About Cheryl Nelson

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Chook Chat with Cheryl Nelson – The best medicine for Summer health
Community
Keeping our chickens healthy is really important. Our motto at Natural Chicken Health is that prevention is better than a cure. Chickens need vitamins, minerals, good nutrition, and like us, they need low stressors and sufficient rest. There are physical measures we can take to support the lives of our chooks and help prevent disease: The number of chooks to...
Chook Chat with Cheryl Nelson – Raising backyard chicks
Community
Spring has sprung and our chooks are turning broody. If you are raising chicks then a broody hen is nature’s best incubator. To get started, I select 6 to 12 fertile eggs depending on the size of the broody hen. Eggs can be stored up to 7 days after lay, before you start incubating them, but need to be at...
Chook Chat with Cheryl Nelson – making chook poo tea for your garden
Community
Chickens give us a host of useful services and it’s clear the more we care for our chickens, the more services they happily provide! One of their endless gifts is chicken manure. A single chook produces about 1kg of manure each week. We can make very good use of that! Keeping backyard chickens and growing a bountiful, beautiful garden go...
Chook Chat with Cheryl Nelson – Feeding your flock
Community
Chickens are omnivores like pigs, so they like a diet that includes protein from various sources. Chooks are not herbivores like cows, sheep or goats and so your flock can, and should, eat plant as well as animal proteins. Chickens are naturally fantastic foragers. They love scratching around for bugs, grit and greenery. While free-ranging is great for your flock...
Chook Chat with Cheryl Nelson – Take pleasure in your chooks
Community
Add up all the world’s cats and dogs, cows and pigs and there would still be more chickens. Toss in every rat on earth and the chook still rules. More than 20 billion chickens live on our planet, three for every human alive, and numbers are increasing. Chooks are popping up in more and more backyards, schools and nursing homes......
Chook Chat with Cheryl Nelson – Protecting your girls from predators
Community
Chickens are such important critters in our lives, which makes dealing with predators a priority. It’s up to you to protect your chickens and it all starts with physical chicken coop security. But who are the predators? Snakes, goannas, quolls, hawks and eagles are common but no hunter is as efficient a killer as the fox. Foxes are stealthy, tricky,...
Chook Chat with Cheryl Nelson – the joys of deep litter in your hen house
Community
Deep litter in a chicken coop develops its own biome (bacterial culture), which acts to reduce insect pests, diseases like coccidiosis and unwanted moulds. The biome helps to decompose manure which reduces the amount of maintenance. Here are the steps to clean the coop and make a healthy, natural deep litter on the floor... Step One Make a sweet smelling,...
Chook Chat with Cheryl Nelson – coping with moulting season
Community
The Autumn Equinox and shorter days are signals for a change of feathers in the hen house. Heading into winter your chooks will normally grow new feathers to replace some old ones. Here's what you should know: Avoid handling chooks. Moulting makes feather follicles very sensitive, even painful; Make sure they have good protection from the wind and early cool...
Chook Chat with Cheryl Nelson – New chooks in the hen house!
Community
Chickens need a pecking order, a secret hierarchy within the flock where everyone knows their place. It defines who sleeps with whom, who gets food first, and who’s the boss of the others. In times gone by this set of rules helped to protect the flock, keep them strong, and made sure limited resources were spread around. When newcomers are...
Chook Chat with Cheryl Nelson – Mites and what to do
Community
With all the rain this summer the chook pen is an ideal breeding ground for scaly leg mites and red mites. Mites are easy enough to manage but you need to be vigilant around this time of year. The scaly leg mite burrows under the scales of a chook’s leg and feeds on keratin. It exudes a greyish waste which...
Chook Chat with Cheryl Nelson – Protecting your flock from heat
Community
Summer can be a tough time for your chookies. The little critters can’t sweat, all they can do is pant to stay cool. Although feathers can insulate from the heat, here are a few things you can do to help: Chooks won’t drink warm water, so keep their water in the shade. On hot days drop a frozen water bottle...
Chook Chat with Cheryl Nelson – Treats for your chooks this Christmas
Environment
Share the delights of Christmas with a few well-chosen gifts for your trusty chooks. Chooks love toys, they're highly inquisitive and they love attention so here are few ideas to brighten their festive season - as well as yours! A cabbage ball - Pierce the base of a cabbage with a big hook. Hang the cabbage at chook head height...
Chook Chat with Cheryl Nelson – backyard food and shelter
Community
In our slightly mad modern life keeping backyard chickens can give us simple pleasures with the added benefits of homegrown eggs and useful manure. For many people, the gentle clucking and scratching of chooks at home is domestic bliss. Chooks are also a great way to teach children about caring for animals, after all, who can forget collecting warm eggs...
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