Do a Spring Check-in with Your Backyard Chickens

A woman holding a chicken that she's checking in on

As the chill of winter thaws into the warmth of spring, it’s an ideal time for backyard chicken keepers to perform a thorough check-in with their feathered friends. Spring symbolizes renewal in nature, so this is a crucial opportunity to ensure the health and well-being of your chickens after the long winter months. Here are some key steps to include in your spring check-in routine to keep your flock happy and healthy:

Health and Wellness Assessment

Start by closely observing each chicken for signs of good health or potential issues. Check for bright eyes, clean feathers, and normal behaviors. Spring is the perfect time to look for any signs of parasites like mites or lice that might have taken refuge in the warmer feathers during colder months.

Check their feet for bumblefoot (swollen or infected foot pads), which can occur if the coop ground was wet or dirty. Also, ensure they are all eating and drinking normally.

Coop and Environment Maintenance

After winter, a thorough cleaning of the coop is essential. Remove all old bedding, clean the surfaces with a chicken-safe disinfectant, and replace it with fresh, dry bedding. Inspect the coop for any damage such as holes or cracks that could have developed over the winter.

These not only let in drafts but can also be potential entry points for predators. Ensure that the fencing and any protective barriers are intact. Also, check that your ventilation systems are unobstructed to keep the air fresh and reduce moisture and ammonia levels inside the coop.

Nutritional Needs Adjustment

With the change in season, consider adjusting your chickens’ diet. Spring brings increased activity and the beginning of the laying season, so ensuring that your chickens’ diet supports their energy needs is crucial.

Transition to a feed that supports egg production if you’re raising layers, which should be high in calcium and protein. This is also a great time to allow them more time to forage outside as the ground thaws and insects become plentiful, providing natural nutrition and enrichment.

Performing a thorough spring check-in with your chickens sets the stage for a productive and enjoyable season. If you’re looking to expand your flock this spring or just starting with your first chickens, Chickens for Backyards can help you make the right choice. With more than 100 breeds of baby chicks, ducks, geese, turkeys, and guineas, we offer a varied selection to suit any backyard or farm. Contact us today to get started!