Summer in The Chookyard

chooks in the shadeChooks don’t sweat. Imagine that in this heat!

To make up for this fact you need to provide them with shade (and don’t skimp on it) summer through autumn. Mine get to live under natives down the back until winter when I bring them back to do greenhouse clean up duties.

For healthy chooks through summer, be sure of

  • a dust bath (in the shade),
  • fresh ground and
  • clean water. Put a dose of cider vinegar or garlic in their water once a month as part of your worm prevention plan.

Right about now you’ll be well aware of just how much fresh greenery (which more importantly means fresh bugs) you do or don’t have for your hens. If you’re running out of fresh ground take a wander and think creatively – where else can you forage your chooks?

They’re especially useful at cleaning up incoming weeds along boundary fences and old crops in the vegie patch. They also do really well under established trees, which handily takes care of the shade thing. Perhaps your good neighbour has some space?

Our Chook workshop is coming to you on February 10th.


  1. Thanks Kath. We got our girls just three weeks ago and I have already noticed how they tend to avoid too much direct sunlight. I’ll need to install some temporary shade until I can move their run, which is currently in the sunniest part of the garden (they’re prepping for the new perennial border).

  2. Hi Kath.
    I have a chicken that disappeared for 2 months. I thought she was dead. But now she is back. Poor Mildred. The other chooks have forgotten her and lay into her every time I put her in with them.
    Any tips on how to reintroduce her to the flock?
    The dopey broad slept outside in the rain last night even though I had made her a straw nest sheltered under a table.

    • Chooks aye! The hard truth is there is no kind way (human kind that is), pop her on the roost at night time is the best. If the chooks are going to beat her up you are best to let that happen and get it over with. Hard for humans but it is the chook way – just re establishing the order of things. Its always worse when there is one newbie. Get another new one and add that in at the same time? Fingers crossed for Mildred!

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