Caring for Chickens and Other Poultry
Raising chickens can be a challenging task without the proper preparation. If you have chickens, turkey, ducks or any other domestic fowl, it’s important to consider their diet, give them access to regular veterinary care, and create comfortable bedding in a safe environment.
Chickens are not vegetarians but omnivores – meaning they eat both plant and animal proteins. The diet of chickens and other poultry should typically consist of mainly commercial poultry food and grit or oyster shells for laying chickens. They can free range in yards actively hunting insects and plants. They can be supplemented with fresh green, leafy foods, while some species also enjoy raw tomatoes, seeds (sunflower or oil), fruits, cabbage, and grains (barley, corn, oats, etc.). Make sure your birds also have plenty of clean, fresh water and that their bowls are cleaned daily.
Just like with dogs and cats, chickens and other poultry should receive regular wellness exams to be sure they’re healthy. If any health issues are spotted, they can be treated immediately by a veterinarian. Dr. Kraft can advise you on recommended medications and deworming medications if necessary.
There are several options available when it comes to the bedding of chickens and other domestic fowl. Some owners use straw and hay while others use wood shavings (dust extracted) or chopped cardboard. Whichever bedding you choose, make sure it’s fresh, clean, and fluffy, and clean any droppings from it on a daily basis.
Whether you have a poultry/chicken farm or just a coop, it’s important to provide adequate shelter from the elements as well as protection from predators. The enclosure should be spacious and well ventilated. If you have an outdoor pen, it’s best to surround it with a fence and cover it with hardwire cloth.
Give us a call at (425) 482-6345 with your questions about how to care for your chickens, turkeys, or other poultry. We’re always happy to help. And remember, house calls can reduce stress for all animals, so schedule an appointment today!