Get to Know Coops for Troops

Chickens aren’t just the gateway to the farming world; they’re also a source of joy, a source of food, and believe it or not, chickens can be calming companions.

Therapy animals.

This is why we we are always thrilled to contribute to a Coopdreams.tv initiative called Coops for Troops. 

What is Coops for Troops?

Coops for Troops is a non-profit organization that was born out of the Coop Dreams TV reality show. The creator, Brad Hauter, initially aired the Coops for Troops idea as a single segment on the television show. 

From this show, Coops for Troops took off and developed into a cause worthy of a chicken lover’s attention. 

Brad Hauter

According to their website, “Coops for Troops provides chickens, a coop, and a starter pack of feed and supplies to returning veterans, the families of deployed military personnel, military schools, VA hospitals, and retirement homes.”

It’s their hope that a gift of chickens will help those struggling with depression, anxiety, or PTSD.

And not only is Brad a super interesting guy because he hosts a TV show and helps veterans while spreading the goodness chickens can bring, but he’s also traveled across the country on a riding lawn mower to raise funds for Keep America Beautiful. Cool, huh?

How Can Chickens Help?

Similar to other therapy animals, chickens can provide companionship, promote relationship-building, and bring a smile to the face of someone who suffers from PTSD. 

Chickens have also been known to reduce stress due to their silly antics and due to the fact that they need to be tended to daily. In other words, chickens give those in need something to care for, a way to feel less isolated, and of course never alone. 

What’s more, chickens don’t just give back through entertainment and companionship, they also provide eggs. It’s nearly a gesture of gratitude in itself when a pet provides such a thing to a devoted caretaker. The relationship is mutual.

But the chickens aren’t just for the troops, they’re also for their families and others dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD).

Spouses and children of military families are also benefiting from the Coops for Troops initiaitve.

What is Henny+Roo’s connection to Coop Dreams and Coops for Troops?

Since 2016, Henny+Roo has partnered with the incredible folks at Coop Dreams to provide Henny+Roo chicken supply boxes to veterans via the Coops for Troops program. We do this not only because we believe in the healing power of chickens, but because we have very special military veterans in the Henny+Roo family.

We have also participated in fundraisers, like selling our Glory Hen Lapel Pin, where $5 from each sale is donated to Coops for Troops. Get yours here.

We regularly participate in Coop Dreams’ Friday Night Introvert Club, a weekly Facebook Live event full of trivia games and even Chicken Poop Bingo, information, and sometimes even guests hosts. Follow Coop Dreams on Facebook for newsfeed notifications of the next Friday Night Introvert Club.

Back in 2019, we were thrilled to meet The Coop Dreams team in person at their Coop Camp event, which has been held annually since 2014 (except for 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic). Coop Camp is a fun weekend for chicken keepers held in the Indianapolis area and features expert speakers, hands-on classes, games, door prizes, and even goat yoga. Being an internet-based business doesn’t leave much opportunity for us to interact with the chicken keeping community in person, and we were so happy to do so at Coop Camp 2019. We can’t wait for the next one.

How can You Make a Difference for Veterans?

When you love chickens as much as we do, it’s natural to want to share them with others. It’s like we’re in a secret, special, chicken-loving club. And our arms are wide open to anyone interested in chickens. 

That’s why we wanted to share this amazing opportunity with our readers, so you can help make a difference and share your love for chickens with those who could benefit from a happy flock.

So, if you’d like to nominate a veteran, military family, VA hospital, or home simply visit the Coop Dreams website and complete the form provided. 

If you’re interested in sending a donation to help the program continue to provide coops to troops visit their PayPal page here

Chicken lovers know the healing power of these amazing birds. From their goofy behavior to the delicious eggs they provide for us, they’re truly a joy to behold. So let’s spread that joy to those in need. Together, we can make a difference!

You can also follow Coops for Troops on Facebook to get updates and see the inspiring stories of chickens and their new families.



Henny+Roo is the first and foremost monthly subscription service for chicken keepers, providing our members with health treats, products to build their poultry first aid kids, and useful chicken-themed gifts for keepers. Shop our monthly plans and non-subscription items at hennyandroo.com.

The July 2021 Henny+Roo Box for Chicken Keepers is here!

Your July box is meant for fun, inside and outside of the coop!

You’ll get:

Chubby Mealworms – Consider rehydrating this treat favorite in water before serving in hot weather.

Chicken Salad Seeds – For those who really like to spoil your flock! All seeds are non-GMO, and sourced, printed and packaged in the USA. Feed directly to chickens if you don’t wish to start the seeds. For sprouting, consider purchasing our Mesh Mason Jar Lid, which makes the required rinsing of sprouts easy!

Henny+Roo Vanilla Fly Repellant – Hang in coop to keep flies away. Replace every 10 days or so. Available in packs of 5 at hennyandroo.com

Flock Fixer by Strong Animals with Essential Oils: A vitamin-rich additive that helps hydrate, restores vital nutrients and helps support immunity.

Chicks Love This Feed from Green Ribbon Fertilizer: Egg to layer, Chicks Love This! provides a complete, complex, natural, and sustainable feed designed to optimize feed for birds from egg to about 7 or 8 weeks of life.

Tweezers: A must for every poultry first aid kit (because you don’t want to use your own)!

Henny+Roo Chicken Print Beach Towel: Show off your passion for poultry at the beach, pool, or your own bathroom.

Logo Sunglasses: You’ll be the coolest chicken keeper around. Trust us.

Nesting Box Liner: In every box! For use with mature hens.

Since 2016, Henny+Roo has provided chicken keepers with high-quality, fun, and useful products for their flock – delivered straight to their doors monthly. Use code NEWSUB to save 10% on your first subscription!

9 Ways to Help Your Chickens in Hot Weather

When the temperature rises, you’re not the only one dealing with the heat and humidity. Your chickens are probably feeling the it too.

The good news is, there’s a lot you can do to keep your chickens comfortable when the summer sun starts shining. 

Here at Henny+Roo, we’ve got a few cool recommendations for you to help your chickens in hot weather.

1. Provide Summer Shade

Chickens are super self-sufficient. They know when they’re overheated. 

In fact, one of the first things your chickens will do when they’re hot is seek out shade. So, if your chooks are confined to their coop, or run, make sure they have shelter from the sun. 

And if they’re free-rangers, they’ll probably seek shade under bushes…most likely where there’s a dust bath. 

You can add tarps, shrubbery, or anything you’ve got laying around the yard to add temporary shade on the hottest days of the year.

2. Dig a Dust Bath

If you have free-range chickens, you’ll often see them taking dust baths on super hot days. This is because it helps them chill out. 

Help them out by creating a special space in your chicken run for a dust bath. And make sure it’s big enough to hold your whole flock because they’ll all want to get in on the sunbathing. 

Dust baths can be made using a shallow bin, a wood frame, a barrier with logs or stones or even just a dry corner or the yard or run. It should be easy for them to get into and large enough to allow your chicken to lie in, spread their wings and flick dust over their whole body.

It can be filled with dry, fine dirt or sand, and can be enhanced with dried herbs, wood ash, or diatomaceous earth if you prefer.

Try Henny+Roo Coop Complete Dried Herbs in the coop and dust bathing area to repel pests, calm chickens, and freshen the area.

You can also purchase dust bathing substrate. We like this one from Lixit which is available in a 5.5 lb tub.

3. Water, Water, and More Water

It usually goes without saying that chickens need access to fresh, clean, water 24/7. But when the heat is on, the water might need refilling more often than usual. Your chickens will frequent their watering hole a lot more often when it’s hot outside. 

So, monitor your waterers throughout the day to make sure your chickens are never without refreshment.

Additionally, ensure waterers are large and can hold enough water to get your chickens through the day if you’re away at work during a hot spell.

4. Ice Helps Chickens in Hot Weather

Speaking of water, if you’re able to, keep it even colder on hot days. You can do this by adding ice cubes to the waterers. 

Your chickens will appreciate the icy cool water, and may even enjoy playing with the ice cubes.

You don’t have to put ice in the waterers, but just think of how you feel when you’re about to take a drink from your ice-cold water glass on a hot day and it’s HOT! In other words, your chickens will appreciate it.

5. Add Electrolytes to Combat Dehydration

As a preventative measure, you might consider adding electrolytes to your chickens’ waterers to hold of dehydration from the heat.

If you’re not sure if your chickens are dehydrated or not, feel free to add electrolytes. It doesn’t hurt to add them, even if your chickens aren’t dehydrated. 

Henny+Roo 3 in 1 Vitamins Electrolytes and Probiotics for Poultry helps you meet your flock’s supplemental needs and can be added directly to their water. Electrolytes help optimize health and hydration during hot weather and times of stress. Vitamins are necessary for cellular functions. And probiotics help beneficial bacteria grow in the digestive tract, aiding digestive health.

6. Fresh Food For Chickens in Hot Weather

Give your chickens fresh food.

And when we say fresh food, we mean fresh, FROZEN food. Like frozen treats right out of the freezer. Think: watermelon.  

Chickens l.o.v.e. watermelon on any given day, but when it’s scorching hot out, they’ll go crazy for a super cold melon…just for them. 

Other water-heavy veggies, like iceberg lettuce, also help keep your chicks cool and hydrated when the heat rises.

7. Easy Breezy

If your chickens are overheating, they’ll appear to be panting, like a dog. But chickens can’t drool or sweat (like us) to keep cooll. Instead, they pant and fluff out their wings hoping to catch a breeze.

In other words, if overheating, your chickens will look as hot as you probably feel on a scorcher. If this happens, your chickens need some relief. Give them a fan and place them in a breezy area with lots of cool water and light watery treats. 

A simple breeze will do wonders for your chickens. You can even put a barn-safe fan nearby to keep them cool in the coop. 

8. Stress Less

You know it feels when your stressed out and it’s hot out? Yeah, you may sweat, you’re probably uncomfortable, and you just wish you could catch a break. Well, chickens stress…out all the time. 

It’s kind of their thing. 

So, do your best to keep your chickens calm during hot weather. Make sure they have everything they need (all the creature comforts), keep predators away, and separate bully hens and roosters to keep the stress under control. 

9. Kiddie Pools and Sprinklers

Chickens don’t typically enjoy swimming. But some might take advantage of a nearby sprinkler or kiddie pool. If they don’t, they may reap some of the benefits of the coolness of the water nearby, regardless of their swimming abilities. 


Henny+Roo monthly supply boxes for chicken keepers have been providing poultry enthusiasts with seasonal supplies and gifts since 2016. See what all the excitement is about on Instagram and visit our website at hennyandroo.com to learn more! New subscribers always save 10% on their first subscription with code: NEWSUB at checkout.

When Do Chickens Start Laying Eggs? 6 Signs Eggs Are on the Way

If you’re waiting for chickens to start laying eggs, you may be wondering what to watch for so you can be ready for the harvest!

The truth is some chickens take longer than others to mature. So there is no right answer as to when your chickens will start laying. 

With that being said, here are some telltale signs that your hens are ready to start serving up breakfast for your family. 

1. It’s Been About Six Months

Chickens are sexually mature around 6 months of age. This means, their bodies are ready to start producing eggs! 

With that being said, there are a variety of factors that can influence the exact start of a hen’s egg-laying career, like: 

  • Environmental factors
  • Breed
  • Illness
  • Nutrition

As a rule of thumb, six months is a good timeframe to watch for fresh eggs, but your hens could start laying sooner, or a bit later, than that. 

2. Your Hens Start to Squat

It sounds a little silly but squatting when approached by a rooster, or other animals, is an indication that your hen has reached sexual maturity, and is ready to lay some fresh eggs. 

This is a behavior that assists the rooster in mating with the hen. Hens become submissive and squat down, allowing the rooster to do his thing. 

You can test this behavior by lightly pushing on the hens back to see if she becomes submissive. If so, eggs won’t be far behind!

3. Changes in Combs and Wattles

As hens develop, and near maturity (ie egg-laying season), you may notice that their combs and wattles turn from pinkish to a beautiful bright red!

Combs will also become larger as your hens grow. And, as a side note, a rooster’s accessories become bigger and more red as well but this usually happens much sooner.

4. Hens Begin to Eat More

As most critters do, hens eat a lot more as they grow and develop. But laying eggs requires more energy than simply spending time as a growing pullet. Hens gearing up to lay their first eggs need more protein, calcium, and other valuable nutrients in order to lay healthy, strong, eggs. 

With that being said, your hens will start eating more than they did before they were ready to lay eggs.

It can be difficult to determine how much a single hen is eating, but you may notice the feeder needing to be refilled more often than before. 

5. Hens May Become Nervous

A hen that’s about to start laying may go through a behavior change. In fact, she may appear more nervous and unsettled. She may even give you a start and pop out of strange nooks and crannies through the coop or barn. 

So be on the lookout, because it can be quite startling!

Hens that hide out, nervously search for….something, and hunker down in cozy crannies are often on the verge of laying their first eggs. 

6. They’ve Noticed the Nesting Boxes

In addition to nervously searching for their own special space to lay their eggs, hens close to maturity may seek out a nesting box that they’ve ignored for the past few months. 

Young hens may curiously hang out by older hens utilizing the nesting boxes. They’re learning from them, and even though they may be annoying to the experienced layer wishing for her privacy, these young pullets are picking up all kinds of tips and tricks. 

It All Depends on Your Hen

While the actual date a hen starts giving you eggs will vary, these are the signs that point to fresh eggs in the coop…soon!

So if your hens are happy and healthy, they’ll start laying as soon as their bodies are able to do so. A hen that lays early may develop internal problems, and her eggs may be rubbery or misshapen (which could potentially be painful). 

All this to say, your hen will know when she’s ready. And all you need to do is ensure she has the nutrition required to produce those tasty eggs. If you do, you’ll be rewarded handsomely, all in good time.

Henny+Roo is the first and foremost subscription box for backyard chicken keepers – sending boxes of treats, first aid and coop items, along with gifts for you since 2016. Learn about our monthly plans and non-subscription offerings at: hennyandroo.com

Inside the June 2021 Henny+Roo Box for Chicken Keepers

Summer is here, and we hope you and your flock are taking the time to enjoy the outdoors. We hope that your June selections help you enjoy every moment of good weather and times with your flock and family!

Free Range Rooster Camp Cup: A fun way to celebrate the 4th of July while showing off your passion for poultry.

Hentastic Peck ‘n Mix Herb Surprise: Thank your ladies for all those eggs!

Hydro Hen Drinking Water Supplement: Probiotics, electrolytes, and acidifiers to provide hydration and gut health when your birds need it most. For all species and ages of poultry. Makes 22 one-gal servings.

Rollerball Oil Perfume: Hay Bale is a fragrance exclusive to Henny+Roo featuring fresh notes of clover and aloe.

Chicken Layer Love Feed: Combining proper proportions of protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, amino acids, and biologicals, these pellets and mealworms are lighted coated with secondary and trace elements that have been Ultra Chelated.

Aluminum Treat Scoop: For dishing out feed, treats, grit, etc.

Throwback Logo Sticker: We’re celebrating our 6th year in business with one of our first logos, by request of some of our longest-term subscribers!

Nesting Box Liner: In every box!

The June box is sold out, so sadly, we don’t have any for sale on our website at hennyandroo.com. The only way to make sure you get one of our monthly boxes, you have to be a subscriber. Join the first and foremost subscription service for backyard chicken keepers, and save 10% with code NEWSUB

!

Roosters With A Bad Rap (And Why You Might Want One)

Roosters get a bad reputation, but one bad egg in the bunch shouldn’t condemn an entire lot of roosters to the soup pot. 

Roos are often misunderstood because they can be aggressive. Certain individual birds (and some breeds) may be more prone to chasing humans, attacking other critters, and of course, crowing…a lot. 

But the truth is, they’re not all bad. In fact, much of their “aggressive” behavior is actually beneficial for the flock. Moreover, you’ll find that most roosters aren’t actually mean at all.

So, to set the record straight, let’s take a look at commonly frowned-upon rooster behavior and how it’s actually good for the flock. 

Mean Rooster Behavior and What it Means

It’s easy to just write off the following as bad behavior from a bad rooster. But let’s think it through a bit first.

Because, in most cases, there’s a reason for the behavior.

Crowing (Not Just in The Morning)

Roosters crow.

All the time. 

But there’s a reason for crowing, and usually, it’s to either communicate with the flock, warn off predators, or ask something of you. 

Roosters can assert themselves to both predators and other roosters and the point is to show whoever he’s talking to that he’s the boss around here…and these are his hens. 

Crowing can be a good thing if you don’t mind the sound of it because it may keep predators at bay, warn you of impending doom, and help the flock find food or safety (because that’s what roosters often talk about most). 

Roos are keen on finding the best treats for their ladies, and when they find a tasty morsel, he will be the last to eat. Instead, he clucks, crows, or calls to his ladies to let them know there are some good eats nearby!

Lastly, roosters crow if they need something. If your flock is confined and they are out of food or water, you better believe your rooster will let you know about it!

Roosters Chasing Humans

Roosters who chase humans or other animals usually do so to protect their hens.

Unfortunately, they may chase us even though we aren’t a threat. For some reason, some roosters are on higher alert than others and misdirect their aggression toward the wrong person. 

In the wild, roosters who chase off possible threats are a blessing to the flock. Just think about it, if we’re intimidated by a puffed-up rooster booking it toward us then their scare tactics might work on other, less well-meaning, beings as well. 

This behavior becomes a problem, however, when roosters act on their aggression by using their beak and spurs to injure humans or other domestic animals.

Fighting with Other Roosters

Speaking of harming other animals. Keeping more than one rooster in a flock is not always a good idea. 

It can be done, with the right roosters (who were also raised together). And if there are enough hens to go around for both of the boys in the flock, it might be feasible.

But even then, one day, you may find your two favorite gentlemen in a bloody battle for the flock. 

And that’s how things work in the natural world. One rooster is typically dominant over all the hens in the flock, and if the other boys nearby disagree it will most likely end in death. 

Considering natural selection, when referring to this aggressive bird-on-bird behavior, you could think of the winning rooster as the strongest to lead your flock. In that case, choose which roo you’d like to keep on for the job and which you will relocate or process.

Favorite Hens Looking Shabby?

Sometimes a certain hen becomes the apple of your rooster’s eye, and she gets, ahem, most of his attention (wink, wink…elbow jab, if you know what I mean).

And you might think it’s a good thing, but that poor hen needs a break and if your rooster doesn’t lay off of the hen in question, you may need to relocate her. 

Another reason your hens may look a little rough around the feathers is that there aren’t enough hens for your overly zealous rooster in your flock.

Adding a few more (like you need a reason to add more chickens, right?) will help distribute your rooster’s, um, affections amongst the flock more evenly and help his favorites heal.

As a side note: if your hens’ feathers have been ripped out from a well-meaning rooster, they will grow back after their next molt.

Should you need to protect your hen’s backs, consider a hen saddle.

Should You Keep a Rooster?

So, while there are some clear drawbacks to keeping a rooster in your flock, as you can see, some of these behaviors serve a purpose. And in some cases, it’s for the good of the flock. Like protection from predators, foraging skills, and of course reproduction. 

The truth is, most roosters, if they have what they need to be happy and healthy, aren’t all that bad. 

In fact, your years of rooster owning, you may only come across one or two bad eggs. 

And to be honest, the crowing may become an enjoyable part of my homestead. 

Rooster Relocation

All this to say, sometimes we can’t accommodate our rooster’s needs or they really are just a bad egg. 

If that’s the case, it may be time to either process your rooster or pass him on to a farm that is willing to take on his behavior. And who knows, a change of scenery might be all he needs to turn his life around.

Books of Interest

Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics: Lessons for Expanding Your Flock, Understanding Chicken Behavior, Keeping a Rooster, Adjusting for the Seasons, Staying Healthy, and More!

Pokey Jr: Even Roosters Get Second Chances

How to Speak Chicken: Why Your Chickens Do What They Do & Say What They Say

A look inside the May 2021 Henny+Roo Monthly Box for Backyard Chicken Keepers

four assorted color roosters
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

If you missed out on the delivery of our May 2021 boxes to our subscribers, we do have just a few available in our Shop for purchase without a subscription. Here’s what’s inside:

Exotic Nutrition Healthy Treat Pack for Poultry: A variety of four fun and nutritious treats for your flock.

Metal Chick or Grit Feeder: A small feeder perfect for the brooder. Switch to a grit or treat feeder for older birds. More: hennyandroo.com

Kalmbach Feed: Try out Kalmbach’s all-natural, non-GMO complete feed formulated for growing pullets, ducks, geese, chickens, and gamebirds. More: kalmbachfeeds.com

Chick-o-Rama Non-GMO Sprouting Barley: Sprouting is a simple way to provide nutrition for your livestock and cut feed cost. Sprouted barley increases in protein quality, essential fatty acids, crude fiber, and vitamin/mineral content. More: chick-o-rama.com

*Should you wish to try the mason jar sprouting method, we carry mesh jar lids at hennyandroo.com

Maine Outdoor Solutions Wolf PeeShot: In the wild, the predator marks its territory with urine and stalks its prey. Animals like mice, rats, skunk, and even suburban coyotes react to the scent of predator pee by seeking to avoid those predators at all costs. Place in your coop for another line of predator defense.

Pine Tree Farms Le Petit Cake: An excellent natural food supplement for chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, pheasants, and other fowl.

“Welcome to our Coop” Garden Flag: Announce to visitors that they’re welcome, and to look out for the chickens! More: hennyandroo.com

Floral Hen Bandana: So many uses for this cute, 100% microfiber bandana. You won’t find this Henny+Roo exclusive anywhere else! More: hennyandroo.com

Nesting Box Liner: In every box!

Please note: Garden Flag holder is not included, but we recommend this one.

If you don’t wish to purchase a flag holder, you can still enjoy your garden flag! Hang it as a banner inside your coop, use tacks to hang it on the coop doors, use a dowel rod and some jute twine to hang it on your front door. There are lots of alternatives to the push-in-the-ground style flag holder.

If you or the chicken keeper in your life would like to receive monthly deliveries of supplies for the flock, and surprises for the human, check us out at hennyandroo.com!

Common Chicken Predators Hanging Around The Coop

There isn’t much worse than counting your flock at the end of the day and finding one less hen in the coop. (Except not knowing what happened to your chicken).

That’s why it’s important to dig deep and learn about the common chicken predators in your area. Knowing what you’re up against can help you protect your flock from the beginning.

To help you get acquainted with your nemeses, we’ve put together this list of common chicken predators so you can plan ahead and keep your favorite hens around for a long, long time.

Raccoons

While raccoons don’t always go directly for the whole chicken, they do love to eat their eggs. 

A raccoon in the coop may introduce bacteria and disease into your flock (and your eggs). So if you see any of these cute little paw prints nearby, you know you’ve got a raccoon hanging around your coop. 

While raccoons are most interested in eggs, in the dead of winter, when they’re extra hungry, they may kill a chicken for supper (and usually won’t even eat the entire bird). 

Opossum

These little tracks come from an opossum loitering around your chicken coop. An opossum would rarely kill a chicken for its meal, but it isn’t rare for them to feast on eggs (just like those little raccoon bandits). 

You might be able to determine which predator is egg-eating by the location of the leftover shells. For example, raccoons can carry eggs a ways from the nest to feast, while opossums will typically nosh on them inside the coop.

Foxes

Foxes are one of the more well-known critters that supplement their meals with chickens from the coop. They’re sneaky, can get into some of the most well-planned coops, and usually come back time and time again.

Fox footprints closely resemble a dog’s footprint. The main difference? A fox has a more narrow pawprint with thinner claw marks. 

If your chickens go missing completely, with nothing but feathers strewn about, you can bet it was a fox or dog. 

Domestic Dogs

Unfortunately, our sweet pooches also enjoy a chicken dinner from time-to-time and if your dog hasn’t been trained to leave your chooks alone, you might have a problem on your hands. 

You’ll know your dog is up to no good because you’ll probably see the massacre happen or the carcass of the dearly departed within your yard. 

On the other hand, if the dog belongs to a neighbor, you may have to investigate the crime scene further and follow the clues to pinpoint the culprit. 

Coyotes

Coyotes are vocal animals, and while their paw prints look similar to most dogs, they can often be heard in the dead of night, calling to one another. 

If you have a coyote problem, you may need to consider a livestock guardian dog or at least upping your security around the chicken coop. 

With that being said, you might be able to determine if your coop has a coyote problem if the tracks left behind are less prominent than a dog.

Cats

If you live in an area where large cats, like bobcats or cougars, hang out, you’ll be in for a real war. These cats are smart, quiet, and quick. It’s difficult to identify a large wild cat unless you catch it in the act. 

If you think you’ve got a wild cat problem, consider putting up a trail came to see if your intuition is right. 

On rare occasions, barn cats may attempt to kill a chicken. However, it’s not a common occurrence. 

Once a barn cat gets pecked at by a chicken or two, they typically learn their lesson. On the other hand, young chicks and tiny bantams are more prone to domestic cat attacks than a full-grown standard chicken. 

Aerial Predators

Hawks, owls, and eagles are also common predators of chickens. You’ll know your chook was attacked by an aerial predator if they appear crushed, carried away, or ripped apart. 

You might see some tracks of these birds nearby, but in most cases, the attack is so stealth that there is little evidence of the attacker. 

Skunks

Skunks, like raccoons and opossums, are more interested in chicken eggs than the whole bird. 

Skunks will enter your coop, feast on eggs, and leave the shells behind. And on rare occasions, they may attack and kill a chicken for their meal. 

You’ll know a skunk is around if you smell them, but also by their 5-toed feet.

Weasels

Weasels are sneaky little critters with the ability to slither into small spaces to get to your unsuspecting chickens. While they’re small, they can pack a nasty punch. 

Weasels are known to kill chickens and eat very little of them. So if your chicken is dead, and looks like it never became someone’s meal, it’s possible the weasel is to blame. 

According to Critter Control, “A weasel footprint has five clawed toes surrounding a V-shaped paw pad.“ 

Snakes

Speaking of slithery critters, snakes are also on the list of common chicken predators. With that being said, they’re most interested in your breakfast…the eggs. 

Some wonder why their egg production has dropped, but soon learn that a sneaky snake has been eating their eggs…whole. Usually, a snake goes unnoticed, but if you suspect this reptile is your culprit, you may find snake skins nearby or a slithery path in the dirt. 

When it comes down to it, there are many predators of chickens and the best way to keep your chickens safe is to know what kind of critters you’re dealing with in your specific region. Then, plan your coop accordingly to keep your flock as safe as possible. Check out our article on why you need hardware cloth for flock protection (hint: chicken wire isn’t enough).

Henny+Roo regularly includes predator protection in our monthly boxes for chicken keepers. Items like predator urine protectants, reflective bird deterrent tape, and even inflatable faux snake decoys have been featured in the boxes of treats, health items, coop products and gifts that our subscribers enjoy monthly. Check out our subscription and non-subscription offerings at: hennyandroo.com

A flag holder for your May Henny+Roo box garden flag

Photo of Henny+Roo's Welcome to our Coop Garden Flag

As you may have seen in our May 2021 Henny+Roo Chicken Keepers Box sneek peeks, all subscribers will receive our new and exclusive Welcome to our Coop Garden Flag! We think this will be such a cute, farmhouse style outdoor decor piece for your home.

Because it would not fit in our boxes, we are not including a flag stand. If you don’t currently have one, we recommend this one on Amazon:

We purchased this flag holder for our garden flag at home because it’s sturdy, the pieces screw together for a better fit, and it has clips to hold the flag in place in the wind. And, it’s inexpensive.

If you don’t wish to purchase a flag holder, you can still enjoy your garden flag! Hang it as a banner inside your coop, use tacks to hang it on the coop doors, use a dowel rod and some jute twine to hang it on your front door. There are lots of alternatives to the push-in-the-ground style flag holder.

Not a subscriber? Learn more about our monthly deliveries of supplies, treats and surprises for chicken keepers here. You can also purchase the Welcome to our Coop Garden Flag without a subscription here.

Happy Spring!

Selecting Spring Plants Chickens Won’t Eat

The deer in our area don’t care for Virginia bluebells, and neither do our chickens.

Chickens love eating plants! Grass, leaves, flowers – they’ll eat everything leaving your yard bare if they like what you have growing.

A rule of thumb that we go by when selecting plants for our yard is to select those that are deer-resistant. We have lots of deer in our area, but also have a fully landscaped yard that the chickens don’t bother because they’re all deer-resistant. We are in gardening zone 5, and are currently enjoy pachysandra, vinca, bluebells, bleeding hearts, pulmonaria, forget-me-nots, geranium, daffodils and various Spring ephemerals.

Your plant nursery or online source for plants will usually indicate if a plant is deer-resistant. You can also Google “deer-resistant plants for zone [your zone] or [your state].”

While chickens might eat anything if they’re hungry or bored enough, selecting plants that deer won’t eat may be your solution to keeping chickens and a beautiful garden.