What To Do In Your Coop In July

What To Do In Your Coop In July

It’s July, and the middle of summer comes with it’s own special chores. Here’s what to do in your coop in July so you raise a healthy flock of hens, ducks, geese, and more!

 

Keep out pests with herbs and spices

Use cinnamon, peppermint, wormwood, and other herbs to prevent pests. You can also use a blend such as PestsBGone.

 

THOROUGHLY CHECK ALL FLOCK MEMBERS FOR SIGNS OF FLY STRIKE!!

Fly strike can be (and often is) deadly, but you might be able to prevent it if you’re vigilant. If your hens have any cuts or abrasions, be sure to clean the wound thoroughly DAILY and cover if possible.

 

If it looks like your chicken or duck is excessively bothered by flies, bring him or her inside, clean the wound (get a vet’s advice if you see maggots at all) and keep her inside until the wound is healed.

 

If you have roosters and/or drakes, be sure to check the bellies of your hens for cuts. If your hens have bare skin on their bellies, consider isolating them from the roosters.

 

Clean coop thoroughly to keep out flying pests.

Daily is best to reduce flies. Sweep out old bedding and sprinkle with an all natural coop refresher to reduce ammonia.

 

Clean out nesting boxes

Clean nesting boxes to reduce the fly population. If broody hens are sitting on eggs, don’t clean the nesting boxes, but apply herbs to try to freshen. You don’t want to disturb the hen and accidentally cause her to abandon her nest.

 

hens in nesting boxes

Use fans to try to increase circulation in very hot coops

If possible, use a fan in the coop. Be sure it can’t be knocked over, and that it has a safety cover.

 

Check on chickens regularly throughout very hot days for possibility of heat stroke and provide extra ice water if needed.

Heat stroke can creep up suddenly. If your hens seem disoriented, are laying down and won’t get up, or suddenly can’t walk, they might be heat stressed. Try to prevent heat stress by providing ice water and lots of shade.

 

Make frozen treats out of beef tallow or other solid fat with a high smoke point

Use frozen peas, corn, or other treats to entice your hens to eat the frozen treat. Beef tallow treats don’t melt easily, and chickens love the taste.

 

Create extra shade in the run with tarps, wood, etc to prevent heat stroke

It looks ugly, but it might save a life.

 

Fill nesting boxes with extra herbs (such as Scent of Spring) to promote egg laying

Your chickens might need extra support in the summer heat. Nesting herbs also provide a healthy living environment.

 

Provide an extra calcium supplement such as oyster shells, dried eggshells, or Best Eggs Ever Nesting Herbs!

In addition to extra nutrients (see above) your chickens might need extra calcium to lay eggs.

 

Add electrolytes to water on very hot days & thoroughly clean waterers that are dirty.

Electrolytes might help your hens avoid heat stress, and they’re easily administered in water. You can find electrolytes in your local farm store.

 

Keep chicks in shade as much as possible

Chicks especially are vulnerable to heat stroke. Place chicks in an area that’s always out of direct sun, and provide water with electrolytes.

 

For ducks, provide a pool or flood part of the run so they have a cool place to lay down

You can do this for chickens, also! You’ll notice your ducks laying down to keep cool. If you can flood an area under a tree or other shade, that’s even better.

What To Do In Your Chicken Coop In June!

What To Do In Your Chicken Coop In June!

It’s June! And there’s LOTS you can do in your coop in June to make the summer weather more fun (and bearable) for your backyard chickens!

 

You’re probably noticing your hens panting a bit – chickens don’t do so well in hot weather, and as their humans, we need to help them.

 

That’s why this month’s “to do” list includes LOTS of idea to keep your chickens cool & healthy (and avoid heat stress!)

 

So, here’s this month’s list of What To Do In Your Coop In June!

 

Make & feed frozen treats

Chickens can’t sweat, so to help them be a bit cooler, we can feed frozen treats including frozen suet cakes!

 

Add herbs such as oregano, bee pollen, lemon balm, and garlic to boost their immune systems in case they do get heat stress to reduce the potential for a latent infection to get worse.

 

Chicken eating frozen suet cakes

 

Install misters to cool air temps if temps are over 95 degrees consistently

While you don’t want to spray your chickens directly, installing and running misters will help cool the ambient temperature a bit. Be sure to install them OUTSIDE, not inside the coop, to avoid moisture and mold build up.

 

Add ice to waterers/freeze waterers overnight for cool water longer

For this one, you should buy several waterers so there’s 24 hour access to water in the coop). Put half in your freezer overnight, then put them out in the morning.

 

Make sure there’s shaded areas in the run (tarps are an easy option) & place waterers under them.

 

Install fans

If you have electricity to your coop, you can use fans to circulate the air. Be sure there’s no way the chickens can accidentally hurt themselves.

 

You can install them behind a guard or grating, or come up with an idea that’ll work for your flock.

 

what to do in your chicken coop in june

Combine water with thyme and citrus juice

In studies, chickens fed a blend of citrus WITH thyme were less likely to experience heat stress. 

 

Use coop refresher to reduce moisture and humidity

Humid and moist coops FEEL warmer than they are, and the moisture will do a number on your flock’s health.

 

There ARE all natural coop refreshers that you can use 2-3 times a week to reduce ammonia & mold build up from manure in hot temperatures. Here’s how to make one at home!

 

Add an extra window or two, if possible, to aid air circulation.

Be sure to install a single hung or double hung window (costs about $30 – $60 depending on manufacturer) so it can be shut during storms so mold & mildew don’t build up inside the coop.

 

Another option is to install hardware cloth on windows so they can stay open all night for better circulation but keep your flock safe

 

Watch out for gnats, ticks, mites etc

Double down on keeping mites and other pests out of your coop with some of these ideas. 

 

They’ll try to suck blood and nutrients out of chickens, which can impede their immune system, especially if they’re already stressed from the heat.

 

Also consider fermenting feed to add extra beneficial bacteria to their digestive systems & reduce pathogens.

 

Look at eggs for signs of heat stress

Eggs might look funny when chickens are heat stressed, so watch out for very wrinkled eggs or eggs that have pigmentation loss on the shells 

 

If you think your hens might be heat stressed, give extra calcium with oyster shells. Be sure to also provide extra protein with dried insects such as black soldier fly larvae and mealworms.

 

You can learn how to raise your own black soldier fly larvae here, or if mealworms are more your thing, you can raise mealworms with these instructions.

 

If you just want to feed dried insects to your flock, head over to the store to treat your hens to black soldier fly larvae or mealworms.

6 All-Natural Ways To Keep Flies, Gnats, And Mosquitoes Off Your Chickens

6 All-Natural Ways To Keep Flies, Gnats, And Mosquitoes Off Your Chickens

Nothing is worse than being bothered by flying pests. It can make life miserable for you….and your chickens! That’s why this article is about my top 6 ways to keep flies, gnats, and mosquitoes off your chickens so you AND they can enjoy time outside!

 

It’s just starting to be summer on the farm, which means it’s time for the flying insects to make their grand entrance into the world.

 

I’ve shown you how to keep flies out of your coop, but as your flock plays in their run or tractor, or free ranges, you might notice them shaking their heads quite a bit and looking somewhat miserable, particularly on humid days.

 

You might even hear some annoyed clucks and squawks.

 

It’s possible your flock is being annoyed by gnats, flies, mosquitoes, no see ums, and the like – and it can have an impact on their health.

Ways To Keep Flies, Gnats, And Mosquitoes Off Your Chickens

Why flying insects can cause health problems in your backyard chickens

Think about it – if you’re trying to forever keep insects from bugging you, you’re not eating, drinking, and enjoying life.

 

The extra energy spent constantly moving to keep bugs off also can cause your chickens to lose weight and experience heat stress since they’re physically uncomfortable.

 

Flies and mosquitoes also harbor diseases and bacteria, which can effect the health of your flock. And yes, they WILL bite your chickens.

 

So, in this article, I’ll show you 6 different ways you can keep flying insects off your hens!

 

Ways To Keep Flies, Gnats, And Mosquitoes Off Your Chickens

Citronella plants

Citronella is safe for chickens, and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how great it is at keeping bugs away – particularly mosquitoes.

 

Each year about this time, I put a few potted citronella plants in the coop. They look great, keep the air smelling fresh, and help keep mosquitoes from bothering the hens.

 

You can also use fresh citronella in nesting boxes (see below for more herbal nesting box options), which might prevent them from getting heat stress and laying abnormal eggs.

 

Just be sure to clean your nesting boxes 3-4 times a week if you’re using fresh herbs.

 

Lemongrass in nesting boxes

Lemongrass and citronella are related, and both contain the chemical constituent that does such a great job keeping us bug free during the summer.

 

I have not found the citronella plant as a dried herb, so I use lemongrass in my flock’s nesting boxes to give them extra protection while they lay eggs.

 

I’ve noticed that when the hens sit still to lay their eggs, they’re way more prone to being irritated by gnats, mosquitoes, and flies – which can make it pretty difficult to get those butt nuggets out easily.

 

Imagine trying to give birth while having a mosquito buzzing around your head. No fun.

 

We carry dried lemongrass in the store here and it’s also a main ingredient in PestsBGone, which I developed specifically to keep pests away in coops.

 

Both of these are the same herbs I use in my own backyard chicken flock’s nesting boxes so they’re happy and lay great eggs.


Worried about pests in your coop??

MitesBGone Nesting Herbs can keep mites, lice & other creepy crawlies away.

YES! I want to keep mites & other parasites out of my nesting boxes!!


Dried Lemon Balm in nesting boxes & feed and fresh potted plants

Lemon balm also contains citronella, and can be mixed in feed and nesting boxes.

 

We grow it every year in our garden, and for us, it’s a perennial. So, we have a constant supply of fresh lemon balm to hang in the coop or mix into the nesting boxes.

 

You can also tear fresh lemon balm to release the essential oils and rub them on your flock’s combs, wattles, legs, and other areas that seem bothered by insects.

 

You can buy started lemon balm at your local big box store and replant into pots. If you want to use dried lemon balm (it smells GREAT and the essential oils are concentrated), you can find it in my store right here.

 

You can also mix dried lemon balm into your flock’s feed – they love the fresh taste and picking at the herbs.

 

dried lemon balm Ways To Keep Flies, Gnats, And Mosquitoes Off Your Chickens

 

Citronella essential oil mixed with carrier oil

Not everyone wants to use essential oils on their chickens – and that’s fine.

 

If you DO use oils on your flock, citronella essential oil is GREAT to quickly apply to your flock if they’re REALLY bothered by gnats, flies, mosquitoes, etc and are completely miserable.

 

This time of year, I usually have a few hens who seem especially bothered, and they seem much relieved after applying citronella oil.

 

You can mix 1 drop of citronella essential oil with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil such as coconut oil, cocoa butter, mango butter, etc and apply the mixture to combs, wattles, etc to keep the bugs at bay.

 

If essential oils aren’t your thing, you can combine citronella, dried lemongrass, or dried lemon balm with olive oil, allow to steep for 2-4 weeks so the olive oil absorbs the essential oils from the plants, and then apply as needed.

 

I avoid essential oils altogether with chicks, and opt for simply keeping fresh or dried herbs around them to prevent pests.

 

Peppermint coop spray & fly spray for chickens

I cover how to make peppermint coop spray here and natural fly repellent here, and they’re both a great option to keep flies, etc away. Please note that these sprays aren’t meant to be sprayed ON your chickens – just around the coop.

 

I have a recipe below that you can use ON your chickens.

 

Flying insects hate peppermint, although I would also add something like citronella or lemon balm to get a double (or triple) punch. I’m not convinced peppermint is as effective as plants containing citronella when it comes to flying insects (for mites, etc, peppermint is GREAT).

 

If you plan to spray your flock to keep bugs away, consider steeping peppermint with lemongrass in hot water. Allow to cool, then gently mist by spraying the mixture up towards the sky, allowing the mist to fall down.

 

Don’t drench your chickens – you’re not looking to give them a bath. Just mist them a bit, making sure to avoid eyes, ears, nostrils, etc.

 

If they’re particularly bothered in those areas, you can squirt your fingers and gently apply by rubbing your fingers AROUND those areas – not in or on them.


With eyes, if I need to apply around the eyes, I only apply UNDER the eyes to avoid any drips that might harm their eyeballs.

 

I do the same with other species, especially those that physically sweat such as horses – you don’t want anything entering their eyes and potentially causing problems.

 

This is assuming the day is warm enough for it – if the temperature is cool in your area, try a different way I’ve mentioned in this article to keep flies, gnats, and mosquitoes away.

 

We’ve found this to work to provide some relief during particularly muggy & buggy days.

 

As above, I avoid spraying chicks at all and opt to keep fresh or dried herbs around them to keep them bug free.

Marigolds

Marigolds (not calendula, which are great flowers to feed your backyard chicken flock for golden yolks, but regular marigolds you find at your local farm store in early spring) are the go-to for gardeners to keep pests out of the garden, and it’ll work for your coop also.

 

We love putting marigolds in window boxes, hanging them around the coop, placing the petals in nesting boxes, etc to provide relief and help keep our hens comfortable.

 

They’re safe for backyard chickens, and it’s best to put any fresh flowers or herbs we discussed in this article at the same level as your flock.

 

But if you find your hens stripping off the petals, put the marigolds out of reach so they can still do their job or give your flock something tastier to rip apart.

 

The pretty color of marigolds brightens the interior of the coop and nesting boxes. Just be sure to clean your nesting boxes regularly, and keep watch for any potential external parasites such as chicken mites.

 

I hope these ideas give you some ways to keep flies, gnats, and mosquitoes off your chickens so they – and you – can enjoy the warm weather!

5 Pro Tips To Repel Mosquitos For Good This Summer!

5 Pro Tips To Repel Mosquitos For Good This Summer!

The warm, sunshiny, fun-loving, carefree days of summer are almost here!

 

That means the kids will be out of school, and your family will spend more time outside playing, gardening, and entertaining.

 

While those days are eagerly anticipated all year long, they also bring mosquitoes out in droves – especially around homesteads that have animals (read: manure!). I know because we battle them from the time the weather turns warm until temperatures mercifully dip below 60 degrees F.

 

But when the mercury rises, it surely means biting, itching, ugly, raised welts, and a financial jackpot for the manufacturers of calamine lotion and other itch relieving creams and sprays.

 

But luckily, I have some amazing solutions help you you to get rid of mosquitoes – and these solutions are frugal AND chemical-free methods of keeping mosquitoes and their itchy, annoying bites at bay. (Because who wants to put toxic chemicals on their kids and animals, right?)

 

Grow your own mosquito-repelling plants

 

A few mosquito repelling varieties you can grow include citronella, basil, catnip, lavender, peppermint, and lemon balm (you can eat them all too!)

 

To use these natural solutions, start by crushing the leaves to release the plants’ aroma. This will release the essential oils. Then rub the leaves on your skin. The natural oils they emit will keep mosquitoes away and help keep you bite free.

 

This is a great one to use in the garden, where you likely already have these herbs growing. Make them convenient to use by arranging them in pots indoors and in outdoor areas where people tend to gather (you can encircle your entire patio in citronella plants like these for less than $100, for example!)

 

Wear white tees and other light summer colors

Light colors stand out to these annoying pests because they search for targets and sources of food during the daytime hours. That means that dark colors are more pronounced to them and they tend to shy away from lighter colors.

 

Try a few drops of lavender essential oil.

Rub it lightly on your skin or use it strategically around your home. Add a few drops to strands of ribbon and hang them near doors and windows.

 

The scent has a threefold purpose. It makes your home smell amazing, its aromatherapy properties promote relaxation, and the scent sends mosquitos on the run.

 

Make your own mosquito repelling spray

In a clean spray bottle, mix three cloves, eight ounces each of witch hazel and boiling water, and two tablespoons each of mint, sage, rosemary, lavender, and thyme.

 

Cover and steep, then cool and strain the mixture into the spray bottle. Use as a mist on skin and in the air. It makes a toxic-free, all-natural mosquito repelling spray.

 

If you want to use essential oils you have on hand, check out another great recipe I have that uses lemongrass and peppermint!

 

Rid indoor and outdoor areas of your home of standing water

Inside, make sure to drain sinks and tubs. Outside make a point of emptying kiddie, wading, or collapsible backyard pools.

 

Also, empty pet bowls and make sure your gutters are not clogged so that water can drain freely from the top of your house. Mosquitoes love standing water and are attracted to the light it reflects. Eliminating as much standing water as possible, sends mosquitoes off to look for water in other places.

 

Don’t let the beauty of summer get ruined by incessant mosquito bites or by their annoying buzzing sounds. Summer is a time for barbecues, pool parties, and picnics. Your home, garden, and environment can be itch free with one or more of the techniques listed above.