Some creepy crawlies can pose a problem for your feathered flock, and your chook house in general! There’s nothing more annoying than battling an invasion of insects, pests and parasites whose sole desire seems to be to ruin your life by leaving your chickens infested and your kitchen overrun.
Before you reach for the chemical filled can of bug spray to save your plants and coop from the pests, try a combo of these natural remedies to prevent infestations!
Mites and lice
These pests can cause havoc with your flock if an infestation breaks out. Here are some remedies to prevent before you have to cure!
- Mites hate garlic. Feed your flock some crushed garlic, mix a small amount of it into their water and place the skins in their nesting box bedding.
- Combine a solution of oil, water and dish-washing liquid and spray the interior of the coop with it.
- Sprinkle a layer of Diatomaceous Earth around the coop perimeter, in the run and coop and mix in with their nesting box hemp bedding.
- Hemp bedding is pest repellent as it doesn't have nooks and crannies for lice to hide in.
Learn more about preventing poultry lice and mites right here. Already have a lice or mites problem with your flock? Have a peck at our quick fire guide to poultry parasite treatment here.
Ants marching two by two can take over your coop if you don’t stay vigilant, particularly in wet, rainy weather! Luckily, there are plenty of natural remedies that ants absolutely hate.
- Spray them with soapy water or white vinegar.
- Ants, along with many other pests, hate cucumber! Create a cucumber spray by placing a chopped cucumber in spray bottle with 1 cup of water and use around the perimeter of your coop.
- Leave some cloves of garlic near the entrance they use and on the perimeter of your chicken coop.
Is anything more annoying than the hum of a mosquito when you least expect it? Mosquitoes can can carry nasty diseases - and inflict itchy bite marks! Here are some natural remedies they can’t stand.
- Planting marigold flowers around your coop keeps the mosquitoes at bay - the perfume from the flowers is extremely unpleasant for them.
- Sage and rosemary are scents they also aren’t too fond of. Plant these fragrant herbs near your chicken coop to deter nasty blood suckers.
Often the immense hoard of flies that can appear out of nowhere is the most irritating thing about these animals - luckily they have an aversion to many herbs.
These mites are just an animal lovers worst nightmare - many of us may have people have gone through the trauma of finding a tick on their beloved dog, but you also have to watch out for your feathered friends. Once they latch on they can cause paralysis, and if not found fast your chicks can be at risk! Keep them at bay with these natural remedies.
- Plant lavender around the coop.
- Make an apple cider vinegar based spray mixture with sage, nettle and basil, and lightly spray your flock with it.
- Planting rose geraniums in your garden or near the coop is a great preventative measure.
- Check with your vet about the best prevention if ticks are known to be an issue in your area (they are most prevalent on the East Coast of Australia, and in humid conditions). Peak tick season is from August to February - so stay vigilant!
Natural remedies are so much better for the health of your flock and for you than dowsing your environment with harsh chemicals. Sure, they’ll kill the bugs, but if they have the power to zap them dead in seconds, what on earth are the chemicals doing to the health of your chickens over time? Luckily, pests have aversions to common herbs and plants that will keep them away from your chicken coop. Give these a go today!
Each season comes with new challenges (and rewards!). Hot, cold, rain or shine, something we’ll never be able to control is the weather! This can be a worry and concern when thinking about the safety and comfort of your backyard friends.
Worry no more! You can prepare for all seasons thanks to our friends over at Chickenpedia. I recommend their Weatherproof Chickens course to all my readers! They have compiled a guide of everything you need to keep healthy chickens through the seasons (which is more than you think!) with a great set of checklists and downloads to keep. Dangerous conditions including dehydration and frostbite can be avoided with the correct information and actions. Whatever the weather, this course will help you keep your chickens happy and healthy!
All year-round, we all want to do an eggcellent job when caring for our feathered friends. It's essential that you've got the right expertise you need to raise happy, healthy chooks. Did you know 67% of chicken keepers surveyed experienced a chicken health or behaviour issue in the first 12 months that they didn’t know how to handle?
Cluckily, there is also a brilliant Chicken Healthcare Course that includes everything you need, including what to look for in an unhealthy chicken and how to support your egg-laying hens to flourish. Check out Chickenpedia today! Oh and… I should also mention, as a member, you will also get access to the ALL of their chicken courses!