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.

Try This DIY Hanging Pumpkin Treat For Your Chickens

Try This DIY Hanging Pumpkin Treat For Your Chickens

Today I wanted to share a simple DIY hanging pumpkin treat that you can make for your chickens.

The idea for this project comes from reader Herdy Bell! Thanks for sharing it with us Herdy!

My chickens love pumpkins and since it’s right after Halloween there tend to be a lot of leftover pumpkins around! You can snag great deals on pumpkins at grocery stores or at farms after Halloween. I always stock up on pumpkin, so that I can feed them to my flock.

Remember, however, that pumpkins are treats – not a replacement for a good basic diet.

Now this project is pretty simple, basically you’re just going to hang a pumpkin in your coop.

You might ask, why would I hang my pumpkin and not just give it to them? Well you can definitely just slice your pumpkin in half and give it to them. Trust me they’ll love it.

But hanging the pumpkin provides some different environmental interest for your chickens. It’s something new and fun for them to do. Providing environmental activities is important, especially going into the winter months.

When winter comes and chickens tend to be in the coop more, bad behaviors (such as picking feathers, or picking on others) can set in very easily. And that can make your life difficult.

Providing stimulating activities in your coop or run for your chickens can distract them from developing negative behaviors.

Plus it’s just fun to watch your chickens play with and figure out new toys and treats!

Here’s how to make this DIY Hanging Pumpkin Treat

All you need is:

  • A pumpkin
  • Rope or twine
  • Serrated kitchen knife
  • Drill

Step One: Drill a hole 

Now the first thing you need to do is drill a hole in the stem of your pumpkin. You’re going to want to choose a pumpkin with a think, sturdy stem. Then you need to drill a hole through the pumpkin’s stem horizontally, as close to the base as possible.

After you drill the hole you can thread your twine through the hole. I recommend using thicker twine so that the weight of the pumpkin doesn’t break it.

You can also thread a second piece of twine through the hole to make sure that it’s secure. After your twine is threaded through, you just need to tie the two ends of the twine together so that you can easily hang the pumpkin from something in your coop.

Step Two: Scrape off parts of the outer pumpkin shell

Next you need to scrape off parts of the outer shell/skin. This will make it easier for your chickens to be able to get to the insides and seeds of the pumpkin.

You could do this a variety of different ways. I used a small serrated knife I had in my kitchen. All I did was start sawing at the side of the pumpkin with the serrated knife.

The point here is you want to take parts of the outer layer of the pumpkin off, so that your chickens have access to the soft insides of the pumpkin.

After sawing with the knife I was able to pull off parts of the skin and keep going. You don’t have to take off all the skin (that would take forever), just enough that your chickens will have access to the insides.

Step 3: Hang your pumpkin

Now you can hang your pumpkin in your coop! I would hang it fairly close to the floor of your coop/run, around 6-12 inches off the ground, just to be safe.

And that’s it! I love how simple and easy it is to make this DIY treat for your flock! Thanks again Herdy for sharing your idea with us!

More Chicken Treat Articles:

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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10+ Recipes That Are Perfect For The Holidays

10+ Recipes That Are Perfect For The Holidays

The holidays are coming y’all and I am so excited for the food.

I LOVE all of the delicious food that shows up around Christmas and Thanksgiving. Since the holidays can get a little bit crazy, I’ve created a collection of holiday recipes that you can use for any of your holiday recipe needs. I’ve got holiday recipes perfect for kids, office parties, family events and more!

So let’s get going! Here are some of my favorite holiday recipes.

Amish Farmhouse Sugar Cookies

These farmhouse sugar cookies are made with simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Seriously these cookies are to die for! What I love about these cookies are that you can customize them depending on your taste. We used raisins in ours, but if you’re not a raisin fan you can use chocolate chips, nuts, butterscotch chips, or maybe even some toffee.

Recipe here: Amish Farmhouse Sugar Cookies

Left Over Ham Pasta Salad

Having a honey baked ham is a must have for any holiday gathering. But after the holiday party you have to figure out what the heck to do with all of the leftover ham. Leftover ham pasta salad is the perfect solution. Not only is this recipe a huge hit, but it’s simple and easy to make.

You can find the recipe here: Left Over Ham Pasta Salad

Southern Style Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes And Gravy

If you’re looking to keep things simple this holiday season, this instant pot mashed potatoes and gravy recipe is for you. The gravy and the potatoes are both made in the instant pot, so you’re looking at only dirtying one pan! Heck yes. This recipe is going to be my go to for mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving

Recipe: Southern Style Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes And Gravy

Pumpkin Puree & Pumpkin Spice

Everyone goes crazy for anything pumpkin spice in the fall, but did you know you can make your own? I love this recipe for pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice because they’re so versatile for the holiday season. Plus, homemade pumpkin puree is everything. It tastes sooo good. You can use it to make pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, even pumpkin soup!

Recipe: Pumpkin Puree & Pumpkin Spice

puree pumpkin and spice

Pie Recipes For the Holidays

There’s nothing better than homemade pie. Literally nothing. I have so many pie recipes that I love for the holidays that I definitely couldn’t fit all of them into this blog post. But, don’t worry, I have an entire article that has all of my favorite homemade pie recipes.

Find it here: Homemade Pie Recipes for the Holidays

Here are some of my favorite pie recipes:

Maple Pecan Pie

Fresh Pumpkin Pie

Easy Key Lime Pie

Homemade Corn Syrup

If y’all didn’t know, store bought corn syrup is really processed and likely made with GMO corn. Enter my homemade corn syrup recipe. This recipe is great if you still want to make homemade Christmas candy. Because is it even Christmas if there’s not homemade candy? This recipe is a lighter corn syrup substitute that’s perfect for using with your holiday recipes.

Here’s the recipe: Homemade Corn Syrup

Christmas Morning Pancake Mix With Einkorn Flour

I love this Christmas morning pancake mix recipe made with Einkorn Flour. This is perfect if you want to provide a healthier breakfast on Christmas morning (since you’ll probably be having tons of unhealthy foods the rest of the day). Plus you can make this mix in bulk and store it so you have a quick breakfast option for busy mornings! Top these pancakes with homemade lavender syrup or strawberry jam, and you have the perfect Christmas morning breakfast!

Recipe here: Christmas Morning Pancake Mix

Want an easy but nutritious breakfast? Make this DIY pancake mix now & have quick breakfasts all week!

Orange Cherry Olive Oil Cakes

These small cakes are bursting with delicious citrus flavor. These cakes can be easily wrapped in a red party favor bag and gifted to friends and family. But make sure you keep some for yourself because these cakes are delicious!

Recipe: Orange Cherry Olive Oil Cakes

Sugar Free English Egg Custard

Looking for a yummy comfort food recipe for the holidays? I love making this sugar free English egg custard recipe for an afternoon treat. It’s also great to take to potlucks because the ingredients make it seem much more complicated and decadent than it actually is;)

Recipe here: Sugar Free English Egg Custard

Chocolate Cookie Mice

Aren’t these chocolate cookie mice the cutest? This recipe is perfect for a Christmas treat for the kids. You can make these mice cookies and eat them while you read a Nutcracker storybook. Your kids will love having this tasty treat while hearing about the Nutcracker and Clara fighting the Mouse King (here’s my favorite Nutcracker storybook).

Recipe: Chocolate Cookie Mice

 

Vanilla and Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread is a traditional Scottish recipe that is perfect for the holidays. These cookies literally melt in your mouth and they are perfect for topping desserts. Since these cookies are shaped like buttons, they are absolutely perfect for topping snowman themed cakes or cookies!

Find the recipe here: Vanilla and Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Easy White Bread Recipe

Think you’re no good at making bread? Trust me you can make this easy white bread. Homemade bread is perfect for the holidays. I love serving fresh homemade bread with any holiday meal.

Recipe: Easy White Bread Recipe

In this no-fail bread recipe, I walk you step-by-step so you can make your own loaves. Easy recipe that anyone can master. From FrugalChicken.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

These cookies are perfect for a cold winter’s night. They’re the ultimate comfort food for the holidays, and your family and friends will love them! Plus this recipe makes about 60 cookies which makes it a easy recipe to gift to neighbors or take to the office potluck.

Recipe: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Stacks of oatmeal peanut butter cookies

Chocolate Chili Brownies

Looking to add a little spice to your holiday dessert? This recipe has some kick. I love the combination of sweet and spicy in this chocolate chili recipe. It’s perfect for mixing things up at the office potluck or family Christmas party.

Recipe: Chocolate Chili Brownies

chocolate chili brownies

Sugar Substitutes

Looking to have a healthier holiday season? I hear ya. I could probably do with less processed sugar in my life. Here are some of my favorite options for substituting sugar:

Which of these recipes are you going to try this year?



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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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