More and more people all over the world have started raising backyard chickens for home use or commercial purposes. With many people developing an interest in self-sufficiency, the option of raising chickens for egg laying is most attractive. Most people are interested in finding ways to be more self-sufficient.
Although there is definite interest in the self-sufficiency benefits keeping chickens affords, so many just aren’t sure if keeping chicken is worth their efforts. To those yet to be convinced, one only needs to look at all the benefits raising chickens provides.
For instance, in terms of breakfast, there is nothing as good as fresh eggs from your own backyard. At least the source of the eggs is certain. In addition, backyard eggs have rich, big and orangey yolks, which have a nice flavor unlike the other eggs bought from stores that have pale yellowish yolk.
But once you have a genuine interest in raising chicken…
…you need to familiarize yourself on poultry requirements to maintain the new flock. Some people just jump into rearing chicken without giving it much thought, and then once they start with raising their chickens, find it’s too hard for them because they have no idea.
It is best to understand the requirements needed in order to properly raise chickens. For individuals to successfully keep backyard chicken, it is important for them to have proper equipment and housing for the birds. With proper tips on how to raise backyard chicken, this venture will be successful and enjoyable.
Prepare for your chickens’ arrival
The chicken needs plenty of care and attention, so it is important to make necessary arrangements before the birds arrive. Make sure the new home or the brooder is ready, even if it is an elaborate or cardboard box set up.
It is necessary to have enough clean bedding because chicks make the place untidy by pooping a lot. It is also important to have a source of heat, chick waterers and chick feeders. The bedding can either be straw or wood shavings, which should be 2 inches thick. Most people prefer wood shavings since the chicks always start scratching as soon as they are on the ground. The bedding should be dry and clean as much as possible and that means the brooder must be cleaned regularly.
Take care with the feeding
There are special waterers and feeders that are worth investing in. However, a waterer can be made from canning a plate and jar. It is important to keep in mind that the water and feed should be kept free of any contamination. The chicks should be provided with enough food as soon as they are placed into the brooder. During the first days, the owner may have to dip the chick’s beak into the water as a way of teaching them where and how to reach for the water. Afterwards the chicks will be able to do it on their own.
When a new flock of chicken is brought home, the first thing the birds do is try to find something to eat. The type of chicken feed to be purchased depends on the age or stage of the birds. There are so many types of chicken feed available in the stores, so the owner should find the one that is right for the chicken. It is also important to have storage containers to keep poultry supplies so that other animals can’t get to it. This is because as the chicken feed, they tend to scratch causing food to spill and spread which inevitably attracts other pets. Therefore, find containers that can be used to keep food supplies.
Make sure your chickens are warm
The feeder should always be kept full and close to the source of heat. In terms of heat, backyard chicks require a temperature of about 90 degrees Fahrenheit in their initial weeks. However, as the chicks become stronger and bigger, the temperature can be reduced by 5 degrees every week.
In most cases, heat lamps are always used. The heat lamp should be suspended about 24 inches from the floor. The heat should be from a 250-watt light bulb, although there are other people who use 100-watt bulb. Whatever the case, the lamp is usually suspended at the centre of the chick’s brooder so that the chicks can get away from the heat easily if there is need to. The coolest section of the brooder must not be less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
By carefully preparing for your chickens’ arrival before you bring them home, you’re doing all those necessary things you need to in order to maximize the beneficial experience that raising chickens can provide.