The backyard is an ideal place for raising chickens, especially for those living in urban settings. But before rushing off to the nearest chicken farm to buy chicks, it is important to garner enough information on backyard chicken keeping.
These tips will ensure that your chicken-keeping venture is both successful and productive.
The first step to rearing chicken is to learn something about the birds. The learning process should include information on the legal requirements, proper chicken husbandry, and market for chicken products.
There are a lot of online chicken sites, which provide useful information on chicken keeping. However, you should not believe all that you read on the Internet without reservations. If you are going to rely on the web for information, try as much as possible to stick with reputable web sites.
Other than the Internet, one can also obtain such information from journals, various organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, and from people who are already raising chickens.
Housing the Chickens
The chickens will require a chicken coop to protect them from weather elements, potential predators, and prevent them from wondering off.
The choice of a chicken coop will depend on a number of factors, top of which will definitely be the cost of the coop. The cost of the coop will also be determined by a host of factors. Will you be buying a ready-made coop? Will you be constructing your own coop? What will be the coop size? What materials will the coop be made of? These are just some of the things you will need to be taken into consideration.
For those who love working with their hands and possess some basic building skills, constructing your own coop would be the best way to save cost. Not only will the D.I.Y coop be cheaper, in terms of cost, than a custom made coop, but you will also be able to customize it to fit your backyard setting.
Coop designs can be commissioned from experienced drawers or downloaded from the Internet. And to round it off, you will be able to make use of some waste materials like wood planks and metal sheets.
After providing your chickens with a nice and secure house to live in and roost, you should ensure that proper hygiene is maintained at all times.
The feeding and water troughs must be cleaned on a daily basis and stale food and water replaced at the same frequency. Measures should be taken to ensure that chicken droppings do not come into contact with either the food or water.
The chicken coop should be cleaned regularly and disinfected to keep pests and diseases away. In addition, the chickens should be vaccinated against common chicken diseases like coccidiosis and mycoplasma infection.
You can release the chickens from the coop every once in a while to allow them to roam the backyard. This will allow the chickens to eat bugs such as grasshoppers and earthworms. Chickens love these bugs. Apart from the bugs, they will also help themselves to green vegetation growing on the backyard.
As far as left-over food goes, you can use some of your left-over food to feed the birds. Foods such as bread and cereals are some of the foods you can give to the chickens.