A Beginner's Guide to Raising Backyard Chickens: Everything to Know
Chickens are like potato chips. You can't just have one! There has been an explosion of urban hens in neighborhoods. The word is out: hens make excellent yard friends. Chickens are very simple to take care of, and it turns out that raising them is surprisingly enjoyable. There are many benefits to urban chicken rearing. Of course, the most important is access to fresh, healthy eggs. If you live in the suburbs and want to establish your own backyard chicken colony, you'll appreciate our easy-to-follow guide to raising backyard chickens. We'll go through planning, the pleasures of chicken rearing, and typical blunders to avoid. When you're finally ready to start raising your chickens, purchase nutritious, essential oil-enriched animal food from New Heritage Feed Co. The secret to raising backyard chickens is to keep them well-fed with animal food made especially for them.
Raising Backyard ChickensThere are a few noticeable distinctions between rearing hens in the city and the country. To begin, urban chicken owners must consider loudness, position, appearances, and smell. Chickens are noisy by nature and, particularly, roosters are noisier! It may be difficult to place a chicken coop. An urban chicken coop is usually placed hidden from the neighbors. Even so, it should be as pleasing to the eye as possible. A chicken coop may also begin to smell like a farmyard if it is not properly kept and cleaned regularly. And before rushing off and buying your chickens, there is a little thing called rules and regulations. First, check with your home owner's association or municipality for legal limitations and rules.
Size and Location of Your Chicken CoopPlan the chicken coop site and size well in advance. It's best to start with a small coop and a few chickens until you get used to it. Then slowly does it by increasing the number of chickens one by one. If you have the room, build your coop slightly larger than what you initially planned. In that way, at a later stage, when you do decide to expand your clucking flock, you already have space. Your coop should come before the chickens. You don't want to end up with all your chickens sharing your home with you.
Aesthetics of Your Chickens' HomeChicken coops for urban backyards come in many chicken coop designs. A decent chicken coop must be sufficiently big to house your colony. Additionally, it should be predator-proof. Yes, predators exist in cities, including cats, owls, hawks, and, yes, humans. There are probably a thousand different methods to build an excellent chicken coop for raising backyard chickens. Remember that the coop is your hens' "safe spot." Apart from safety, it should also offer protection from the weather. An attractive coop complements many urban chicken owners' homes but, they may be more costly than purely practical ones. Well-built coops may endure for decades. That is a long time to gaze at an ugly-built coop? So pretty is good! You can buy a variety of chicken coops and kits online. Alternatively, you can look for a local handyperson who can build the right coop to your specifications.
Chicken Coop DimensionsThe general rule is two square feet of flooring space per chicken in the hen house. However, size will vary depending on the breed and how long the chickens have to spend in the coop each day. Ideally, a fenced-in area outside the hen house should be at least eight square feet per chicken. You may go smaller with fencing for chickens if your birds mainly free-range in your backyard. Nesting boxes are somewhat easier. Hens share nesting boxes, so ideally, you will need one nesting box per three chickens.
Breeds of Chickens to ChooseBecause there are about 500 chicken breeds worldwide, not every chicken will meet the requirements and fit your family's needs. To have a decent sense of the kind of chicken breed you want, hold a hen huddle with your family and ask the following questions:
- Why is the purpose of keeping chickens?
- What climate do you experience?
- What are the implications of noise for the neighborhood?
- Do you have space for a coop and run?
- Do I want to let my hens free-range in my neighborhood?
Maintaining and Keeping Your Chickens HappyOnce your flock is set, just like with any other animal, you must check on them and ensure their happiness. Here are some suggestions for chicken coop maintenance:
- Food for chicken and water at all times
- Grit or small stones helps the digestive process
- For laying hens, either oyster shells or a calcium-based food
- A shady area
- Sandy area for the dust bath area
- Climbing branches, swings, and other boredom-busting gadgets