How to start raising chickens

There is a movement across the country, increasing numbers of people are starting to raise chickens. Whether it be the state of the economy or people simply needing to get back to the basics – men and women are searching for ways to be a little more self-sufficient and having eggs supplied by your own backyard chickens is one of many ways.

Together with the interest in raising chickens you must be mindful of some of the poultry equipment necessary to maintain your new flock. Some people simply jump right in without a thought – kind of like I did at the outset– my hubby brought home six chickens and we scrambled around searching for short term housing until we could build better and something to dispense their feed and water. If you’ve a choice, first determine what is required to start raising chickens and then get your chickens.

What happens first–the chicken or the chicken supplies?

At a local farm supply shop I noticed a lady who had purchased a new baby chicken and along with the chick she had a chick feeder, a chick waterer, and who knows what in your home that was waiting for her new little chicken. She probably is not aware within a couple of weeks the baby chickens will about double in size and will not be in a position to eat out of the chick feeder without opening the top and the waterer will not hold enough to give them a sufficient water supply. These are some of the things that you study from experience in raising chickens.

If I was looking at raising a couple of chickens in my backyard for the first occasion, here are the preferred chicken supplies I would have available:

1. Chicken House–when raising chickens the chicken needs a place to call home. Whether it be a chicken tractor, a chicken coop, or a livestock barn, give the chickens a place to get out of the rain, lay an egg, and roost at night. Baby chickens require an area with a heat source for a minute so the housing requirements will vary.

2. Poultry Equipment–this includes the chicken waterer, poultry feeder, and nesting boxes. The sort of poultry equipment you buy depends on the age of the chicken. The feeder and waterer requirements for baby chickens is different than adult poultry. You will need the regular feeders at some point. Unless you purchase a pre-fab chicken house most do not come with nesting boxes so you will need to supply the area where you want to gather the eggs.

3. Used Poultry Equipment– there are lots of sources to purchase used poultry equipment and the first place I usually look is Craigslist and from there I look for any local livestock or small animal auctions. And don’t forget your local trading posts papers. We’ve one that derives from our local electric company and often times they have some items at good prices.

4. Chicken Feed–when you bring home your new chickens one of the first things they would like to do is eat. Again what type you buy is established by the time they are the chicken. There are an assortment of chicken feeds about so do your homework to select the one that is right for you.

5. Storage Containers for Poultry Supplies–what do I mean by this? Somewhere to keep your food and grain so other animals do not have admission to it. The chance of attracting critters of some sort is extremely high with all the scratching a chicken does in its food that helps to spread it around. I use metal trash containers and they do the job. I keep my food supplies in one and my chicken equipment in the other.

I have been raising chickens for over five years now so I have my preferred ways of feeding and watering along with my preferred poultry equipment, some homemade and some shop bought. If you are just beginning and unsure where to turn, call at your local feed shop. Check out their costs and then compare them to the online stores. As a rule you will see if you buy local you will lay aside on the shipping costs. And there is the chance that if they do not have what you are searching for they will order it for you.With the interest in raising chickens you should have the right poultry equipment to keep up your new flock.

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