One of the best pieces of advice we have ever received as chicken farmers is the following: spend time with your flock ! Seems like a romantic suggestion. We've all heard it before: talk to your animals, throw them some feed and watch them scramble to gobble it up with delight! It all sounds cute and slightly twee, but there's a method to the madness. Stick with me here....
If you make a point of regularly spending time with your chickens, you are going to start noticing things... really useful things.
Lots of information can be gained from spending time with your flocks, and the more regularly that is done, the quicker you'll spot issues and be able to help solve them before they become a big problem.
What useful things have we learnt ? (photos in order of points listed)
Through spending time with the flock over years, we can now immediately recognise the following:
Make sure you spend time with your flock at night too. We often go and stand in the coop and listen to the girls. Breathing issues can be quickly spotted and the hen removed immediately for treatment. Night time is a great time to do checks and separate off birds who might be unwell, or take the opportunity to worm them whilst they're beautifully docile.
With knowledge comes power, as they say. By being familiar with sounds and behaviours of your chickens, you can quickly spot a plethora of issues and swiftly move to deal with them. Many losses have been prevented at Poultry Patch due to this familiarity with the flock over many years with many different birds.
So get out there.... set up a seat (we have an upturned bucket we sit on) and enjoy the sights and sounds of your flock. Not only is it fun, it's relaxing AND arms you with knowledge and power at the same time.
It all started with young girls’ upbringing in a country town and her devotion and affinity with animals.