you can add herbs to their feed.

 

These herbs are traditionally used to support healthy immune systems:

  • Oregano
  • Garlic
  • Calendula
  • Elderberries
  • Echinacea

 

You can feed them separately or together in an herbal blend such as PCM StrongHen.

 

Do a sweep to check for mice or rats

Lastly, do an inspection to double check no mice or rats have taken up residence in your coop. Especially in older coops, there can be nooks and crannies.

 

Mice and rats will make messes, leave diseases and fleas, and possibly cause your backyard chickens to get upset, or at least change their daily patterns. Not good!<!– Default Statcounter code for Chicken-coop-november
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6 Must Have Thanksgiving Decor Ideas

6 Must Have Thanksgiving Decor Ideas

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Can you believe it?!?

I am getting so excited to decorate my home for Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving home decor is so fun and I’m excited to share some of my favorite Thanksgiving home decor ideas with y’all.

Let’s get going! Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving home decor ideas!

[This page might contain affiliate links, which means for any item you purchase using our links, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting our website and being a part of the Pampered Chicken Mama family!]

Happy Fall Y’all Pumpkin Stack Door Sign

Isn’t this fall door sign adorable! I think this would be the perfect for a front porch or front entryway for Thanksgiving. This is the perfect addition to any home for Thanksgiving decor. Find it here: Happy Fall Y’all Pumpkin Stack Door Sign

Farmhouse Lattice Pendant Light

This pendant light has so much character. I love the vintage farmhouse feel of this pendant light. This light would look stunning over a dining room table or hung in your kitchen. This is the perfect piece to update your dining room for Thanksgiving! Find it here: Farmhouse Lattice Pendant Light

High Tea Tiered Stand

Wouldn’t this stand be the perfect addition to your serving table this Thanksgiving? It would be perfect for displaying treats, rolls, or vegetables! Find it here: High Tea Tiered Stand

Metal Ribbon Style Wall Sign

These wall signs are perfect for Thanksgiving home decor! They would add a small autumn touch to any farmhouse style home. Find them here: Metal Ribbon Style Wall Sign

Galvanized Metal Rectangular Display Riser

Isn’t this such a functional home decor item? This is perfect for your serving table (for buffet style Thanksgivings) or for your dining room table! This riser makes food items more accessible and visible to all of your guests! Find it here: Galvanized Metal Rectangular Display Riser

House Shaped Metal Firewood Holder

Isn’t this firewood holder stunning? I love that the design allows you to store your firewood without taking up too much floor space! This is the perfect addition to your farmhouse home decor as the weather starts to get colder! Find it here: House Shaped Metal Firewood Holder

Which of these Thanksgiving decor ideas was your favorite?



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10+ Thanksgiving Decorations You Can Make With Your Kids

10+ Thanksgiving Decorations You Can Make With Your Kids

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Can you believe it?

This year has flown past! One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is making fun, simple crafts to decorate. I’m definitely on a budget when it comes to decorating for the holidays, so I typically make my own DIY décor.

This year I thought it would be fun to involve the kiddos in the decoration making process. So I’ve found tons of fun DIY decorations for fall that you can make with your kids! These crafts/decorations are simple and easy to make which is a must when you’re already busy getting ready for the holidays!

So let’s get started! Here are my favorite DIY Thanksgiving decorations that you can make with your kids!

Glitter Leaves

This might be my favorite DIY Thanksgiving decoration. It’s so easy to make! And it will cost you less than $5! All you have to do is cover some artificial leaves with Elmer’s glue and then cover the leaves with glitter! After it dries you can punch a hole in each leaf so you can hang them around your home!

You can find the full tutorial here: Glitter Leaves

Yarn Pumpkins

I love these yarn pumpkins! They’re so cute and would be easy to make with your kids! All you need is orange yarn, Elmer’s glue, a balloon, and a green pipe cleaner!

You can find the full tutorial for this project here: DIY Yarn Pumpkins

Mini Felt Pumpkins

These felt pumpkins are adorable! This is a simple sewing project for teaching your kiddos how to sew. All you need is some orange and green felt, green and black string, and cotton balls.

First, you’ll need to cut out two pumpkins shapes in your orange felt. I recommend printing a template from google, so that it’s exact. You can also cut a small green rectangle from the green felt for the stem.

You can stitch in the eyes and mouth of the pumpkin, or you can draw them on with sharpie to make it simpler.

Next, start sewing the two pieces of felt together! Remember when you reach the top of the pumpkin to put in your green rectangle for the stem and sew it in! Once there is only an inch of unsewn space left, stuff the pumpkin full of cotton balls. Then sew it up the rest of the way! Simple!

This is a great beginners sewing project, and I think these pumpkins would look adorable in a fall wreath, or in a fall garland!

Pine Cone Turkey

This might be the simplest project on here! All you need is some orange felt, a pine cone, googly eyes, glue, and feathers. Cut the felt into a small triangle for the turkey’s beak. Glue the googly eyes and beak to the bottom of the pine cone and glue the feathers to the top! I love how simple, but cute this DIY decoration is.

DIY Paper Pumpkins

I love these simple paper pumpkins! It’s an easy project for your kids and it looks great when it’s done! You can find the tutorial for this project here: DIY Paper Pumpkins

DIY Glitter Pumpkins

I love these glittery pumpkins! This DIY décor item is probably better for older children (it could get messy with little kids!) I love how simple and easy this project is and I think these glitter pumpkins would be the perfect addition to a mantle or dining room table!

Tutorial here: DIY Glitter Pumpkins

DIY Thankful Tree

I love this cute DIY tree. I think it’s an adorable decoration that’s also great for getting your family thinking about what they’re grateful for! This easy decoration is perfect for kids and they’ll love being able to write down what they’re thankful for on the leaves of this tree!

Tutorial: DIY Thankful Tree

Fruit Kabob Turkey Centerpiece

I love that not only is this a creative and fun centerpiece for Thanksgiving, but it is also perfect for displaying your fruit and cheese appetizers. This project is so simple, and your kids can help you put all of the fruit and cheese on to the skewers!

Tutorial here: Fruit Kabob Turkey Centerpiece

Cute Candy Turkey Treats

These little Reese’s Pieces filled turkeys are so cute! They’re so easy to make and they would be fun for a classroom treat or for a fun treat for your Thanksgiving guests.

Tutorial Here: Candy Turkey Treats

Turkey Hershey Kisses

These cute turkey’s are made from some card stock and Hershey Kisses! These would be a quick and easy craft your kids could make for their classmates or they would be a fun “appetizer/dessert” on Thanksgiving.

You can find the tutorial here: Turkey Hershey Kisses

Thanksgiving Placemats

These placemats are adorable! I think they would be absolutely perfect for the kids table at Thanksgiving dinner! Your kids will love that they got to put their handprint on the place mats and it’s a fun and easy project for you!

Turkey Reese’s Pieces Bowl

I love this cute turkey candy bowl! It would be so easy to make and your kids will love getting to trace and cut out their hand prints for the turkeys feathers. This is perfect for displaying any yummy treats you have on Thanksgiving!

Tutorial here: Turkey Reese’s Pieces Bowl

Scarecrow Popsicle Stick Magnet

I love this adorable magnet! Your kids will love getting to put the cute scarecrow face together. This would be a cute addition to any refrigerator or front door!

Tutorial Here: Scarecrow Popsicle Stick Magnet


Which of these Thanksgiving crafts is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.



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