Monday, December 17, 2012

Winter & Respritory Issues

December has arrived and in many parts of the US the weather has been unseasonably warm and wet….this can be a dangerous combination for increased illness in our flock. Respiratory problems tend to be on the rise and questions have been coming in regarding prevention!  The best thing one can do for our birds is to keep them dry with a good coop that has adequate ventilation as well.  This can be confusing to some folks because they feel the coop should be completely closed, sealed or draft free and this can lead to increased health problems if we don’t provide good ventilation.  Having some air flow prevents increases in humidity or dampness and therefore keeps our bird dry and warmer when the temps drop at night!

Second, proper nutrition is critical and this includes increased vitamins and minerals.  As winter approaches we tend to feel our birds are going thru a slow down phase as laying tends to decrease this time of year.  However, our birds may be experiencing more stress, having just come off their moult our flock is in need of better nutrition.  Increasing vitamins and minerals can be easy to accomplish simply by adding a supplement to our drinking water.  Adding some Black Oil Sunflower Seed (BOSS) to their diet can also increase fat and protein that is important during colder weather, too.

Finally, make sure your flock is mite and lice free, if they are not make sure to give them a good dusting with your favorite remedy.  Some chicken owners use liquid medications that are applied to the birds skin to control pests just keep in mind “dipping” is not a good idea this time of year!  If we use a little common sense our birds will be fit and ready for breeding season which is just around the corner!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!