Everybody loves chickens!
You know you do too.
Now that you’re ready to raise backyard chickens, do you know what it takes?
Don’t worry, because it’s easier than it sounds.
Why should you keep chickens anyway?
Well, aside from being cute companions, they are a source of fresh eggs that are rich in vitamins.
Wait, that’s not the best part.
They help get rid of your kitchen scraps too!
Are you ready to fulfill your health needs?
Here are the important tips you need to raise your little chicken family.
Tip #5: Keep Your Environment Clean
Chickens like to be messy, so you need to stay on top of the situation.
When you don’t keep your backyard clean, there’s a chance of causing infections in the flock.
Also, dirt attracts insects.
The secret is, a clean environment leads to a healthy flock.
It’s that simple!
Here are the best ways to do this:
Sealing Cracks and Holes in the Chicken House
Rodents, like mice, often sneak into chicken coops through crevices.
It’s best to inspect the coop once a week to seal any holes early enough.
Remember to integrate a heavy wire mesh gauge on the coop doors and windows. This is a good way to prevent the entry of any vermin.
Ensure There Is Enough Lighting in the Coop
Lighting is a basic need that helps egg-laying hens. For the best egg production, a hen needs at least 14 hours of light daily, especially during summer.
Sometimes during the fall and winter seasons, natural light is scarce. So, install artificial lights in the nesting area to encourage egg production.
Keep the Chicken Coop Locked
You wouldn’t want your flock running about and going into your neighbor’s property. They won’t like that.
It can get awkward especially if the chickens poop in their yard.
Prevent the running chickens from straying by enclosing them in their own space. Again, you should use a wire mesh gauge to do this.
Tip #4: Learn to Feed Your Chickens the Correct Way
When you’re keeping chickens in the backyard you need to feed them daily. The great news is, this isn’t a hard job.
That begs the question: what should chickens eat?
Feeding begins by selecting high-quality food. Compromising on quality has its downsides.
You should buy high-quality feed because it:
- Keeps your flock physically active.
- Has vitamins for healthy chicken growth.
- Increases the nutritional benefits of your eggs.
Buying a certain type of feed depends on the age of your flock.
On the bright side, this table makes it easier for you to understand what your backyard chicken needs:
|Starter Feed||20-24% protein content.||It’s the best for chicks and helps them grow.||From 1-20 weeks of age.|
|Grower Feed||16-18% protein content.||Supports the growth of chicks.||From 6-20 weeks of age.|
|Layer Feed||A mixture of protein and calcium.||Helps develop healthy eggshells.||From 20 weeks of age, after they begin producing eggs.|
|Shell Grit||Rich in calcium.||Helps in feed digestion and the formation of strong shells.||Suitable for egg-laying hens.|
This is a glorious diet for a healthy flock!
Tip #3: Ensure Your Chicken Coops Are up to Par
Raising chickens includes giving them a place to live and lay eggs comfortably. Just like humans, they like specific decor to suit their needs.
A backyard chicken can live for 8 years. Thus, you need to get the best coops for them to spend their time in.
Different chicken coops are made for a variety of reasons, like laying eggs.
But, there are 3 main features that every chicken coop area should have.
This is a must-have when raising chickens.
It’s a special housing where chicks like to live together. It includes important factors like great hygiene, warmth, and ventilation.
Its size depends on how many chickens you want to keep.
According to poultry experts, a house should measure 1.5m by 2m. This can house up to 6 hens.
If you wish to grow different breeds, a combined house can be made with a run area of 6 square yards per bird. This can accommodate up to 12 birds.
Before you know it, you’ll have enough room for a large flock.
This is a secluded space from the general housing. It creates a comfortable environment for hens to lay eggs.
During this time, you need to search for broody hens and place them here. One nest box can house up to 5 hens.
The best design for a perfect nest box is at least 12 by 12 inches. This can be made much larger depending on the breeds you’d like to have.
You should incorporate lockable doors so you can easily search for eggs.
Here’s a great design to consider:
These are attached to a nest box.
Keeping chickens backyard should be fun for them too. Did you know that a perch is like a tree branch? Since a chicken is a bird too, they like to hang out here.
You’ll also notice that hens like to stay off the floor at night.
But, don’t place the perch too close to the feeding area, because of the droppings. The flock won’t like the dirt and will avoid eating.
Experts say each bird needs a perching space of 12 inches.
Tip #2: Consult Your Local Poultry Association for the Best Breeds
You may like one specific breed, but it’s uncommon in your area.
For one, search for the breed that fits your needs. You’ll get the best answers from your local hatchery.
This is cost-effective and saves your precious time.
Once you’re set on what you like, buy the hens and get started. You can begin your farm by brooding hens and then incubating their eggs.
Hens begin to show broody behavior, like sitting for a long time and clucking when moved. This means they are ready to produce eggs.
You should place them in the nest box and wait for the eggs.
Next, carefully search for any eggs and pick them at night when the hens are asleep.
To incubate them well, do this:
- Store the eggs for 7 days in a cool and humid environment.
- Gradually increase the room temperature.
- Place them in an electric incubator and turn them 3 times a day.
Soon, your eggs will hatch to produce gorgeous chicks.
Tip #1: Ensure the Law Allows You to Raise Backyard Chickens
When you’d like to start a farm in your yard, you need to have the law in mind.
It may sound strange, but this will save you from state officials, like health inspectors.
The best part is, it’s easy to find out your local regulations by:
- Searching if your city has local laws on pets and animals.
- Doing an internet search for your town’s municipal code.
This will help you stay updated with requirements, like annual permit payments.
The regulations vary in different states, but the state aims to ensure you don’t neglect your flock. Thus, there are no fixed federal regulations on breeding, rearing, and sale of your flock.
Besides, it’s important to consider things like:
These factors will help you steer clear of any complications during your new journey.
The Secret to Achieving Your Dream Garden
Backyard chickens have much to offer other than your typical eggs. They play a key role in creating your dream garden by:
- Scratching the soil which helps to turn and aerate it.
- Eating pests that like to destroy plants.
- Removing weeds that stunt plant growth.
- Producing nitrogenous manure for fertile soil.
Are you on the search for more top-notch gardeBackyard chicken coopning tips?
The search ends here.
The Gardening Channel has all the information a garden enthusiast needs. Find everything you would need to make your green space flourish.
Visit The Gardening Channel today and achieve your dream garden.
Photo from WikiMedia
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