What To Do In Your Coop In August

What To Do In Your Coop In August

It’s August – and there’s plenty you can do in your coop to keep your hens healthy!

 

It’s almost Back To School season and the holidays are fast approaching – now is the time to prepare for fall, and at a minimum, make decisions you can implement later that’ll keep your backyard chickens healthy and happy throughout the cooler months.

 

August is also a time to be extra vigilant about the heat!

 

Here’s what to do in your coop in August!

 

What to do in your backyard chicken coop in August

Keep making sure your hens are cool with these tips here. 

You can also add a window if things are still blistering hot.

 

Start preparing for molting

Chickens don’t always start in August but some do, and its best to be prepared. Chickens start molting in the fall as the days get shorter.

 

Add extra protein to their feed such as mealworms, black soldier fly larvae, or Fluffiest Feathers Ever!

 

Think about whether your coop needs any adjustments before cold weather arrives, school begins, and the holiday season approaches.

Does it need any changes or additions to keep your hens warm and out of bad weather during winter? Are there leaks that can become a problem during a freezing rain, or even rain in cooler temps?

 

Any areas for predators to get into? As cool weather arrives and food is scarce, your flock becomes an even bigger target.

 

Make sure your chickens have access to a good dust bath.

Consider adding diatomaceous earth or an herbal blend like MitesBGone to it so they’re mite-free.

 

Add fall decor & boredom busters to your coop

An herbal wreath to the coop door will look cute, or if you have access to pumpkins, try making a fall planter.

Looking for a cute fall decoration for your chicken coop? Make a vase out of pumpkins! (Hint: It's also super nutritious for your hens!)

You can also hang apple slices (without the seeds – they’re poisonous), herbs from your garden, or other goodies in their run to reduce boredom.

 

If it’s still hot, treat your flock to some frozen suet cakes!

 

Recycle waste from your vegetable garden in your coop

Your hens will love the additional treats! Keep dried beans, potato skins, apple seeds, and stones from fruit out of the coop.

 

Some people add a compost pile to their run for the hens to help turn over – it’s up to you whether this works for your flock.

 

But be sure to clean your coop weekly!

You’ll want to reduce manure and ammonia load (from their waste) as the days continue to be hot.

Homemade Suet Cakes For Chickens: Great Boredom Busters!

Homemade Suet Cakes For Chickens: Great Boredom Busters!

Crafting homemade suet cakes for chickens is a simple way to boost the fat in your flock’s diet while giving them a way to stay occupied.

 

In fact, a frequent question I get is “Can chickens eat suet cakes?,” and not only is the answer a definitive “YES!” but feeding diy suet cakes to chickens can help reduce bad behavior and stress from being confined in a coop all day.

 

It’s summer, so right now I’m making suet cakes to help my chickens stay cool.

 

And they’re a total hit!


While my hens otherwise look like they’re ready to melt and are completely miserable as they try to stay cool in our 100+ degree heat, when they catch sight of their suet cakes, the light comes back in their eyes as they realize they’re about to have a blast.

 

Needless to say, as soon as I drop the treats in their chicken feeders, it’s game on.

 

I like to use coconut oil when I make homemade suet cakes for chickens because it’s good for them (with good antibacterial qualities), it’s malleable, and it holds the corn, oats, and other things I add fairly well.

 

It’s also a nice source of healthy fat, particularly in winter, when you need to worry more about their calorie intake in the cold.

 

If you’re feeling particularly creative, you can make homemade suet cakes with bacon grease or other grease leftover from cooking.

 

You can use grease by itself, but I like to mix it with coconut oil (especially good for winter, when the extra protein will help them out).

 

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

 

Although I can guarantee your chickens will love your homemade suet and come running whenever they see you have them!
This is the best homemade suet cake for chickens recipe I’ve found that will help your chickens improve their health while providing a treat, and I’m happy to share it with you!

What should you add to homemade suet cakes for chickens?

 

You can pretty much add anything that’s fine for chickens to eat. Some easy choices are:

  • Corn
  • Oatmeal
  • Chopped unsalted peanuts
  • Dry peas
  • Wheat berries
  • Lentils
  • Flax seeds (improves omega-3s in eggs)
  • Sunflower seeds (high in fat)

 

I like to add more corn and peanuts in the winter for an energy boost to help them through the night.

 

Another option is to add pea sprouts, microgreens, etc, which is especially easy to do if you use coconut oil.

 

You can also add fresh or dry herbs. Oregano, sage, and thyme are good options that are also easy to source.

What shape should homemade suet cakes be?

 

As for shape, you have a few options.

 

I like to use a muffin tin; we have a lot of chickens, and a single large block would get eaten by the few, leaving the rest of our chickens wanting.

 

So, the muffin tin makes sure everyone gets a piece of the suet cakes.

 

You can also use a shallow pan, or anything that fits easily into your freezer.

How to make homemade suet cakes for chickens

 

Grab a muffin tin or pan

If using a pan, make sure it’s deep enough to accommodate all the coconut oil you plan to use.

 

Melt the coconut oil over low heat, just until melted (especially important if using sprouts)

Coconut oil has a melting point of 77 degrees, so it only needs to be warmed until it starts to melt. Any more, and you might destroy some of the beneficial properties of the oil, as well as potentially cooking some of your additives (and altering their nutrients).

 

This is particularly key if you plan to use sprouts – when they’re fresh, sprouts have more nutrients. But if they cook in hot oil, your chickens will enjoy them less.

 

Stir in whatever you’re adding

I like using regular oatmeal. People always seem to give it to us, and this is a simple way to use it up that’s also a nice treat for our backyard chickens.

 

Grind or chop up whatever you’re adding to your homemade suet cakes to make sure the entire block doesn’t crumble, and if you use peanuts, make sure they’re unsalted.

 

You can also alter your recipe depending on the season, adding more corn in the winter when energy is important, and flax seeds in the summer when they’re laying eggs again.

 

Pour mixture into muffin tins

Fill to the top, since the coconut oil won’t really expand in the cold. You can add some extra oatmeal or corn on the top as well.

 

Remember that the muffin pan will be hot (especially if you let the coconut oil get hotter than 77 degrees), so be careful picking it up and moving it.

 

Freeze until solid

Time will vary depending on your freezer. I like to make homemade suet cakes for chickens in the evening, then let them freeze overnight.

 

Invert pan to remove the homemade suet cakes

If you need to, you can run a knife around the edge of the pan, but I’ve found that’s less effective than simply turning the pan over and tapping on the bottom.

 

Feed and watch your chickens enjoy!

Remember that coconut oil has a low melting point, so don’t remove them from the freezer until you’re actually ready to feed them.

 

I’ve found they start to melt as soon as I bring them outside. 

 

Making homemade suet cakes is easy – and it’s a good way to fight boredom, reduce bad behaviors, and make sure your hens are getting extra calories!

 

I’d like to hear from you!

Do you think you’ll try making homemade suet cakes for chickens? Leave a comment below!

Gifts & Winter Boredom Busters For Your Backyard Chickens [Podcast]

Gifts & Winter Boredom Busters For Your Backyard Chickens [Podcast]

While it might seem frivolous to give your backyard chickens holiday gifts, the truth is winter is an easy time for them to develop bad habits.

 

When they’re stuck in the coop all day, they’ll need a distraction to prevent stress.

 

In this episode, we discuss find 5 winter gifts to give your backyard flock to reduce stress, keep their diet in tip top shape, and squash negative behaviors before they begin. 

 

These are tried-and-tested suggestions that work wonders – and the best part is you can buy them or make them at home.

 

 

Links we discuss:

Visit Manna Pro

Where to by Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock

Where to buy a chicken swing

Where to buy a xylophone

Where to buy FrugalChicken Nesting Box Herbs

Where to buy Manna Pro Mealworm Medley

Where to buy a suet cake hanging basket

Where to buy a treat dispenser

Where to buy Manna Pro Harvest Delight

 

385x470 organic ad_frugal_chicken

I’d like to hear from you!

Do you think you’ll try to make any of these gifts? Leave a comment below!

What Do Chickens Need Over Winter To Stay Healthy? [Podcast]

What Do Chickens Need Over Winter To Stay Healthy? [Podcast]

Winter is coming….are you prepared?

 

This week on What The Cluck?! we talk about the specific steps you should take to help your backyard flock weather the snow, ice, freezing rain, and cold temperatures when Old Man Winter comes around.

 

You’ll learn:

  • What to do to make sure your coop is a safe, warm home for them
  • How to feed your chickens in winter
  • Great boredom busters for those dull, long, wet days

 

 

Links we discuss:

How to Keep Your Chicken’s Water From Freezing

Be sure to grab the downloadable Coop Checklist here

Coconut Oil Suet cakes Recipe

 

Chickens- Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock AD (1)-min

I’d Like to Hear From You!

How do you prepare your chicken coop for winter? Leave a comment below!