Note: from 14/12/2020 all chickens in the UK should be kept indoors to prevent the spread of avian flu. For more information, please see these articles: https://blog.omlet.co.uk/2020/11/26/
Whether you’re a beginner or experienced chicken keeper, we have put together a list of 10 essential products you should consider having to hand if you decide to keep chickens in your garden.
Image by Xuân Tuấn Anh Đặng from Pixabay
Certain accessories and equipment are essential to keep your chickens safe and healthy.
The products to have on your shelves
- Diatomaceous earth: a must! Diatomaceous earth is a natural and completely organic product which can be sprinkled in the chicken house to prevent the proliferation of red mites. You can also treat your chickens by mixing it with their feed, or dusting them with the powder and incorporating it into their dust bath.
- A coop disinfectant. The shelter, equipment and accessories of your chickens must be cleaned regularly to keep their home hygienic and healthy. Use a pet safe disinfectant, like Battles.
- Cider vinegar has many benefits. A little cider vinegar in your chickens’ water will help to improve their respiratory system, boost their immune system and maintain a healthy digestive system. Warning: do not use cider vinegar in metal drinkers. This breaks down the metal and can create a toxic chemical reaction for your chickens. Want to clean your eggs but water is not enough? Use the cider vinegar by dipping your eggs in it for 10 seconds. They will be impeccable! You can even add cider vinegar to the water before washing your chickens. Finally, clean your drinkers and equipment with apple cider vinegar to remove traces of limestone. Vinegar is a whitener and a very good disinfectant.
- Grit: Having grit on your shelf is essential. Your chickens don’t have teeth, so grit helps your chickens digest the grains and other foods they eat more easily. The ingestion of grit is a physiological need essential for the good health of your flock.
- Food supplements: A chicken eats an average of 120 g of food per day. Food supplements can be great for maintaining your chickens’ health and egg production, and providing them with their daily dose of vitamins. For example, chickens need calcium and phosphorus to produce quality eggs which can be supplemented with Equimins Egg Shell Improver. This is ideal for ex battery chickens.Garlic powder is recognised for its many virtues. Added to the daily feed of your chickens, it will improve their immune system, deworm and eliminate red lice and mites.Did you know that herbs are great for their immune system and that it protects your chickens from infections and intestinal parasites? A herb treat mix will support their health and happiness!
- Vaseline/Petroleum jelly: If your chicken loves going out for a run in winter. It is advisable to coat the comb with petroleum jelly/vaseline to prevent frostbite.
- Scaly leg spray: To prevent unwanted parasite invasions on your chickens and particularly leg scabies, do not hesitate to invest in a scaly leg spray. This form of mange is caused by a mite and can kill your hen. As soon as symptoms appear, growths, yellowish legs, deformation or enlargement of the leg, treat the affected areas immediately.
- Gentian Violet Spray: It is necessary to have a small first aid kit on your shelf in case of small injuries. An antiseptic spray is very effective against small abrasions or wounds from feather pecking.
- Egg boxes: Having chickens is great, having eggs is even better! Keep them safe after collecting them with egg boxes, just like in the supermarket, or stylish Skelters where you can display them proudly in your kitchen, and keep them in date order.
- Bumpa bits: Pecking in chickens is quite common. They can sting with their beaks on the heads of other hens, pluck the feathers, or simply sting the other hen until they bleed. It is a habitual and frequent behavior, it can be caused for the sake of hierarchy or for any other reason: heat, food… In the event of a big crisis in your flock, you can opt for an astonishing solution: bumpa bits. Installed on the beak of your bird, the clip will prevent your hen from pecking and harming the other birds. The end of the spout does not close completely and allows your hen to drink and eat safely.
If you are worried about running out of a product or are unsure of what to buy, we have specially collated packs with all the essential products for the good health of your chickens: