Are you interested in starting a chicken coop or simply want to raise some eggs? Getting backyard chickens is a good choice for you! Raising backyard chickens is an excellent way to save money and get fresh, healthy food. You can also bond with your adorable chickens! There are a lot of things to think about and prepare though, like you will need to get a rat proof chicken feeder.
If you’re looking to start your own flock of hens in your backyard, this article will give you the information you need to know about how to do
Set Up A Brooder
Your first step should be setting up a brooder. This is where your baby chicks will spend their first few days until they are big enough to go outside. The brooder needs to have heat lamps on it so that the temperature stays warm. It should also have pine shavings, a waterer and a feeder to keep the chicks healthy. This is a fairly affordable way to get started, but you must be vigilant and keep an eye on the set up.
Choose Your Chickens
The next thing that you will need to do is choose your chicken breed. They’re all different in terms of temperament and the eggs that they lay. It’s best to choose chickens that will work well with your family dynamics. If you live in a hot climate, for instance, choosing chicks that thrive in colder climates may not be the ideal option. There are some breeds that are typically recommended for beginners. These include cuckoo marans, speckled sussex and light brahmas chicks. They lay all sorts of fun colored eggs too!
Make sure that you get the chicks from the right places too. Local farm stores or hatcheries are usually a good choice. Make sure that the chicks are sexed too – you’ll want to ensure that they are hens or else you won’t have eggs! The hatchery should have signs saying pullet or sexed. if it says straight run then you can’t be sure that you aren’t getting a rooster.
Bring The Chicks Home
Now that their environment is all set up and you have chosen your hens, the next thing to do is to start taking care of them. It’s also time for some bonding. The number one priority is to ensure that your new chicks have plenty of clean water and some chick starter food in their brooder. The food should be high quality so that your little feathered friends are getting all of the nutrients that they need in order to thrive. Spending some time cuddling and interacting with your chicks – it means they’re more likely to trust you! Keep an eye on them and make sure that they are healthy. If anything feels off, don’t be afraid to get in touch with a veterinarian for some advice.
Get Some Permanent Housing Ready for Them
Eventually your chicks are going to need to have somewhere else to stay because the brooder won’t cut it. As soon as they are old enough, you can move them into a permanent housing system. This could be a small cage or even a large pen. Whatever you decide, make sure that it has lots of space for them to roam around. If you’re particularly good with your hands, then you could potentially make your own pen for the chickens.
Make a Decision About Ranging
When you’ve got your chicks settled in, you might want to think about letting them out of the house once in a while. You can let them range freely, or you can use a fenced area to confine them to. There are pros and cons to both, so think carefully about what you want to do. Also check the rules in your state – some areas may not allow hens to roam freely.
Go On Egg Watch!
Once you’ve decided how you’d like to raise your chickens, you’ll want to start collecting eggs. Eggs are a great source of protein and vitamins, which makes them perfect for breakfast. Eventually your hens will start laying eggs after a couple of months – this is incredibly exciting when it happens. In most cases chickens will lay eggs at around 6 months old, but this can vary depending on the hens in question.
Keep On Loving Your Chickens!
Enjoy being a chicken parent – it’s rewarding! Take some time to revel in it and enjoy those sweet, sweet eggs!
Hopefully this article helped you learn a bit more about raising backyard chickens. I hope that you found it useful!