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.
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.
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.