It can be very stressful preparing for a storm and only at the last moment you might have a realization, what about the chickens! It is actually quite normal for many of us to forget about our beloved chooks during storm preparation for ourselves and our families. Don’t worry, no one doubts your love for your chickens, we all understand that our own lives are often too busy and complicated to think of everything.
This being said, once you get a little time for your chooks, it is important to know what to do to protect them too. This article will provide you with clear and realistic instructions to put into place to keep your flock safe in a storm.
Assess The Danger
Make sure to check for any local warnings and assess the danger in your area. Depending on the severity of the storm heading your way you will have to decide if you will need to relocate your flock or just close them up in the coop.
Some people prefer to move their chickens indoors while others decide to close them in their coop. No matter what you do, the safety of your chickens should take a front seat in your planning. Once you’ve decided on a course of action, it is time to set it in motion
Preparation Is Everything
To be fair, when a severe storm hits there isn’t much to do but to wait it out indoors. That is why it is essential to take precautions and prepare for the worst prior to the storm. Here is a brief list of what you can do to prepare your chickens for a storm:
- Have a contact list with important numbers ready. These numbers should include the vet, RSPCA, city council as well as family and friends who may be able to accommodate your chickens if needed.
- Arrange any equipment you may need such as tarps, hammer, nails, flashlights, rope, radios and more.
- In the event that the road is out of commission and the power is down, it is important to have extra chicken feed stored and ready to use when needed.
For leaving chickens in the coop:
- Ensure that the coop is structurally sound and waterproof.
- Clear away any branches and other debris that can become projectiles.
- Tidy up the run and make sure that nothing in there can become hazardous like waterers and feeders and any other accessories. It is best to strip the run of any loose accessories and store it away.
- Make sure your chickens have water and food inside the coop. Secure the waterer and feeder to prevent the chickens from knocking them over.
- Make sure to securely close doors, windows and any other entries into the coop
- Double-check the coop structure for any loose panels and weak points.
For moving chickens inside:
- If you will be moving chickens inside, have a clear room ready. Lay down a tarp to protect the floor. Any room with a concrete or tiled floor will do.
- Have extra waterers and feeders ready for an emergency.
- Make sure the room is secure and closed properly so that no chickens can escape.
Once The Storm Has Passed
Once the storm is over, do take care when stepping outside. There might be lots of debris laying around and the mud might be slippery. There are quite a few things to check and take care of after a storm such as:
- Administer first aid if any chickens got injured
- Ensure that they have food and water
- Clear any hazards that may have blown into the yard
- Be mindful of any displayed wildlife that may be present such as foxes
- Beware of puddles that can breed bacteria. Fill them with sand or hay to eliminate the risk.
- Beware of bug infestations
- Only move your chickens back into the coop if it is secure and safe to do so
Severe storms can be quite stressful for everyone involved so it is a great plan to have a plan in place for emergencies. If proper care is taken, you shouldn’t have any problems with losses during storms. Remember to check your coop and run for damage and make sure to repair it before you let your flock out to play.