Preparing Your Flock For An Emergency

Inclement weather, hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, earthquakes, snow storms – a plethora of natural disasters could impact your area, possibly even multiple. With the 2023 hurricane season upon us, Meyer Hatchery is looking at improving preparedness and response, especially for your poultry flock. Check out our emergency preparedness tips below and then check out our website to see our selection of preparedness supplies.

Flock Preparedness Kit

In recent years there has been a lot of discussion about preparing for yourself and your family. You might have a 48-hour emergency kit, or a car emergency bag. Preparing for a disaster doesn’t need to be challenging or costly. The supplies for your flock’s preparedness kit are probably things you already own, or could acquire overtime, even on a budget. 

Here are the essential items that we suggest including in your Flock Preparedness Kit:

 

  1. Container or Bag: Something to contain all your supplies: a bag, plastic tote, backpack, etc. 
  2. Feed Container: This could be ziploc bags or a bucket for you to fill with feed quickly in in the event that you need to evacuate with your flock.
  3. Feeder: If you were to have your flock in a temporary housing, you will need something for them to eat out of. In an enclosed space, like a dog crate or chicken transport crate, a Coop Cup is a great idea since it can’t be stepped in or tipped over because it attaches to the side of the crate.
  4. Water and Waterer: You’ll need water for your flock, which can be obtained through various means depending on your situation and how much space you have in your kit. Consider a water jug, a filtration system, or a pump for creek water. Just like the food container, you’ll also want a spill-proof, clean water solution. Coop Cups and Cage Cups are excellent choices.
  5. GroGel: GroGel is a great option for a quick boost of hydration and nutrition for your flock – this could be used for sick chickens, stressed chickens, etc. a great resource to have on hand for chickens in an emergency.
  6. Vital Pack: A great vitamin and electrolyte source for your flock, in heat, stress, or chilled. One 4 Ounce pack makes 128-gallons of the vitamin/electrolyte solution and can be used for all poultry.
  7. Poultry First Aid Kit: Having a first aid kit on hand for your flock is a must for all poultry owners. We have a great blog post with lots of ideas of things to put in your Poultry First Aid Kit.
Weather Poultry Emergency Preparedness

Staying on Your Farm

Certain events could leave you stranded at home or without power. Planning ahead to ensure your flock’s safety in these situations is vital to avoid last minute chaos and unnecessary stress. Here are some farm preparation ideas:

    • A backup water source – Do you rely on well water? Consider a backup source if power fails. Can you pump water from a creek or pond? Prepare for county water outages with storage or rain collection for your flock’s needs.
    • Feed – Chicken feed doesn’t have a long shelf life. Plan for storage and excess or an emergency alternative. Don’t run out of feed.
    • Waterproofing and insulating your coop – Secure your coop against weather and predators. Ensure it’s waterproof, insulated, and predator-proof. For hurricanes or snow storms, consider reinforcing like you do your house or using thick plastic sheeting for extra protection and insulation.
    • Brooding – If you have chicks in your brooder, be prepared to Brood in a Power Outage.
Crested Indian Runner Duck in the snow - preparing for emergencies - Meyer Hatchery

Evacuation

Sometimes it’s not safe to stay home and you have no option but to leave. In a wildfire or a hurricane, you may even be under evacuation orders. Plan for your flock’s safety and evacuation in these situations. Consider the following:

  • Transporting Your Flock Chicken transportation crates or other dog or animal crates are helpful to move your flock. You’ll want something to line the carriers to keep things mess free – puppy pads are a great option and easy to keep on hand. For larger flocks, maybe you have a mobile coop on a trailer you could just take with you or secure arrangements to leave your flock as safely as possible for several days. Whatever your situation, make sure you’re prepared for the possibility of evacuation.
  • Away from home flock care – Plan for caring for your flock away from home. Consider housing during travel and minimizing stress. A chicken playpen or bottomless dog crate can offer foraging opportunities.
  • Temporary Coop – an inexpensive pop up tent with ventilation and zip closures can serve as a temporary shelter for your birds if you need to evacuate with them.

Check out the video below where Jess walks you through making her own flock preparedness kit.

We hope you find these ideas helpful in preparing for unexpected emergencies with your flock. Don’t forget to check out our website for our selection of preparedness supplies.
Do you have emergency plans for your poultry? Share your Flock Preparedness Kit items or preparedness steps for your flock in the comments below!

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