Have you decided your backyard needs a few chickens? If you’re interested in raising chickens on your property and have checked for restrictions with your local government, enjoy getting started with your new project.
Let’s take a look at some of the best tips for raising feathered friends behind your house.
Purchase chicks from a local farm store and keep the little guys in a box placed in your garage or shed. Position a heat lamp within the box to keep them warm, and line said box with newspaper. Add food and water. If the chicks are huddled together, lower the lamp so they enjoy more heat. If the birdies are staying away from the lamp, position it so it is less severe. Provide the chicks with chicken feed until they are between eight and 12 weeks old, then mix laying pellets in with the feed. You will eventually need to switch to laying pellets only, especially if the chickens are roaming around your backyards pecking their little hearts out.
Build a Secure Coop
Your next chicken-raising task is to erect a very secure coop. Whether you build it yourself or commission the project, keeping your chickens safe from predators is essential. Coyotes, raccoons, hawks, foxes, owls, dogs, and skunks loooveee them some chicken, so make certain all windows are covered with chicken wire and that the birds can run under the coop if necessary. The wire protects chickens from the outstretched paws of raccoons, while the ability to hide under the coop protects them from predatory birds.
Provide Plenty of Water
Provide your birds with a constant flow of water, though what size waterer you require depends on the size of your flock. Three-to five-gallon waterers are generally best for larger flocks. Make certain it is easy to clean, as chickens will defecate in the water bowl —and everywhere else.
Change the Straw
Change the straw in your chicken coop weekly to deal with the aforementioned waste issue. Cedar chips are another good option, as they absorb moisture and have a pleasant scent.
Keep Their Personalities and Laying Schedules in Mind
Remember that chickens have personalities too! Watching them interact and play together is a pastime for many chicken owners. Also remember that no two chickens have the same laying schedule, and some may lay every day for a month before taking a little break and laying every other day after that. Make sure they have healthy food, water, and plenty of light to maintain a viable laying schedule. Chickens have about two years of good layin’ in them before they reach retirement. Feel free to keep them as pets until they die of old age!
Do you have any other chicken-raising tips you would like to share?