Raising chickens can be an easy and enjoyable experience for families or individuals. Many may not necessarily know where to start, but here are the top ten tips for raising your own healthy, happy flock.
It’s even more exciting if you have surplus eggs you can sell to your neighbors and get some cash while you’re at it. However, many people are skeptical about the idea of rearing chickens. Some people believe it’s very demanding to maintain a healthy flock of chickens. Others would want to raise them, but don’t know where to start.
What do you need to consider if you want to start raising chickens? Read on for five beginner’s tips to ensure your endeavors to raise your own chickens will succeed:
Check the local laws
Be sure to acquaint yourself with local laws and regulations first so you know what is required of you legally. When you know what the rules expect you to do, complying becomes easier. It’s relatively easy to conduct a search online or give your local city council a call to inquire if there are any set regulations in regard to keeping chickens in your area.
Have a Chicken Coop
Before you bring in the chicks, have their place of shelter in place. Select a safe place to build your chicken coop. Generally chickens are relatively hardy animals, but that doesn’t mean they don’t require shelter and a place to roost. You can buy a coop from the market or online on sites like topchickencoops.com or make your own. Use pine shavings and corn cob as bedding. Avoid newspaper since it does not absorb well not to mention that it is slippery which can lead to deforming of your chicken’s legs.
Know Where to Buy your Chicks
Now that you’ve got everything in place here comes the main and most important part in your quest to start raising chickens. Not only do you need to buy your chicks from reputable sources, you need to buy the correct and most yielding chicken breeds too.
The type of chicks you buy will ultimately determine the kind of flock you will end up with. Chicks can be purchased from feed stores, local farms and chicken suppliers. You can hatch your own chicks in incubators as well. Note that chicks should be kept near a source of heat such as a heat lamp or a lightbulb to keep them warm. They should have adequate supply of water too.
Know What to Feed your Chickens
Chickens will eat anything. When I say anything I mean literally anything that looks edible to them. Before the chicks are fully grown, feed them a starter feed until they are six weeks old. Then, you can feed them on green leafy vegetables, kitchen scraps, and any food left over’s. You need to feed your chickens on a balanced diet as well. Occasionally feed them some mash, pellets and crumbles. Some chicken feed is even medicated to ensure your chickens are protected from disease. Most of these feeds are readily available at feed stores.
Know What Chickens don’t eat
There’s more to raising chickens than just knowing what they eat. You also need to know which foods are harmful to your chickens. Whatever you do, don’t feed your chickens chocolate, dried rice and salty foods. Chickens also don’t eat red peppers, dried flowers and mushrooms. While you may not be able to observe what your chickens eat all the time, ensure you maintain a keen eye on them whenever you can.
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Filled Under: Hobby Posted on: November 18, 2016