January in the Chook Yard

Chickens being shaded in the gardenChooks 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. A dust bath (in the shade), fresh ground and a daily change of water help too. Put a dose of cider vinegar or garlic in their water once a week to prevent worms and keep them in good knick.

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 31 January.


  1. Do you have any reliable cures for scaly leg? Two of my chooks had it last year and I dipped their legs in cooking oil for days on end but it didn’t really help. They still have it this year.

    • Hi Cheryl

      Scaly leg is an insidious thing – it can take alot of work to cure, but its worth it – the poor chooks!

      Hygiene is the first thing – collect any scabs that fall as they are infectious. Infact a big clean out of the whole chook house and yard is advisable.

      Soak the legs first to get under that scaly crust and to those mites buried beneath. Just stand them in warm soapy water (I’ve always found chooks quite like this and stand nice and still!) and scrub the crust with an old toothbrush. Once nice and wet take the chook out of the ‘bath’ and rub on vaseline with a few drops of eucalyptus or tea tree in it. Keep repeating the vaseline mix until the crusts fall off.

      Check your chook house for red mites as often the two go hand in hand. Another good reason for a super chook clean out (empty out, scrub the perches walls, floors – leave open for the day to the air and sun et all)

      best Kath