Last time we posted about the things we do to try and alleviate any boredom the chickens might experience because of their enforced quarantine. One of the ways we can do that is to encourage natural beahviour and for chickens this includes having dust baths. Dust baths are an important part of a chickens routine as they prevent parasites such as mites and lice from making their home in the chickens’ feathers and legs. Just recently a few of the chickens escaped their coop whilst it was being deep cleaned and the first thing they did was find the only dry(ish) patch of soil in their enclosure and have a dust bath. This prompted one of our volunteer leaders to take a trip to the garden centre to buy some top soil which was then put in a wheel barrow and placed inside the chiken coop. And here’s the result…
… three of the chickens jumped straight in and gave themselves a good deep clean and preen.
Speaking of deep cleaning, it’s not just the chickens that need it. All of our hutches, coops and sheds need deep cleaning periodically to stop them harbouring bacteria, viruses and parasites. Like commercial animal premises we use disinfectant to scrub down all the animal homes. Once spread around the disinfectant then needs time to do its job and kill off the bugs so it’s left for 10 minutes or so before being thoroughly rinsed off. There’s a bit of drying time and then new bedding can be put in place (no point putting old bedding back as it might contain the bugs we’re trying to kill off by disinfecting the home to start off with). Obviously the job of doing these deep cleans falls to the volunteers so here’s a photo of Izzy scrubbing down Gandalf’s sleeping quarters.
The ducks (in the section with newspapers on the floor behind Izzy) had their deep clean yesterday so we’re well on the way to cleaning everyone out this week. Thanks everyone 🙂