Chicken usually have a smart radar that tell them to run for cover when the rain comes. Unlike ducks, chicken can’t bear to be wet, they don’t have protection in their feathers. That’s why wet weather can make them sick easily. That’s why it’s very crucial for you to learn these 6 ways to take care of chicken in wet weather.
What’s Wrong with Wet Weather?
Chicken are actually okay when they get wet. That is, if they catch a bit of summer rain that will feel warm. Some of the chicken might even enjoy it! The problem lay in the cold and windy rain. If the temperature is low, and they get wet, it might become dangerous situation for your chicken. First of all, there might be a chance that your chicken get hypothermia. Or else, the cold temperature can lower their immune system and that’s how bacteria and viruses can infect them.
Furthermore, you know wet weather can bring, which is puddles everywhere. It’s especially dangerous for chicken, because they will drink anywhere, include from the puddles. Meanwhile, the puddles can carry many pathogens and parasites, like intestinal worms that can get your chicken diarrhea.
Protect Your Chicken from Wet Weather
Even though it’s pretty okay for chicken to get slightly wet, usually chicken don’t like to get soaked in water. Besides, it can lead into fungal infection in the chicken’s feathers. What’s worse is this fungal infection is hard to observe because it grows at the base of chicken’s feather follicle. Moreover, if the weather is also cold and windy, the wet chicken may get respiratory problems. So, you gotta be carefully check these 6 ways to take care of chicken in the wet weather.
1. Providing Warm and Dry Place
As I said, temperature can bring danger for your chicken, that’s why the most important thing that you need to do is to keep them warm. Preparing the dry cage will really determine whether your chicken will keep healthy during wet weather. So, you gotta ensure the chicken’s coop or cage is warm and dry. The roof of course, very vital to become shelter for the chicken.
In the wet weather, choose your bedding can be very important. Maybe some of you like to use wood straw as chicken’s bedding, but I suggest you to stop doing that. Or at least, for temporarily. This is because straw will absorb humidity more than wood shavings or wood chips. It means that straw can make your chicken feel cold and make fungus grow even faster in the bedding.
2. Preparing dust bath
When the weather is dry, chicken loves to take a bath in the dust. It seems dirty for us, human, but it’s actually very beneficial for chicken. Dust can help to get rid the parasites in chicken’s feathers, thus makes your chicken healthy. In short, this dust bath is as good as water bath for us.
However, in wet weather, it’s quite hard to find dry dust outside. To overcome this situation, you can prepare a special dust in your chicken’s coop or cage for the chicken to play in. Of course, you need to keep this dust dry, otherwise it doesn’t have any meaning.
3. Check the Coop or Cage
I’m sure you already prepared the proper coop or cage for your chicken, but we never know if something’s going wrong. So, if the wet weather approaches, you need to immediately check every inch of the coop or cage. If you found a leaking water, fix it instantly, because you surely don’t want the chicken’s bedding or chicken’s feed becomes moldy and stink.
Since the wet weather can create a standing water also, you may want to set up the coop or cage with the drain pipe, so you can control the water flow away from your chicken. The problem with this standing water is they can bring pathogens that can make your chicken sick. Putting it further from your chicken can avoid chicken to drink from standing water.
4. Clean the Coop or Cage More Often
Because of humidity, no wonder your chicken’s bedding will get damp faster than normal or dry weather. So, you gotta prepare your energy to clean the coop more often than you usually do. Due to the wet weather, the dirt in chicken’s coop or cage might not dry up easily. The dirt that get stuck in chicken’s toes can be dangerous since it can create mud balls. When it got stuck and dried up in the chicken’s toes instead, the toes can be broken.
If brushing the coop’s or cage’s floor is too much work for you, you can put some unused paper, like old newspaper under the bedding. That’s how you avoid chicken’s droppings stick to the coop’s floor. All you have to do is hose away the bedding than throw out the paper in the compost bin. You know, paper is organic too, so you can totally mix the papers in your compost bin.
Even so, the chicken’s coop or cage might still catch dampness despite your hard work cleaning them. To avoid, you can use disinfectant, such as Stalosan F. You can sprinkle it under the new bedding. Not only can disinfect your chicken’s house, it can prevent smells and help the floor’s coop or cage keep dry.
5. Use Heater/Fluorescent Light
Wet weather can especially dangerous because of the cold temperature, so put in heater or fluorescent light in chicken’s coop or cage can make your chicken feel comfortable. Another function of the fluorescent light is to “fool” chicken about the daylight.
You know, chicken tend to produce eggs in the daylight, while wet weather sometimes make the sky becomes dark. So, the chicken may reduce the eggs they usually produce in this kind of situation. That’s why fluorescent light can act as the replacement for the sunshine, thus make your chicken produce eggs again.
6. Maintain Food and Water
The last thing you need to note among these 6 ways to take care of chicken in the wet weather is maintaining food and water. Wet weather means your chicken can’t wander freely to get some food on their own, so you need to be really careful in providing food and water in chicken’s house. You need to know, chicken tend to eat more in the wet weather, so you might need to prepare more food. If you’re worried your budget will overwhelm, then you can put some oil or fat in the chicken’s food that can make them full faster.
Other than that, you can do preventive act against the bacterial or viral infection. Adding some white cider vinegar can help boosting chicken’s immune system in the cold weather. You can also add some fresh crushed garlic in their food, because garlic is a famous immune system booster. Not only for chicken, it’s even good for us, too!