The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, and as a backyard chicken keeper, it’s natural to want to extend this festive spirit to your feathered friends. Decorating your chicken coop can be a delightful way to bring some holiday cheer to your backyard. However, it’s crucial to do this safely to ensure the well-being of your chickens. There are some considerations to be made before you begin your decorating. Let’s explore how you can spruce up your coop for the holidays without causing harm or stress to your flock.
Choose Non-Toxic, Chicken-Safe Decorations
When it comes to choosing decorations, safety is paramount. Opt for natural, non-toxic materials that won’t harm your chickens if ingested. Edible garlands are not just safe, but they can also be a healthy treat for your chickens. String together items like cranberries, popcorn, and fresh greens. Herbs like rosemary, lavender, and mint can add a festive touch and have the added benefit of being natural health boosters for your flock. Avoid using anything small or breakable, like glass ornaments, that could become a hazard. Anything that you hang inside should pose a threat to your chickens.
Securely Fasten Decorations and Keep them Out of Reach
All decorations should be securely fastened and placed well out of reach of your chickens. It’s important to ensure that these adornments do not obstruct the coop’s entrance or ventilation. Hanging items should be placed high enough to prevent chickens from pecking at them and potentially injuring themselves. Be particularly cautious with lights and electrical cords; they should be kept away from areas where chickens roost and feed to avoid pecking and entanglement hazards.
Use Lighting Thoughtfully
While lights can add a warm, festive, holiday glow, it’s essential to use them thoughtfully around chickens. Avoid bright or flashing lights, as they can be stressful for your birds and disrupt their natural light cycles. Even ones that softly twinkle can bother chickens and keep them awake.
Soft, warm, white lights can create a cozy ambiance without causing undue stress. Solar-powered or battery-operated LED lights are a safe choice. Make sure to place them around the exterior of the coop and avoid direct exposure to your flock, especially in the evening when chickens are settling down for the night.
Avoid Overcrowding the Space
While it’s tempting to go all out with the decorations, remember that your chickens need space to move freely. Don’t overcrowd their living area with decor, and ensure they have plenty of room to roost and relax without any holiday embellishments getting in their way.
Monitor Your Flock’s Behavior
After decorating, keep an eye on your chickens’ behavior. If you notice any signs of stress or discomfort, it might be best to remove some decorations. A happy, comfortable flock is more important than a decked-out coop.
Decorating your chicken coop for the holidays can be a creative and enjoyable activity. By keeping the decorations chicken-safe, securely fastened, and thoughtfully illuminated, you can ensure your feathered friends enjoy the holiday season as much as you do. It’s great to enjoy the festive nature of this time of year, but that should never involve putting your chickens in harm’s way.
As you celebrate this season and perhaps think about expanding your flock, Chickens for Backyards is your go-to for a diverse range of poultry. Whether you’re looking for the traditional charm of baby chicks or the unique appeal of ducks, geese, turkeys, or guineas, we have the perfect breed to suit your backyard and lifestyle. Contact us today if you have any questions!