Now that you have decided to raise poultry in your backyard you need to know some important points. There are a few important issues involved in raising chickens. You absolutely have to remember that chickens are flock animals. Take into account that when treating these birds, space issues are a concern. The following points ought to be considered before you take the plunge.
Reasons People Raise Chickens
1. When equated with family pets chickens are easier and cheaper to raise and maintain.
2. Fun & friendly pets with personality.
3. If you compost, chickens manufacture the worlds best fertilizer.
4. Free Range chicken eggs are great-tasting and fresher than outlet bought.
5. Chickens are a green form of pest and weed control.
Chickens–Where to buy
1. In the spring most feed stores carry chicks or pullets.
2. You can buy from and online retail merchant. I have had great success with the folks at Mcmurray hatchery. Find them on the Internet at Mcmurrayhatchery dot com.
Chicken care– first 2 months
1. You need to possess a brooder with Pine shavings covering the floor.
2. You need to have a light in the box that keeps a temperature of 100 degrees the first week and then reduce the temperature by 5 to 10 degrees a week there after.
3. Purchase a chick waterer and feeder and keep them up off the floor.
4. Socialize your chicks daily so they are used to being touched and handled. This is essential so you can simply be handled through out their life.
Chicken care- Once the chicks have grown feathers
1. Have a chicken coop that gives tons of room for each bird.
2. Inside the hutch each chicken needs at least 3 square feet of room.
3. Outside in the run each chicken needs at least 5 square feet of room.
4. Keep tons of food and water available.
You can feed your chickens virtually something that you can eat. We give our chickens all of our table scraps. If you free range your birds they will scratch and eat every bug and weed seed they find. No poisons needed for pest control.
Chickens are a delicacy to predators. Predators can and will strike day or night. You need to take deterrent measures to look after your poultry from being dispatched. Living in the city you will in all probability simply have to worry about a few of them. Hawks are the most prevalent} ones that come to mind. Hawks hunt from the air and will swoop down and carry a chicken away for a quick meal. Poultry netting or chicken wire is a need to have item covering your run. Nighttime predators are the skunks and foxes. They will take a chicken any time the opportunity presents itself. This is one other reason you will surround your run with chicken wire. Raising you chicken coop off the land will preclude this from happening.