Ask Andy The big day

Country Smallholding - - Poultry Pen -

Q:I’m due to pick up my very first flock of chick­ens. What ad­vice would you give me for the big day?

ANDY SAYS:

Be­fore pick­ing up your chick­ens, make sure their new house is ready and any fenc­ing is se­cure. Put the feed and wa­ter in the house (the wa­ter in­doors is only tem­po­rary, drinkers are al­ways best kept out of the liv­ing quar­ters) and check the ven­ti­la­tion on the house is open. Be­fore you head out to col­lect your chick­ens, check that the seller has carry boxes avail­able; if not, then you will need ei­ther a sturdy card­board box (with air holes) or a pet trans­porter of an ap­pro­pri­ate size. Food and wa­ter is not es­sen­tial for the oc­cu­pants un­less the jour­ney is go­ing to be par­tic­u­larly long. If you are col­lect­ing dur­ing warm weather then try and make the col­lec­tion time as late as pos­si­ble in the day so as to avoid any high temperatures. When you get the chick­ens home, place each bird into the coop, giv­ing them a quick check over, but don’t let them out into the run; leave them in­doors where the food and wa­ter is so they can set­tle into their coop. They will roost in there overnight and hope­fully, when you let them out into the run the fol­low­ing morn­ing, they will re­alise the coop is where they roost. Af­ter a cou­ple of days the birds will have got their bear­ings and will be hap­pily wan­der­ing in and out of the house.

Pic­tured above: Crates for trans­port­ing chick­ens

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