How to Raise Chickens for Food
Raising chickens for food is not only profitable, but also convenient for those doing so. Many are learning of the benefits of raising their own chickens for eggs and meat. This is a great way to get involved in local farmers markets and also earn a few bucks, while saving a few of your own from not having to purchase chicken for meat. Before raising your own chickens for food, be sure to do the following:
Before starting with raising your own flock, be sure to check local and state laws, and familiarize yourself with any laws or regulations in place regarding raising chickens.
Make sure you have a suitable chicken coop that can accommodate your flock. If you are raising chickens for their eggs, then you’ll want to be sure to provide plenty of space for your chickens to feel comfortable enough to lay their eggs. Many recommend allowing your flock to free range for happier chickens, and tastier eggs. If you do choose this option, just be sure that the space designated for your flock is safe and secure, and always remove eggs from the hot sun as quickly as possible to avoid spoilage. For free range flocks owners will have to check the area regularly throughout the day.
Whatever flock you choose you’ll want to purchase your chickens or eggs from a trustworthy seller. In order to provide the best quality of meat, you’ll want to start as young as possible. Avoid steroids, and unnecessary chemicals. Make sure to buy feed that is specifically targeted at helping ensure the proper feeding for your purpose. Local feed store employees will be able to help aid you in choosing the best feed for you. Additionally, check any ingredients provided in your feed to make sure your flock will be receiving the proper nutrients and vitamins in order to ensure that you will be raising healthy chickens.
Additionally, always be sure your flock has plenty of fresh water, and air. Chickens will be unhappy if left cooped up in a chicken coop all day. Keep a close eye on your flock to make certain that your flock isn’t sick and stays healthy. If any of your chickens appear to be sick, separate from the flock and make sure to check with a veterinarian. You’ll want to be sure that whatever that chicken is sick with will not be spread to the other members of the flock.
Speak with local feed store or butchers to find out when the best time would be for turning your chickens into food. Many recommend waiting until your chicken is fully mature, but not much past that as the older they get, the tougher the meat will be.
If you are planning on butchering your own chickens, then be sure to learn how to properly de-feather and cut your chicken after. If not, then check local feed stores and butchers to find if someone will be able to do so for you.
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