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.
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.
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.
Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.