Tips on Raising Chickens in Your Backyard
Raising Chickens in Your Backyard
Raising Chickens in Your Backyard
How nice it would be if you had a chicken to keep your company and one that provided you great nutrition too! As more and more people are fast discovering, these are just two of the advantages of raising chicken. Provided you live in an area where there is no town ordinance prohibiting the keeping of poultry, you can raise chicken in your backyard and create a never-ending source of fresh and nutritious eggs for your family.
Who can Raise Chickens
Chickens are very easy to raise and almost anyone can take up this task. The only thing you need to be aware of is the local laws governing poultry farming. Town laws in certain places do not allow residents to raise chickens and therefore, it is best to enquire with your municipality as well as health board before you begin to do so.
What are the Benefits of Raising Chickens
Besides providing you with fresh and tasty eggs, your chickens will serve to control the growth of weeds and restrict the insect population in the areas surrounding your house. Moreover, their waste also provides you with an effective natural fertilizer that can work wonders on your garden plants. Perhaps most importantly, these little creatures will serve as loving pets for your children to play with.
Getting Started with Raising Chickens
The best time to start is around spring time because at this time, most feed stores will have a stock of chicks that are about one day old. Of course, you may also begin from scratch, hatching the chicks from fertile eggs in a chicken egg incubator.
To prepare a chick brooder, simply use a rabbit cage or a strong box of cardboard and cover the floor with pine shavings. For the first one week, you will need to maintain the brooder temperature between 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This is best achieved by placing a 100-watt bulb at one side of the brooder. Feed the chicken with chick crumbles and water. Create a separate area in the yard for the chicks to play and scratch around for a few minutes every day before you put them back into the brooder.
Moving Chickens Out
When your chickens grow their feathers, the brooder will be too cramped for them and it is time to move them out to a coop that allows at least 2 square feet for each chicken. At this time, you will need to feed them chicken layer pellets and provide them with additional foods such as small bugs and insects, a few vegetables and corn or wheat.
Look Out for the Eggs
Once the hens turn about 6 months old, they are ready to begin laying eggs. The egg production is maximum in the first year and especially high during summer. As winter sets in, the drop in daylight hours causes the production of eggs to drop. Depending on the breed of your chickens, you may find the eggs are speckled, white, different shades of brown, pinkish or even blue in color. Although the shade of color may change slightly, the basic color of the egg from a particular chicken will remain the same throughout.
Caring for Chickens is Easy
Chickens are one of the easiest animals to maintain because all they need is a refilling of the feed and water and letting into and outside the coop at fixed times. There is no need for frequent housekeeping either and it is sufficient to clean the coop about once a month. You will, of course, need to do complete coop disinfection about once every six months to ensure your lovable pets stay healthy.
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