Before you commit yourself into an exciting endeavor of backyard raising chickens, there are a lot of key points to take into consideration for chickens raising. You need to clearly define the purpose of your flock prior to anything else for this will direct the path you choose to take. Questions to ponder on in raising chickens are: Do you need them for a supply of fresh eggs? Do you need them for pest and weed control? Do you need them for fresh meat or their manure as fertilizers? Once you have the answers, you can begin your journey.
Chicks before the chickens – Remember that saying “the early bird catches the worm?” Well, that’s just it-start things off by going for the early bird, or in this case, the chicks. Go to your local feed stores and purchase your choice of baby chicks and preferably fertilized eggs, which your store in an incubator until hatching time. Also have a ready brooder kept in the house wherein which you can confine your chicks.
Chick feed – It is very important that your chicks are supplemented well with proper feed, which is available at your local feed store. You can begin with a chick starter feed which is to be consumed until they are 6 weeks old. Then, you can proceed with the pullet grower feed within a 20-week period before eventually switching to a laying feed.
Maturity stage – Time will come when the chicks will reach maturity, which means a change of venue, like moving them to a bigger shelter to accommodate their current needs. Ensure that there is sufficient space for them to move around and perch conveniently. Have their coop established that they don’t sleep in the nest boxes which are specifically for laying eggs.
A litter, like wood shavings or straw should be scattered underneath the perches. When it becomes soiled and wet, immediately have it changed.
Egg-laying heaven – Egg layers or hens, will only be productive if they are accommodated properly. Nesting boxes should be provided to prepare the hens during their brooding period. Yet, the boxes should closely resemble the actual nest in order for the hens to feel at ease during egg-laying. In some instances, fake eggs are used to deceive them into making use of the nesting boxes. The chicken coop itself should allow easy access to poultry owners come egg collection day. A good option would be a rear trap door for your hen house. Collecting eggs on a regular basis is a must and it also minimizes breakage. Be sure to always keep your eggs fresh at all times.
For more information on backyard chicken raising, please visit our chicken coops and runs center.