Trapping hazards in your chicken's environment
Hens are naturally curious and interested in their environment, they have excellent eye sight and can spot an opportunity a distance away.
This inquisitive nature can get your chicken into trouble if it should encounter hazards around its enclosure or within its free ranging area.
Our chickens have many illnesses and welfare considerations that chicken keepers need to think about and work hard to avoid, but its the little things we don't think about that could pose the bigger risk.
Here is a quick checklist of common entanglement hazards and common entrapment hazards.
Most bags of feed have a pull string for easy opening. The thin cotton string seems to be drawn toward birds legs and toes like a magnet while they are scratching about. I have had many birds get this string wrapped around their legs and feet. Once it is wrapped up tightly, it can be very difficult to remove, and cause serious problems, such as discomfort, lose of circulation, broken bones (this is especially important with frail boned water fowl) if the string gets caught on something, and other problems.
If you find a bird with string or twine wrapped around their legs or toes, remove it as soon as possible, and make sure they do not have access to anymore of it.
large, light feed bowls, containers
This is one danger we tend to over look. hens can get trapped under light weight feed bowls when they hop on the edge to get a better drink, or gobble up a bit of feed on the bottom, and it then flips over trapping the bird underneath.
Put pebbles or rocks on the bottom of the bowls or containers to weigh them down and prevent them from flipping over on your birds.
Buckets and other containers that can collect water
Stagnant water can attract pests such as rodents. It can also be a drowning hazard for baby ducklings and other baby poultry, and even adult fowl depending on how deep it is.
We use all types of meshing material outdoors, and in our poultry fencing and enclosures, please think about the size of the meshing used in relation to the size of poultry you keep, this will avoid possible strangulation if the birds can get their heads through the opening.
Garden meshing also poses a serious risk if your poultry gets tangled in it, please consider if netting is really required in a chickens environment the risk it poses is just not worth the risk.
Barbed wire should not be used around poultry they will try to fly and perch on it posing a risk of getting hooked and trapped om the fence.