Summer Chicken Care Schedule and Instructions
General Instructions and Schedule
|June 4 – 10||Malott||Every day (If you have to miss a day or two that’s OK – the food and water containers hold enough to last for a few days if need be.)
· Check amount of food and water; replace as needed.
· Collect the eggs
|June 11 – 17||Marks|
|June 18 – 24||Barnard|
|June 25 – July 1||Dugan|
|July 2 – 8||Purdie|
|July 9 – 15||Timpe||Twice a week (suggest Tuesdays and Fridays) – move the coop to a new spot|
|July 16 – 22||Walthall|
|July 23 – 29||Garrard|
|July 30 – August 5||Gonzalez||Once a week (suggest Fridays) – clean the coop|
|August 6 – 12||Horvath|
|August 13 – 19||Marks|
Note: The hooks have a sliding spring on them for more security. To open the hooks, slide the spring back and then pull up on the hook. When you close the hooks, make sure the spring has been pushed back so the hooks are locked. All the supplies you will need should be behind the green electrical box near the chicken coop. If you should need more food or pine shavings or have any concerns, contact Mrs. Horvath at 317-255-9316 (home), 317-840-9887 (mobile) or firstname.lastname@example.org (NOTE: on vacation between June 9 and July 3).
Take the food container (including the chain) out of the chicken run. The chicken feed is inside the galvanized metal can next to the green electrical unit. Use the scoop to add feed to the center portion of the food container and replace it on the hook closest to the coop. (There are two hooks; make sure the food is on the hook that is under the overhanging roof of the coop. This helps keep the feed dry.) Make sure the lid is put back on the galvanized can tightly to keep the feed dry and protected from raccoons. You can give the chickens food scraps from your house if you want, especially fruit and vegetable scraps. They like protein as well, but we don’t give them dairy products. Small amounts of bread are OK. You can just dump the scraps on the ground.
Take the water container (including the chain) out of the chicken coop and empty whatever water is left inside. Turn the water container upside down and rotate the red bottom to separate the red and white portions of the container. Use the hose (located next to the statue) to rinse out the container if needed, then fill up the white portion of the container. Slide the red portion onto the white portion, lining up the slots and holes. You will need to (quickly) turn the water container right side up (it might spill a little), then replace on the hook further away from the coop. Make sure the chain is in the center of the handle so the water is level. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO MAKE SURE THE HENS HAVE ENOUGH WATER, ESPECIALLY IN HOT WEATHER. There may be a second (blue) water container in the coop as a back-up source. Rinse out and add fresh water as needed.
Open the door to the coop on the side where the nesting boxes are. Take out any eggs you see. (One of the hens likes to sit on the eggs. You can gently lift her a bit to get the eggs out; she doesn’t seem to mind being moved.) The eggs are generally pretty clean, but you can wash off any obvious contamination. The eggs have a natural coating called the bloom that protects them from bacteria getting into the shell and also reduces moisture loss, keeping the egg fresh longer. You can keep any eggs you collect this summer. You should rinse the eggs before using them.
Move the coop (Twice a week)
(Take the water container out before moving the coop or else it will spill everywhere!)
Lift the wooden board on one side of the wire run by pulling up on the metal handle until it is vertical. Be careful not to get your fingers in the way. Secure the wooden board with the hooks. Repeat on the other side so the weight of the coop and run is now resting on the wheels. Using the wooden bar at the front of the run, pull the coop to a new position on the grass or mulch. Make sure the coop is still shaded. Keep the coop in the area between the sidewalks and the gravel driveway.
Release the hooks and lower the wooden boards back down to the side so that the run is resting completely on the grass. If there are any food scraps or droppings in the old area, clean those up with the purple hoe and dispose (see below).
Clean the coop (Once a week)
Open the side door to the coop on the side opposite the nesting boxes. There are two wooden roosts where the chickens spend the night. Using the small purple hoe, scrape out any chicken poop and contaminated shavings into the blue bin. You don’t have to take out all the shavings, just anything that is dirty. Make sure to get out anything between the hinges and the wooden edge, as the door doesn’t close well if there is anything in the hinge. (You should check the nesting side, but it doesn’t usually need cleaning.) Replace shavings as needed with the pine shavings that are stored in the black plastic trash can. Don’t put them too close to the edge or the door will not close completely.
The metal pan with sand in it is used by the chickens for taking dust baths, and they also eat small quantities of the sand to help with their digestion. Using the blue kitty litter scoop (in the white 5 gallon bucket), take out any obvious contamination from the sand bath and put it into the blue bin. Add fresh sand to the old sand in the metal pan (no more than half way, though, or it all gets kicked out by the hens.) The sand is kept in the white 5 gallon plastic bucket. Make sure the lid is on and held in place by the bucket handle when you are finished adding sand.
Dump the shavings and poop into one of the black compost bins.