Storms can be severe during this time of year; it is essential to prepare your home as well as your chickens for the likelihood that you will be the brunt of foul weather. Here are some tips to get your flock ready.
If you have forewarning of a storm, it's a good idea to unplug anything in your coop. Lightening may create a power surge that can damage appliances. Ensure your coop is secure; make sure the roof and sides are sturdy and close windows and doors. Remove or tie down loose objects that may become a projectile by storm winds. If your chickens are free-ranging, gather them up into your chicken yard, so they have an opportunity to seek shelter quickly if they choose. Chickens do well protecting themselves in a storm, as long as they have the choices for sheltering. You can close them up in the coop if you prefer; make sure they have food and water available.
Bringing Them Inside
Some pending storms are so threatening that you want to bring your chickens inside until it passes. A hard floor, such as concrete or tile, is best. A garage or laundry room is a perfect location. Lay down a tarp and place their food and water in the area. Ensure that the area is secure, with the doors and windows closed; nervous chickens may panic, which will make a flighty flock. Once settled, leave them alone; they will be fine until it's time to get them back outside.
After the Storm
Once the storm passes, check your coop and the chicken yard. Also, check that the flock is unharmed. Chickens are not bothered by the rain, so it's okay if they are wet. Have supplies on-hand to make any quick repairs, including a hammer, nails, and a tarp. If there is damage, tidy up and make any immediate repairs. Return your flock to your coop, if you've relocated them. Always make sure you have plenty of food on hand; roads may be washed out, making it difficult to get supplies. If you have puddles, cover them with sand or straw to avoid breeding bacteria. Keep your coop clean, particularly during periods of wet weather, to prevent an infestation of mites or other insects.
Storms are stressful; with a little preparation and a plan for after the storm, your flock will remain safe and secure. They depend on you to keep them safe! And, it is also always a great idea to treat your flock with PopWorms! treats after the storm is over!