What comes first the chicken or the egg? In the chicken rancher’s case, it’s the chick or chicken. But an interesting way to begin raising chickens is to start by raising chicks. You might need some quick hints on how to start your backyard chick hatchery, which will eventually turn in to a full sized coop. Well it all starts with some simple chicken coop plans and basic care instructions. If you’re interested in starting your chicken ranch from baby chicks and watch them grow, here is some basic information I would recommend.
First find a pet store or hatchery that has baby chicks for sale. The basic packages offered in most instances are purchases from 3 chicks on up. The chicks are very inexpensive; you can get a starter packages under $ 5.00 plus tax depending on the source so shop around for the best deal. The spring time, when there is plenty of chicks available, can be the best time to find your best deals. But just as with human babies they need constant care and attention from the moment you get them. So have a nice, safe place ready for them when you get home. It doesn’t have to be fancy, a small cardboard box with nesting material will do just fine.
If you are going to hatch your own eggs from an incubator make sure you have a safe and warm environment. Keep your eggs at approximately a 100 degree temperature even after your chicks hatch. For the first 2 months you will be using a 100 watt light bulb and decreasing the temperature approximately 5 degrees per week. Keep your bulb pointed towards a corner of the incubator not directly on the chicks you want them warm not baked.
If you have already settled on your chicken coop plans and are ready to put some chickens into it you can also start with young feathered chickens rather than adult chickens. This will give you the known longevity of the chicken to its fullest productive egg laying life.
The quickest option is to purchase adult egg laying chickens from a reputable chicken farm that have Layers for sale. There are different varieties of chickens, so ask if the chickens you are interested in are white or brown egg layers. The leg horn variety is the most common in the United States for their egg laying ability. Your chicken coop plans should allow for the noise factor buffer if you’re concerned about cackling hens because the leg horns are known as an excitable breed.
Make sure to allow your chickens 2-4 sq. ft of space in the hen house and 4-6 sq. ft. in your chicken runs. Allow for adequate water and feeding space along the walls and fences. Ventilation in your coop should be factored in to keep a non toxic healthy air quality for your chickens. For your convenience allow enough space when picking chicken coop plans to maintain your chicken coop daily. Collecting eggs will be much easier if you have enough space to get in and out.
Hank Dodson is the owner of The Chicken Coop Plans Site. Hank has been building chicken coops and caring for chicken for decades. Want to learn more about chickencoop plans? Visit his chickencoop plans site for helpful tips and information on how to build you very own coop.
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