I really can’t believe it’s March already! With the spring equinox only a few days ahead of us on the 20th of March, it seems as though this year is just flying past.
Here on the farm I’ve been seeing so many signs of spring: Daffodils springing up; our peacock has been proudly showing off his newly grown tail feathers and his hen has come back into lay; our Chamois hens have come back into lay along with many others such as our Brahma, and our bees are out flying and returning with pollen from various sources.
The days will be getting longer as we head towards the longest day (June 21st) and the clocks will also be going forward by one hour on Sunday the 26th of March. This means that your hens will be enjoying more daylight hours and potentially drier weather. These two factors may mean that the bedding in your house can last longer; however, the bedding may be okay, but reducing the frequency of clean outs with rising temperatures may give way to an infestation of red spider mite. This is a topic I will be covering in another blog; however, if you are familiar with dealing with red spider mite, I urge you to make sure you keep ahead of the curve.
Spring is all about new life and your hens may also be more inclined at this time of year to go broody and want to hatch a few chicks. Hatching doesn’t just have to be done under a broody, and without a broody this is a lovely time to think about hatching as ambient air temperatures rise meaning it isn’t quite as risky as it would be during the cooler winter months. Here at Mantel Farm, we will be stocking a variety of hatching eggs for those of you are looking to hatch unrelated birds or varieties you don’t already have.
Finally, it is a lovely time of the year to think back on your chicken keeping career thus far and use your experience to look ahead to whether your house needs maintenance or replacing and this is especially pertinent if you’re looking to expand your flock. The clement weather ahead is the perfect time to think about any additional changes you need to make to your existing run such as re-wiring or extending. It is probably a good time of year to think about changing wood chip completely for fresh and sanitising the ground beneath with BioDri.