Raising any kind of animal at home takes a lot of hard work and commitment mixed with patience. Each animal requires its own type of care and environment to thrive in. Raising chickens is no different, despite common belief. Many people think chickens don’t need that much attention and can thrive anywhere, but that’s not the case. Like any animal, they have specific needs and specific ways of breeding to ensure their longevity for your benefit. If you’re considering raising chickens, here’s what you need to know.
Make Sure It’s Legal
Before you even consider getting chickens to raise in your backyard or home, you have to make sure it’s legal. Check your city’s ordinances to find out if it’s allowed or if there are any restrictions regarding flock and coop size. Some areas, for example, do not allow keeping roosters because of their loud sounds. It would be counterproductive getting carried away and getting a flock and coop just to have a complaint causing it all to be taken away.
What Do They Need?
Here’s what you’ll need exactly to provide your chicken and how to properly care for them.
Food and water
These are the first things you should know all about since it’s your new daily task. Chicken feed can be bought from any farm store and getting a 24kg bag would last 4 chickens a whole month. They can also eat vegetable peelings, nuts, leftover potatoes or salad, and fruit. As for water, it’s vital they always have fresh clean water. Since that can be a tiresome task, you can get a water box that refills automatically. Make sure you always clean their water source since they may soil it with droppings.
Just like we love the taste of chicken, so do other animals, and that’s why you need to provide constant protection for your chicken from predators. They are easily picked up by animals like foxes, skunks, raccoons, coyotes, hawks, and even dogs. This is why their coop should be safe to escape to. You’ll also need to protect them from any diseases or infections they might get. Constantly picking and eating from the ground can cause your chicken to have worms which the experts over at chookcity.com/chicken-wormer/ recommend using a chicken wormer to get rid of them. It can eliminate any trace of parasites, roundworms, and pinworms before reaching vital organs.
Making the Perfect Coop
A chicken coop is an important aspect to put thought and effort into because it’s where your chicken will spend most of their time. To make it feel like home, you need to give them enough space so they don’t feel threatened. That can be determined according to chicken and flock size. You need to also think about the location of the coop according to your city’s restrictions as well as choosing a place that has lighting and isn’t frequently damp. Whether you’re making your own coop or purchasing it, make sure it’s easy to clean without breaking it.
What’s in It for You?
So this all may seem like a lot of work for just a few chickens, so is it worth it? Well, it’s needless to say that you will always have fresh, nutritious eggs from a known source that tastes better than store-bought eggs. You can benefit from chicken droppings by using it as a natural fertilizer for your garden. Your chickens can also be your gardeners in disguise since they love to dig around and snack on unwanted weeds. Once a chicken finishes its productive egg-laying period, it can be a great source of organic meat cooked for the family.
If you’re planning to be a chicken keeper, you need to get acquainted with the lingo, just like anything you get into. Yes, there’s specific lingo for the chicken raising world to use with other keepers, farm stores, or vets. For example, ‘fowl’ is another word for ‘poultry’ while ‘pullet’ refers to a female chicken that is less than a year old. Even their body parts have their own terms like ‘wattles’ which describes skin that hangs from a chicken’s face.
There you have it, this is pretty much the basics of what you need to know as a beginner in raising chicken. The best thing is that it has now become so popular that you can find answers to any questions that come along the way. Like any new experience, there will be ups and downs, and you are bound to make mistakes and learn from them. Just be patient with yourself and make sure you always research anything you’re not sure about.