So, you're interested in raising chickens? You've embarked on a fun an exciting journey
Below are the absolute basics of raising chickens.
Why Raise Chickens?
Here are a few of the most frequently expressed reasons people raise chickens:
- Easy and inexpensive to maintain (when compared to most other pets)
- Eggs that are fresh, great-tasting; nutritious
- Chemical-free bug and weed control
- Manufacture the worlds best fertilizer
- Fun; friendly pets with personality (yes, you read that right)
Where To Get Chicks:
- Local Feed Stores often carry a variety of day old chicks around Spring
- Hatch chicks from egg
How To Care For A Chick - First 60 Days:
- Young Chick Brooder - Can be as simple as a sturdy cardboard box or a small animal cage like one you'd use for rabbits.
- Flooring - Pine shavings work best
- Temperature - 90 to 100 deg. for the first week, decrease 5 deg. per week. A 100 watt bulb pointing in one corner (not the whole brooder) works well.
- Food; water - chick crumbles / starter; a chick waterer
- Play time - Play with your chicks when young to get the use to being around people.
- Outside time - Section off an area in your yard where the chicks can explore, scratch, etc. Make sure you can catch them when it's time to come in.
Chicken Care After First 60 Days, General Chicken Care:
- Chicken Coops - Once feathered out you'll want to move your chickens into a chicken coop! Rule of thumb is about 2-3 square feet per chicken inside the henhouse and 4-5 sq/ft per chicken in an outside run. Keep local predators in mind and make a safe home for your flock!/li>
- Flooring - Pine shavings work best.
- Food & water - Most people go with chicken layer feed / pellets. You can even make a chicken feeder / waterer
- Vegetables, bread, bugs, chicken scratch (cracked corn, milo, wheat)