Preparing your flock for winter

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Winter Wonders

As winter draws in, it’s essential to prepare your flock and their housing.

Step 1 - Weatherproof your housing

Make sure that the coop and run are in good repair before the cold weather starts and check that the housing has adequate ventilation above head height to prevent a build-up of condensation inside. It is important to also ensure that the run is well attached and has a clear waterproof covering to protect the birds in the bad weather and prevent mud from forming in the litter as birds kept in damp and muddy conditions will quickly develop bacterial and fungal foot problems.

It’s really important to keep the housing and run dry and clean to prevent conditions such as salmonella or coccidiosis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2 - Clean out the coop

Your flock will be spending more time in their run and housing due to the lessening daylight hours, so now’s the time to ‘up the ante’ with your cleaning regime. 

The coop should have a deep clean before winter –cleaning thoroughly and leaving to dry on a sunny day.  Regularly sprinkle Nettex Ground Sanitising Powder on the litter in the run, and under the roosting bars in their coop in between cleaning out. All feeders and drinkers will need a good scrub with Poultry Sanitiser and egg wash (formerly known as Poultry 4in1), which will help eliminate bacteria.

 

Step 3 Support your bird’s immune systems and wellbeing

With the flock being confined to the run more during the darker days this will create a muckier run, and can put an immense amount of stress on your birds’ immune systems. There is higher potential at this time for birds to start bullying or pecking due to overcrowding, so make sure that they have as much room as possible and more than enough feeders and drinkers.  It is also key to provide appropriate nutrition and supplementation to maintain optimum health, support the immune system and help prevent stress over the winter months. Add Nettex Vit Boost+ to the birds’ water, contains essential vitamins and minerals to help promote health and vitality.

 

Top Tip:

 

Be aware of the potential risk of Avian Influenza during the winter months and keep an eye on the DEFRA website (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu).  Although the current risk of avian influenza occurring in the UK in wild birds and poultry is low, poultry keepers should have good hygiene practices and remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flock. You can sign up for free online to receive alerts on any outbreaks of bird flu, and register your birds.

 

 

 

 

Nettex:  Your complete Winter Solution

Ground Sanitising Powder A sanitising powder that can be used in coops and runs to help maintain a healthier environment for poultry by absorbing moisture, the odour of faeces and organic matter, reducing the risk they pose to birds. Ground Sanitising Powder can be used during worming. Once birds have been treated, clear the run of litter and sprinkle Ground Sanitising Powder to clear the ground of worm eggs and bacteria before laying clean litter.

Poultry Sanitiser and Egg Wash minimises the risk of poultry bacteria and viruses and is ideal for cleaning all poultry equipment including feeders, drinkers, incubators and brooding equipment. For best poultry hygiene practice, drinkers and feeders should be cleaned and disinfected weekly.  Spray directly onto all equipment and utensils once a week and leave to dry.  There is no need to rinse.

Vit Boost + Nutritional supplement supplying essential vitamins and minerals to support health and vitality all year round in their drinking water. During periods of nutritional stress add 5ml/1L of Vit Boost you’re your birds’ drinking water.  Make a fresh solution daily. Feed for five days once a month.