Have you ever wanted to raise your own chickens? Raising chickens has become more and more popular for the past few years, and the reason is obvious. Wouldn’t it be satisfying to have your own supply of eggs and meat? On top of that, surplus eggs can be sold to your neighbors, allowing you to earn some money on the side.
But, raising chickens is not something you do without proper planning. Below are some beginner’s tips to ensure a successful endeavor.
Check with Your Local Laws
Before anything else, make sure you are familiar with the local regulations and laws in your area. Knowing the rules makes it easier for you to comply with them. You can search online or call your local city council to inquire about regulations when it comes to raising chickens in your area.
Prepare a Chicken Coop
Prepare the place of shelter for your chicks. Choose a safe location where you will build the chicken coop. Chickens in general are hardy animals yet it doesn’t mean that they don’t need a place to roost and a safe shelter. You can either make your own coop or buy one. Corn cob and pine shavings can serve as bedding. Don’t use newspaper because it doesn’t absorb well and it is also slippery that can lead to deforming of the legs of your chickens.
A space of around 2 to 4 square feet within the coop is enough for each chicken. You also need to have an additional space of 4 to 5 square feet outside so that they can have enough space to run, bathe, and scratch. You should also invest in a chicken feeder and waterer.
Buy Your Chicks from a Reliable Source
Once you have prepared everything, the next step is the most important one. Raising chickens successfully will only be possible if you get your chicks from a reliable source. It is also a must to buy the correct chicken breeds with the best yield.
The type of chicks you will purchase will determine the specific kind of flock you will get. You can buy chicks from local farms, chicken suppliers, and feed stores. You can also hatch your chicks in an incubator. Take note that your chicks should stay near a heat source like a light bulb or heat lamp for them to stay warm. You also need adequate water supply.
Know the Right Diet for Your Chickens
Chickens are going to eat anything, and that means anything that looks edible to them. You can give your chicks a starter feed before they are fully grown until they are 6 weeks old. After that, you can feed them kitchen scraps, green leafy vegetables, and other food leftovers. You have to observe their balanced diet, too. Feed them some pellets, crumbles, and mash every now and then. There are also medicated chicken feeds that keep your chickens protected from diseases. You can find these feeds at feed stores.
Know What Your Chickens Don’t Eat
Aside from knowing what your chickens eat, you also have to know what foods are dangerous to your chickens. Never feed salty foods, dried rice, and chocolate to your chickens. Dried flowers, mushrooms, and red peppers are also not advisable for chickens.
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