September is here…..which means it’s time to think about what to do in your chicken coop to prepare!
I can smell the pumpkin from here! Fall is on its way (or in progress) and there is a lot you can do in your coop this month! Help your flock stay healthy and keep your coop in top shape with these tips!
Table of Contents (Quickly Jump To Information)
The Top 10 List of Things To Do in September
#1 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’ll want to clean the coop itself, plus all the roosting bars, perches, feeders, and waterers.
Cleaning your coop means getting rid of dangerous bacteria and parasites, and that equals better health for your flock. It’s a great time to freshen up the coop with some good-smelling (and health-promoting) herbal nesting blends too. Check out a variety of nesting herbs here. fee
You can also decide if the deep litter method is for you.
#2 Double-check windows and 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.
At the same time, we can have some pretty toasty temps in the early days of Fall, so be prepared to have proper ventilation during those times (while keeping an eye on cooler weather sneaking in).
The breed of chickens you have plays a role too, some are more hardy than others. But either way, you need to be prepared.
#3 Offer your flock pumpkin and pumpkin seeds every week. They’ll love the treat, and it’s super healthy for them!
If your chickens are cooped up, they always need extra treats. If they free-range, the fall and winter months can be scarce in the insect arena. Your poultry pals may need a boost.
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 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!
#4 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.
#5 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 (okay, okay…maybe it makes you feel pampered and happy…but a happy chicken mama counts for a lot).
Closely related are your chicken’s nest boxes. Making them cozy and inviting (with specialty nesting herbs) is the real treat for your hens.
#6 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.
Even more importantly, it will help preserve your coop for many years to come. In the long run, this will save you money (less repairs and replacements).
#7 Start adding even more protein to your flock’s diet with mealworms, black soldier fly larvae, or Fluffiest Feathers Ever!
This is often the time of year when chickens start molting. If your flock is molting, a high-protein chicken layer feed will help their feathers regrow. The type of chicken feed you choose is important.
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.
You might also want to try Fluffiest Feathers Ever! Your flock will look, and feel, great.
#8 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.
There are a lot of ideas out there and it doesn’t necessarily matter which method you use…as long as you make sure it happens. Here are my best ideas for keeping your chickens’ water from freezing.
#9 Spend more time with your flock – soon, the weather will be cold and you won’t want to be outside as much.
Your chickens love you and love them. Winter can be hard on your relationship. Nuff said. Here’s a great treat you can make to show them you care – it includes pumpkin seeds, sage, and more! They will be happier to roost at night with their bellies (and hearts) full.
#10 Add a light to your coop if you want eggs all winter
As the days get shorter, egg-laying might stop. This drop (or stop) in egg production is natural for backyard chickens, but it’s okay to still want fresh eggs all winter. If you do, then add a light to the inside of their coop.
If you don’t have power in your coop, you can use a solar or 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. There are some pretty nice choices online these days.
Be sure your coop or shelter is predator proof too. Predators get especially hungry in cold months. You need to be prepared to keep your pen or enclosure free of raccoons, hawks, and the like.
There you have it! You now have at least ten things you can do to prepare your hens and roos (and you) for success in the month of September. We hope you find this list to be helpful in many ways. Now go get yourself a pumpkin latte and read a book to your flock while waiting for Fall to call! 🍁🍂
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.