Basics For Raising Chickens
This is an incomplete outline of what people who want chickens should look at before getting them. Since each person may have different "needs" or wants, for their chickens. These are good questions to ask yourselves, and the answers will help you plan ahead. There is nothing "fun" about animalsthat are unhappy or worse uncared for.
The first thing you must consider is how much space you want to give to the chickens. This is important, because once the chickens have it, it is theirs. You can't really do much after they have ''used'' it. The will eat everything and dig lots of holes.This is where fences are very important. Remember some chickens are very good flyers.
Next, how much time do you want to spend on the chickens? Breeding show chickens is a lot of work, having a small backyard flock for eggs is fairly easy. Remember: A little bit of planning goes a long way. More chickens equals more time,one coop verses 2 coops.
What are my Goals? What do I want chickens for?? Do you want eggs, pets, garden work, breeding and showing or all of the above? Setting a goal allows you to make the right decisions about which coop and what type of chickens. A simple backyard flock for eggs needs just a few basic items: Housing, food, water, and shelter.
Research the chickens and care before they get home. Buy the book, got to the web, ask other people. Have everything on hand before they get home. This saves a lot of headaches, and allows the chickens to settle in faster. What Age of chicken do I start with? What type of food? How do I keep a chicken happy as it gets older?
Coop lay out-there are many options and designs for your chicken coop. Things to consider are: Size of the coop, size of the flock, types of chickens, production goals, the run, ventilation, cleaning, easy access, proximity to garden and compost pile, permanent fences, neighbors, weather and your house. What type of Materials do you want your coop made of? There are a lot of ready made coops available, but do they fit with what you want?
Consider Family interactions; this means the entire family, 4 legged as well. Dogs and cats don't have to touch a chicken to kill it. Same goes for small children. Chickens are a great tool for teaching responsibilities, and show benefits of a job well done. Happy chickens are very productive Sad and dirty ones tend to get sick; which brings us to: Health considerations. What do I need to do to keep my chickens happy? Research and ask others who have chickens. Not everything works for every chicken, but most people figure out what their chickens like.Read More...