Maintenance for Chickens

Chickens require daily and seasonal care. If you decide to have chickens on campus, you need to ensure that there is somebody committed to giving them food and water and collecting eggs every day, including weekends and holidays. Chickens are not a part-time commitment. This can’t be stressed enough – if you decide to get chickens, you need to have a reliable team committed to their care.

There are also some seasonal tasks for which you’ll need to be prepared.

Fall (September-December)

  • Chickens moult once a year, usually in the fall. Moulting involves considerable physical changes as chickens exchange their old feathers for new ones. Growing new feathers requires a significant amount of protein, so chickens often stop producing their protein-rich eggs while they are moulting. Moulting can be stressful for chickens, so be sure to given them some extra TLC during this time.

  • Add additional straw during wet months to keep the coop dry.

Winter (December-March)

  • Clean out all litter from the coop and lay a thick, fresh layer of straw before temperatures drop below 40 degrees F.

Spring (March-June)

  • Late winter or early spring is the best time to get new chicks, as they’ll have time acclimate before the summer heat sets in.

  • Add additional straw during wet months to keep the coop dry.

SUMMER (June-August)

  • Supply clean fresh water at all times. This is always necessary, but particularly important during hot Texas summers. Plan to check on the chickens twice a day during the summer months. Water can evaporate quickly and fresh, cool water is essential to keeping the chickens happy and healthy.

  • Expect chickens to eat less and lay fewer eggs during the hot, summer months.