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Looking After Your Chickens with Capalaba Produce

Looking After Your Chickens with Capalaba Produce

Chickens can make excellent additions to your family, both as a pet and as a producing resource.
Chances are, the reason you’ve started your own coop is to harvest your own eggs, and with the rising costs of groceries this can be a smart investment and a fun hobby for the whole family.

So how do we care for our new feathered friends?

Chicken Handling, with Capalaba Produce

Chicken catching is a refined skill, that we here at Capalaba Produce would like to think we have
become adept at. So how do we catch a chicken the right way, instead of chasing it, dare we say,
“across the road”?
It is best to approach a chicken calmly and slowly. They are easily spooked and will usually run if
given a reason.
If possible do it in dim lighting as they are in a calmer state during this time. We know this isn’t always
possible especially if your hen has as they say “flown the coop” and escaped during the day.
It is easiest if you can pen them in, or corner them. Some chickens will cower and allow you to pick
them up easily.
Use two hands either side of the body, pinning down the wings, so they can’t escape. Once they are
secure, transition to the correct handling, which is one hand underneath, with the legs between your
fingers and the other on top securing the wings in place. The bird should be in a comfortable seated upright position.
If the chicken instead makes a break for it, you can attempt to grab it by a leg or wing. But be very careful, if you do, to avoid injury to your bird. It is best to wait until you can safely grab it with two
hands.
Never carry a chicken by the leg, wing, tail, neck or head!

Diet, with Capalaba Produce

If you want your chickens to be not only happy and healthy, but highly productive egg layers, then it’s
important to get their diet right.
Using a high-grade feed is the best way to ensure they are getting all the valuable nutrients they need
to produce top quality eggs.
The more enriching and higher protein content diet available, the better quality of eggs your hens will
lay and the more proficient they will become at laying.

Clipping your Chicken’s Wings, with Capalaba Produce

Wing clipping is when you lightly cut a chicken’s “dominant flight feathers” to hinder their ability to fly. You want it to be just enough to keep them off balance, but not enough to draw blood. This will need to be repeated as the feathers regrow.

Don’t cut off all of the wing feathers, this isn’t necessary and may end up causing more harm to the bird then good, including permanent grounding, infection, and cause pain. The other smaller wing feathers are important for also keeping the bird warm.

Moulting Feathers, with Capalaba Produce

Just like your furry friends, chickens have a tendency to moult their feathers. This usually happens in
Autumn. The new feathers will come back denser to prepare them for the cooler weather ahead.
Be mindful, most chickens will not produce as many eggs (or occasionally not at all) during this time,
as their bodies are focusing on feather growth. You can help this process along by increasing the
protein in their diet.
Once their feathers have returned, they will fall back into regular laying patterns.

These are just a few of the key elements you need to know if you are looking to start your own coop.

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