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How to keep backyard chickens from flying the coop as Hurricane Florence approaches

European hurricane model shows Florence lingering impacting the Carolinas then lingering in the area

The ECMWF model shows Hurricane Florence lingering near the Carolinas and Georgia for several days.
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The ECMWF model shows Hurricane Florence lingering near the Carolinas and Georgia for several days.

With Hurricane Florence forecast to make landfall on the Carolina coast by Friday, people are being asked to do everything they can to prepare to deal with the impact of the powerful storm.

That includes taking care of pets and animals. Even those that are not traditional house pets — such as chickens.

For those who have chickens living in their yard, or in coops on their property, they are instructed to prepare for the threats such as powerful winds and flooding posed by Florence.

When dealing with coops that have windows and ventilation, Hobby Farms suggests preparing them just as you would a house — board and secure the openings.

Hobby Farms also recommends filling the coops with enough food and water to sustain the chickens, in case the owner is unable to tend to the birds until the storm has passed.

These are six of the most important items you should have when you evacuate with your pets based on ready.gov.

Owners are also urged to stock up on enough chicken feed for at least a week, according to grit.com, adding the feed should be stored “2 feet above ground in a dry, flood-proof area.”

One option that is also suggested, if possible, is moving the flock inside the home.

Should the chickens be taken indoors, Backyard Chicken Coops suggests placing a tarp in a room with a “concrete or tiled surface,” and close the doors and windows to keep nervous chickens from escaping.

Once the storm has passed, owners are asked to secure their chickens to protect them from predators and “puddles that can breed bacteria,” according to Backyard Chicken Coops, which also recommends cleaning the coops.

Chickens should also be checked for injuries suffered during the hurricane. A chicken first-aid kit that includes “bandages, Vetwrap, triple antibiotic ointments,” is recommended by grit.com.

Follow more of our reporting on Hurricane Florence

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