"If chickens had their way, they might be driving to Florida around this time of year. With shorter days and cooler weather, chickens instinctively lay less eggs. However, you can offset this tendency with a little strategic ingenuity. By adding lights, you’ll persuade your chickens that springtime could be (almost) year round. To mimic the spring sun, you’ll need to have timers set up to turn lights on 12-14 hours prior to sunset. For optimal egg production, chickens need that much daylight. You won’t see the same production as during the month of May but by adding a little light, you can see increases of your usual October egg production. Another aspect of fall in the hen house is that parasites such as ticks, fleas, mites and lice are looking for a warm, cozy nesting place, and your chickens present a likely option for them. An old-fashioned solution would be to dunk your chickens in kerosene up to their wattles, but since a the high flammability option, most farmers opt for a different solution. They take out all the bedding from the hen house and dust every surface inside the henhouse before spraying liberally with a pine, tar-based disinfectant. The next step to clean up your hen house is to add tubs that are about half filled with wood ash, coal ash or peat moss with an addition of 1-2% (by weight) elemental sulfur. Believe it or not, your chickens will know what to do. By the way, credit for these practical ideas goes to Jeff Mattocks, a nutrition consultant for Fertrell. Click here if you’d like to read more about what you can expect from your chickens this time of year and what tactics to employ to counterbalance certain natural effects.
As always - winter, spring, summer, or fall - feed your flock organic chicken feed from Reedy Fork Farm! Place your order here!
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