Friday, July 31, 2009

Top 10 Tips For Raising Chickens In Your Backyard;

My Top 10 Tips for raising chickens in your backyard;

1. Keep chicken coop clean with fresh water, food and remove droppings.

2. Give chickens enough space to scratch and peck and perch. No cages!

3. Always check on the chickens daily to observe their behavior in case of sickness (and for fun!).

4. Collect eggs daily.

5. Obey the guidelines and regulations of your particular city. Check with your local city hall first to determine if you can legally raise chickens and what the restrictions are.

6. Never chase chickens and approach coop area calmly.

7. Quarantine sick chickens immediately.

8. Diversify their diet of regular feed with fresh table scraps, bread, fresh veggies (especially green veg) and the occasional treat of corn. Mixing in some ground oyster shell with the feed will add calcium, which makes their shells stronger.

9. Keep them safe from predators and offer them some cover from above (They don't like hawks). They will need a nice dark box for laying, perches for sleeping and a run for scratching.

10. Chickens “clean” themselves by taking dust baths, but the odd dusting of mite powder does no harm. By rolling around in the dirt, they’re ridding themselves of mites. So give them access to a patch of dry, loose soil.

What Breed Of Chicken Should I Get?

Fun breeds that are more relaxed for backyards include Silkies, Cochin, Mille Fleur, Americana, Plymouth Rock, Jersey Giant and Polish.

How Much Does A Chicken Cost?

Expect to pay about $3 to $4 per chick for more common varieties. $12 to $15 for a 4 month just before laying begins. Adult chickens generally will eat a quarter pound of feed a day. A 50-pound bag of feed is about $12.

Hens will start laying at about 16 weeks old. A good laying hen will produce an egg a day. Chickens are social animals and need company, so keep a minimum of four to keep them happy and healthy.


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Peter Skuse said...

What a great idea. Glad to be of some help. Just imagine what a great World it would be if we all acted like that. Best of luck to you all :-)

'poultry equipment' - Change the straw every week in the coop, and have a 'droppings tray' underneath the hens perch. This captures most of the droppings during the night and should be cleaned daily.

I would keep a max of six hens in that space, as you should be rotating their run area every week to avoid bugs and pests building up. It also gives the grass a chance to recover. If you are using a 'deep litter' system, then you could have more hens, but I prefer free range.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for the straightforward tips! As a new chicken owner sometimes I just want to hear what I need to know. Love your blog!