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 Buy At The Farmer’s Market: October

What To Buy At The Farmer’s Market: October

Fall is here! Bring on the pumpkin spice!

I love fall, but I’m always a little bit disappointed because as October hits, the farmer’s markets in my area start winding down. It gets too cold around here for much to grow and so the farmers markets get smaller and smaller each month as we get closer to winter.

I love eating locally grown, fresh, seasonal produce, so each month I’ve been creating a general list of items that are in season each month. This is obviously a very general guide as things will definitely vary from area to area. If you want to know what will be in season in your area specifically, head over to the Seasonal Food Guide and put in your location! It will tell you exactly what’s in season in your area and when.

But let’s get started! Here are some of my favorite things to buy at the farmer’s market in October!

Apples

I’m pretty sure apples have been on my list every month since August when they first start showing up at the farmer’s market, but that’s because I love fresh apples so much! They just taste so good! October is when fresh apples start winding down in my area, so I stock up and eat as many as I can! And you know what fresh apples mean…apple pie! I love making homemade apple pie! Here’s a great apple pie recipe right here.

Pumpkins

And speaking of pie, how about some homemade pumpkin pie! I’ve never made pumpkin pie with fresh pumpkins before, but I’m so excited to try! Check out this recipe for homemade pumpkin pie with fresh pumpkins here! I also love feeding pumpkins to my chickens (they love it!) so I always pick up an extra pumpkin for them.

Sweet Potatoes

I used to HATE sweet potatoes. My only experience with sweet potatoes was the sweet potato tater tots they served in my high school cafeteria. gag. They were nasty! But once I tried sweet potatoes in soup (like this one) I realized I had been missing out! Grab some sweet potatoes this month and you can try my recipe for southern style sweet potatoes!

Garlic

Garlic really is a kitchen staple around here. I use garlic in a lot of my meals that I make! So I grab some extra and store it (check out my garlic storage tips here) so that I can have yummy locally grown garlic all year long!

Quince

I’ve never had quince before, so I’m super excited to try some this year! Especially this quince jam recipe!

Turnips

Turnips are in season in October! I’m super excited to get some from my local farmers market, so I can try making these turnip fries!

Tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes should be starting to wind down if you live somewhere that gets chilly in the fall. In my area there are still some around in early October, so I eat as many as I can! I love to use them to make these quinoa stuffed tomatoes.

Rosemary

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs, so I love picking up fresh rosemary from the farmer’s market! It’s a great herb for meals and I’m excited to try using it for this rosemary carrots recipe!

Mint

I use mint for a lot, mint tea for upset stomachs and I put dried peppermint in my hens nesting boxes. It’s great for your hens and for you too!

What is your favorite thing to buy at the farmer’s market? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!