Should You Give Chickens More Than Just Water?

When it’s not the heat, but it’s the gosh darn humidity, you may wonder if you’re doing enough to keep your chickens hydrated. 

And, in most cases, ensuring your flock has access to cool clean water 24/7 is usually enough. 

But sometimes, you might want to consider giving your chickens a little bit more to get through the hottest of the hot dog days of summer.

Reasons To Add Supplements to Your Flock’s Water

Aside from the heat, there’s a few other reasons you may want to add some extras to your chickens’ waterer. 

Consider adding a little something extra during these situations:

When It’s Really Hot

When the heat turns intolerable, you’ll notice that your chickens begin to show signs of distress. 

They’ll puff out their wings, open their beaks, and appear to pant. This usually means they’re pretty uncomfortable. 

Adding ice cubes to their waterers can help keep the water cooler longer. Plus, your chooks will enjoy the cubes (as a toy).

Ice cubes can double as entertainment for bored, overheated, chickens. Your chooks will peck and push them around the watering hole (and keep cool while doing so).

In short, it’s just one little thing you can do to keep your chickens comfy when it’s unbearably uncomfortable outside. 

Add Electrolytes to Water for Illness

When chickens are already battling the heat it’s no fun to be sick as well. Remember the last time you had a cold during the summer? 

Talk about uncomfortable, right?

But it’s also dangerous.

Because illness often leads to dehydration. And coupled with extreme heat, chickens have a lot to overcome. 

That’s where electrolytes come in handy. 

Adding some chicken-friendly electrolytes to your chicken’s water supply will help them bounce back from illness and make it through the heat much easier. 

A product that’s perfect for promoting chicken wellness is Henny+Roo 3 in 1 Vitamins, Electrolytes, and Probiotics for Poultry. We include this product roughly once a quarter in our monthly deliveries for backyard chicken keepers.

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. And it’s easy to administer – 1 packet is added to 1 gallon of water. Available in a 5-packet set here.


Dehydration Prevention and Treatment

Speaking of electrolytes, your chickens don’t have to be sick in order to benefit from the addition of electrolytes. 

In fact, if you’re proactive about the heat, and add electrolytes to chicken water as a preventative measure, you can ward off dehydration. Doing so will also help prevent illness caused by dehydration, and a lowered immune system, before it claims your chickens. 

So watch the weather forcast and add some electrolytes before the weather gets bad.

Mineral Deficiency

If your chickens are free-rangers, they will be excellent at finding the nutrients they need on their own. 

But if you’re location is lacking in an important component to your chickens’ diets, you may want to consider adding minerals to their water. 

Minerals can also help boost your flock’s immune system when there’s a bug going around the coop. 

Choosing the Right Minerals

As you can see, supplements can be helpful during the heat, but if your chickens are healthy, it’s not a necessity. 

On the other hand, if you’re losing chickens, or noticing a recurring health problem, it’s not a bad idea to take your chickens to the vet to uncover any underlying issues.

And if it’s a mineral deficiency, it’s important to know which mineral you’ll need to supplement. 

Water Acidifier – Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is said to have benefits for poultry including increased immunity, and the addition of beneficial minerals, and just an overall health boost. Another important use is placing a teaspoon per gallon in the coop’s waterer to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and algae. Don’t use it in metal waterers, though – it can corrode them over time.

At the Henny+Roo coop, we use Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother, which can be easily ordered and delivered to your home from Amazon.

In short, illness and mineral deficiency make it even more difficult to withstand the heat.

You’ll want to keep your chickens happy and healthy for years to come. Otherwise, they may stop giving you those delicious eggs you love!


*Henny+Roo is the first monthly subscription box for chicken keepers! 

Every month, get a curated delivery filled with chicken-themed products.  You’ll get healthy treats, timely health products, seasonal gifts, and hand-pecked goodies for you and your flock!

Shop our monthly plans and non-subscription items at hennyandroo.com.

Reasons To Grab a Beverage and Chill With Your Chickens

When you first decided to get chickens, it was probably because you wanted farm fresh eggs on-demand. 

But as you got to know your little flock, you realized how fascinating and entertaining those little dinosaurs are.

And yes, they remind us of dinos as well. 

The truth is, after a while, raising chickens can become a bit monotonous.

And at times you may have even found yourself annoyed or frustrated with your flock.

Hey, it happens to the best of us. No judgment here. We’ve had to chase our chooks down from time to time, and who wouldn’t get frustrating while trying to catch a chicken, even when it’s for their own good (like for their safety or medical care).

Anyway, we’re putting this post out into the world to remind everyone how wonderful chickens are.

And to take you back to the days when your chickens simply mesmerized you!

Reasons to Take a Break With Your Chickens

Reconnect With Nature Through Chickens

Chickens are often referred to as the gateway to farming animals. Many times, they’re chosen as a first farm animal because they’re small, fairly simple to care for, and they give back. 

But we think they’re the gateway critter because they also help us reconnect to nature.

For example, when we’re caught up in the hustle and bustle of a busy workday, spending time outside with our chickens can feel therapeutic. 

They’re wild, but not that wild.

And when we care for them and spend time with them while feeling a gentle breeze and the warm sun, it washes away the chaos of the day. Instead of stressing, we’re spending time with animals, in nature.

Leave the World Behind

Speaking of therapy, chickens are extremely distracting creatures. In a good way. 

Chickens are fascinating. They forage, take dust baths, cackle, run (really funny to watch), and scold each other. 

Watching the dynamics of our flocks is a way to relax, focus on the present moment, and enjoy our chickens. 

And, if we’re lucky, we might even have a chicken that enjoys being held, carried around during chores, or even pet. 

Simply spending time with another being, even if it’s a chicken, is enough to lift our spirits when we’re feeling down. 

Assess the Flock

Hanging out with your flock from time to time isn’t just good for your mental health; it’s also good for their health. 

Observing our flock helps you notice conditions like molting.

Sometimes we forget to slow down and check-in with our chooks.

We’re busy. All.the.time.

And we miss things. Important things…like health issues in the flock.

So instead of rushing into the coop to harvest eggs, and rushing back out, spending a few moments of quiet time watching your flock could alert you to an illness or injury amongst them.


Togetherness & Teamwork

At first, this might sound a bit strange. But there’s a lot we can learn (and teach our children) about social behavior, just from watching a flock of chickens. 

Chooks look out for each other, move together, alert each other of impending doom, and cannot thrive without one another. They’re social animals, just like us. 

Without a flock, no matter how small it is, behavior issues arise. So, we can learn, and teach, about the importance of teamwork. 

(Maybe not when there’s more than one rooster present, but you get the idea.)

Our Chickens Provide Entertainment

Of course, we’ve come full circle.

Chickens can distract us from the stress of our lives, give us companionship when we’re feeling lonely, and teach us about teamwork.

They do all those things, but they also provide entertainment at its finest.

Time and time again, my own flock has entertained not just my family, but also guests. They’re amusing, with all their clucks and squawks.

They’re hilarious when they run around with treats in their beaks. And they’re intriguing when they look at us quizzically. Those silly little dino eyes.

In fact, we might just be as entertaining to them!

So, go ahead and allow yourself a moment to enjoy your beloved flock of chickens, once again.

Here’s your new chillin’ with the chickens insulated mug! Available here.

For more fun, check out the We Drink and We Farm Things podcast. Sam and Bev introduce you to their drink of the week and small farming and homesteading topics. They’re great companions to listen to while doing your chicken keeping chores!


Learn about our monthly deliveries for chicken keepers here.

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.

Top Chicken Treats to Beat the Heat

All summer, we’ve been focusing on keeping our chickens cool. Of course, that means providing fresh water, shade, and even a light breeze. 

But our favorite way to keep our chooks comfortable during a hot summer day is to spoil them with some cool treats. 

Not only are certain treats going to keep your chickens cool, but they’re also full of nutrients (and protein) to help keep your chickens in top egg-laying condition!

Here’s our favorites:

Cool Chicken Treats To Beat the Summer Heat

The Mother of All Melons

Melons, in general, are always a hit with chickens. You can give them refrigerated cantaloupe, honeydew, or winter melons. 

But the one that chickens go coo coo for is the mother of all melons; the watermelon. 

Big juicy, cool, watermelons are the top treat for chickens (if they had a say in the matter).

Fresh watermelons are sweet and juicy so they’re not only tasty, but they’re also a fantastic way to help keep your chickens cool and hydrated. 

If you want to extend the life of the watermelon, and pack a little extra cooling power, you can also freeze it. That way, they’re hard to consume quickly and are even more refreshing for your flock. 

Just make sure you cut your watermelons before placing them in the freezer!

Chickens love watermelons, especially. They’re the fave of the flock. 

But, don’t forget that they’ll also settle for what’s on sale. So feel free to give your chickens cantaloupe from the garden, honeydew on super saver Saturday, or winter melons. 

Cool Garden Grub for Chickens

If you’re liquidating your garden and you’ve noticed a surplus of cucumbers (we always do) then go ahead and throw some slices into their water. 

Freezing some cukes and slicing them up is a perfect way to keep your flock comfy when it’s extremely hot out. 

You’ll notice that your chooks prefer the seeds and flesh more than the rind, but that’s ok, especially if you’ve got nowhere to go with your surplus cucumbers. 

Popsicles For Chickens

Sometimes giving chickens treats is just as fun for us as it is for them. And this little hack is no exception…

For this cool treat, simply fill a popsicle mold with some frozen berries, add water, freeze, and hand ‘em out to your chickens. 

The frozen fruit will last a little longer than if you’d given it to them without freezing. And as a bonus, the ice keeps your chickens cool and hydrated. 

Fruit that chooks love are:

  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Mulberries (they really like berries)
  • Watermelon

Any of these fruits can be added to a popsicle mold or ice cube trays. Then, pop them out and float them in fresh water or place them in a clean feeder!

Frozen Veggies

Fruit isn’t the only thing your chickens love chilled. They also enjoy peas, corn, leafy greens, and other vegetables.

And even veggies can be frozen in popsicle form (or in an ice cube tray). Spinach is also a great vegetable for chickens needing a little extra iron or vitamin c. 

Another great way to freeze veggies is by taking canned vegetables, opening the can, and freezing the whole darn can. This is perfect for added water. (Just try to stay away from anything inorganic or salt-laden)

The good news? You don’t even have to trick your chooks into eating their greens.

They love it!

Frozen Proteins

When chickens have the cards stacked against them (i.e. it’s hot out) they might need a little extra protein to get through the tough stuff. 

So, aside from fruit and veggies, you can also freeze some of their favorites, like worms, mealworms, or black soldier fly larvae. 

If these items come dehydrated, you can rehydrate them by soaking them in water until they look plump, and well, lifelike, then freeze.

The frozen protein gives them an energy boost, helping them fight off illness, and also keep them cool and hydrated!

It might seem a little yuck to us, but your flock will love you for it!

Here’s more about rehydrating mealworms.

Try some of our favorite dried insect treats for chickens:

Chubby Mealworms

Grubblies Original USA & CA – Natural Grubs for Chickens – Chicken Feed Supplement with 50x Calcium, Healthier Than Mealworms – Black Soldier Fly Larvae Treats for Hens, Ducks, Birds (5 lbs)

Mealworms -5 Lbs- 100% Non-GMO Dried Mealworms – Large Meal Worms – Bulk Mealworms -High Protein Treats- Perfect Mealworm for Chickens, Ducks, Turtles, Blue Birds, Lizards – Bag of Mealworms 5 LBS

Frozen Chicken Food

Last on the frozen food list? Well, it’s chicken feed.

Simply wet down your flocks’ layer feed and freeze it in small baggies. Giving them these frozen clumps of food not only feeds your chickens, it also cools them down, and gives them something yummy to play around with. 

Veggie Garland

Who could forget the viral veggie garland images circulating on social media?

While this treat isn’t necessarily freezable (or easily freezable) veggies from the fridge will still keep your chickens cool and give them an added hydration boost. 

Photo, and instructions on how to make your own veggie garland: https://www.communitychickens.com/chicken-treat-garland-zbw1912ztil/

Simply string lettuce, cucumbers, peas, and other garden goodies on a sturdy string and hang it up in the coop where your chickens can reach them. 

You can also use a Henny+Roo Hanging Treat Skewer to make a game out of cool fruits and vegetables.

They’ll hop and attack the garland until alllll the goodies are gone. 

And it will give you something entertaining to watch as you cool down with your own favorite summertime beverage!

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Subscribers, take a look inside your May box! Your April box is in transit, and while you await its arrival, we are putting the finishing touches on your May box. First, your chickens will come running for the @exoticnutrition Chicken Treat Variety Pack. And you’ll be able to welcome guests with our cute Henny+Roo exclusive farmhouse-style garden flag!

The April box sold out, and we fully expect the May box to sell out too. Because of the limited supply, the May box will not be available on our website as a non-subscription purchase. You have to be a current subscriber to get it, so it’s a great time to start or reactivate your subscription!

Check out our monthly terms at hennyandroo.com 🐓

6 Things To Know Before Getting Chickens

Getting your first flock of chickens is an exciting adventure. Visions of bountiful egg harvests, peeping baby chicks, and coops full of clucking hens occupy your dreams.

But we’re here to tell you, there’s a few things we wish we had known before we brought chickens into our lives. 

And the good news is, we’re sharing all the dirty details with you so you can be prepared for these otherwise unexpected issues when you start your first flock.

Let’s dig in and get you ready for your chickens!

1. Predator Prevention is Non-negotiable

There’s nothing worse than coming across deceased chickens during morning chores. 

That’s why it’s important to take a preemptive approach to predators in your region.

And when we say predators, we don’t just mean the big ones (like bears of foxes).

Some of the smallest predators are the most deadly.

Snakes, raccoons, and weasels can find their way into even the most predator-proof coops.

So when you’re designing your first chicken coop, always take extra precautions to ensure you’re not leaving your chickens exposed to predators, like making sure every opening in the coop and run is covered in hardware cloth (not chicken wire – it’s not strong enough). Be sure that predators cannot dig under fencing to access your chickens, or fly into your run from above (they will definitely try).

2. You Need a Plan for Roosters

Even if you’ve planned to order all hens, there may come a time that a stray roo gets into the shipping container from the hatchery. No hatchery can guarantee pullets (hens under one year old) with more than 90% accuracy, so it’s best to assume 10% will turn out to be roosters.

On the other hand, if you’ve decided to incubate, prepare for the possibility of more than one rooster in your new little clutch of chicks.

If you’ve got the room and enough hens to go around, you might be able to keep some of those roosters.

With that being said, you’ll need a plan ahead of time for the roosters you won’t be keeping. 

Because more than one rooster means you’ll need more hens for each one, and it also means there’ll be more crowing, more fighting, and maybe even more aggression.

So, what will you do with unneeded roosters?

Here’s a few ideas:

  1. Sell them as chicks as soon as you know they’re roosters to someone who wants to raise them
  2. Raise them and butcher them for yourself
  3. Raise them and process them for sale (check local regulations)
  4. Give them away to a family in need

3. Chickens Don’t Lay Eggs Until They’re Mature

Unfortunately, chickens don’t start to lay eggs until they are a few months old. And depending on the breed you’ve selected, it may even take months to see your first farm fresh egg. 

So it’s a bit of a waiting game, but we’ll tell ya right now when that first egg appears, you’ll be celebrating all the way to the breakfast table!

While you wait for your first eggs, you can spend your free time ensuring your chickens have everything they need to lay quality eggs as soon as they’re ready. 

That includes:

  • Endless amounts of fresh water
  • Oodles of layer feed (formulated for layers)
  • Grit (to help chickens digest their food)
  • Treats (protein treats pack a punch for chickens when they’re growing!)
  • Calcium (this helps chickens lay eggs with strong shells, and it promotes strong and healthy bones)

And if your chickens are happy and healthy, they’ll start laying eggs as soon as they’re old enough, without delay.

4. Chickens Need Plenty of Elbow Room

It’s true! And if your run isn’t large enough to allow all your chickens to hunt, peck, and scratch the earth freely, you’ll soon learn that your beautiful run will turn into a large mud pit. 

So if you’re not free-ranging your chooks, make sure your enclosure is plenty big; it’s just the polite thing to do. 

In general, you’ll need to allow for about 5 to 10 square feet per bird outdoors. 

5. Chickens are Also Predators

Ok, not like the-top-of-the-food-chain predators, but predators to things like mice, frogs, and bugs. 

Never forget that chickens are omnivores and enjoy eating meat. So the next time you see your fluffy butts running across the lawn with a frog in the lead hen’s beak, just know that it’s completely normal and good for them. 

On another note, chickens are predators to your landscaping efforts. 

Nope, your chickens have no idea that your flower garden is not an a la carte buffet created just for them. 

If you want to protect your landscaping from free-ranging beaks, then create barriers to keep your flock from ruining your flower beds…and veggie gardens, for that matter. 

6. The Companionship and Connection

Some will tell you that chickens aren’t pets. And that might be true for the vast majority of them. But from time-to-time, you’ll come across a hen, or rooster, that plucks at your heartstrings. 

Chickens can be friendly; they may even cuddle with you on the porch as you drink your morning coffee in the sun. 

And before you know it, you’ve got a friend or two in the flock. 

The truth is, you’ll see personalities emerge, and you may catch yourself naming your chickens (if we’re being honest, all of the fluffy butts in the Henny+Roo flock have names). 

We’re not ashamed, and that’s one of the reasons we knew we needed to create the Henny + Roo subscription box for chickens (and chicken lovers)!

Dogs and cats aren’t the only companions who deserve a treat for all their hard work (Ummm, egg-making, friendship, and let’s be honest a little bit of pest control too).


So, just know, that your chickens may turn into an extension of your family, and as far as we’re concerned, that’s perfectly fine for everyone involved.

Find Beautiful Plans for Your Next Chicken Coop

Is it time to take your chicken coop to the next level?

When it comes to creating the perfect home for your new flock, you may have something special in mind. 

But if you’re not familiar with planning a construction project, you might be looking for a little inspiration and guidance. 

So we’ve put together this list of ideas that will help get those wheels turning. 

Find Chicken Coop Plans on Instagram

Instagram is one of the most visual social platforms around. And if you follow some favorite chicken-loving accounts, you know there’s usually something beautiful to ogle over. 

Whether it’s pretty little eggs all in rainbow rows or a new chicken coop plan created al la Chip and Joanne from Fixer Upper, all you have to do is hit the right hashtags to get an eyeful of chicken fix-for-the-day.

Type in some of the following to bring up some fantastic chicken coop ideas to spark your imagination:

  • #chickencoop
  • #chickencoopplans
  • #coops
  • #chickencoopideas

And of course, don’t forget to follow us for your daily dose of poultry eye candy.

Find Chicken Coop Ideas on Pinterest

We’ll admit, one of our first places to dig up inspiration is usually Pinterest. And that’s because it’s one of the most visual search engines on the planet with millions of contributors, just like us.

In fact, we’ve got a board set up specifically for new chicken owners looking for coop-building inspiration. 

So go check it out, we’ll wait.

Oh and here’s a special tip: if you search for free chicken coop plans, a bunch of freebies will pop up for you to print out and work off of. 

Our advice? Find a predator-proof plan, use what you’ve got, and then snaz it up once it’s complete. 

Some of the most straightforward designs turn out to be the most beautiful. 

In fact, we’ve seen some pretty impressive coop designs out there (some are jaw-droppingly gorgeous, like this one).

Just remember, the most important thing is safety and functionality, beauty can come later!

Facebook Groups of Chicken Fanatics

Facebook can be like the wild wild west, at times. Everyone seems to have the all the answers. 

And, in truth, there’s plenty of good advice from experienced chicken owners on Facebook. 

But instead of falling down the rabbit hole, here’s what we suggest:

Join a handful of chicken groups and search for the term “chicken coop plans” or “chicken coop design” rather than asking questions or endlessly scrolling the feed.

Who’s got time for that? Not us! We’d rather be with our chickens.

By searching, you’ll avoid the know-it-alls and still get the inspiration you’re looking for when planning your first chicken coop design. 

And be sure to check out Henny+Roo on Facebook while you’re there!

Chicken Coop Planning Books

Lastly, you can always get find inspirational and coop-planning books that walk you through the exact process of building your first chicken coop. 

All you have to do is page through and find the design of your dreams…then head to the lumber yard!

These are some of our favorite chicken coop building books.

  1. DIY Chicken Coops: The Complete Guide To Building Your Own Chicken Coop

2. Building Chicken Coops For Dummies

3. 40 Projects for Building Your Backyard Homestead: A Hands-on, Step-by-Step Sustainable-Living Guide (Creative Homeowner) Fences, Chicken Coops, Sheds, Gardening, and More for Becoming Self-Sufficient

Coop-planning books are great for beginners who need a little extra advice when building their first coop. 

Usually, everything from the nesting box to the dust bath, and the roost is already planned out and included. 

Plus, you know that you’re following plans for a coop that’s been tested against the elements and predators. 

So go ahead, and take the experts’ advice. You can always add your personal touches after the coop is complete, like this coop sign now available in the Henny+Roo Shop:  

Amazon for Easy Peasy Chicken Coops

We know not everyone has the time, or ability, to design and construct their own chicken coop. But, if that’s you, it shouldn’t stop you from making your chicken dreams come true. 

You can find pre-made, semi-started, chicken coops on sites like Amazon. Here are a few that have received good reviews:

  1. SnapLock Formex Large Chicken Coop Backyard Hen House 4-6 Large 6-12 Bantams
  2. GUTINNEEN Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop Large Hen House Poultry Cage, 69in, Waterproof UV Panel
  3. PawHut 114″ Wooden Customizable Backyard Chicken Coop with Nesting Box and Runs

Pre-made chicken coops come ready to snap together, and in most cases, all the designing and safety considerations are all done for you. 

With that being said, it’s still a good idea to review the materials the coop is made from. That way, you can ensure that it will hold up during bad weather and cold conditions (if that’s where you’re located). You may have to fortify premade coops by adding a 2×4 base frame, hardware cloth on any openings, a stronger door locking mechanism, and/or a protective wood finish to lengthen the life and protectiveness of the coop.

Also watch for treated wood and materials that might be toxic to chickens. 

An excellent way to ensure you’re purchasing a quality coop is to read through the reviews of what previous buyers have said about the chicken coop. 

We wish you the best in creating a safe and happy home for your flock!