Raising chickens may be fun, interesting and even rewarding but just like everything in life, it requires meticulous planning to rear healthy and productive birds that will give you maximum rewards way down the road.
Chickens offer lots of benefits including eggs and meat, which are excellent sources of protein for millions of people throughout the world. In case you are planning to embark on this practice you might be wondering where to start or how to go about it.
In this article, I shall be sharing some information you may want to consider when buying chickens for rearing. Read on to find out the things you need to know about sourcing and raising your chickens.
If you are a beginner, here are five helpful tips you need to consider when buying your chickens for keeping at home.
Just like other animals, chickens need food, water, medicine, shelter and even bedding. This means you have to spend money to buy these necessities which can include other materials like feeders, water troughs, and a coop.
These materials can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, and you will have to buy some materials like food and drugs on a regular basis. Sometimes you may also have to pay vet bills for instance during chicken sicknesses you are not familiar with.
The idea is that purchasing chickens can involve a high initial capital investment so you should plan your cash sources accordingly.
Depending on your flock and how large your space for foraging will depend on how much feed you will need to buy. This can also include grit if your surrounding does not provide enough for them. Lots of things to consider but not overwhelming as many, many people raise them successfully.
Before you visit the hardware to buy your chicks, be sure to prepare adequate space for your cuties to occupy. With time your chickens grow older, and they will need more space hence you have to provide them adequate living space.
If you are keeping the chicks for eggs, an adult chicken requires about four square feet of floor area per chicken. This area is the same in a cage or coop. Every adult chicken will also need up to 12 inches of perch space.
In addition to that, each will also need about four square feet of outside space’ for running and playing, preferably in a fenced area.
Thus, depending on the number of chicks or chickens you want to keep, the amount of space you need is going to vary.
For instance, you will need up to 100 square feet of coop space and 100 square feet of outside space’ to rear twenty-five chicks. Before you buy your chicks, be sure to calculate your space first.
The cost and quality of coops vary tremendously. The styles are also many and some are chicken tractors that can be moved from area to area. Most of these will have wheels for ease of relocating them.
Like other farm animals that are contained in a controlled space, chickens require your time and energy day after day. You have to give them water, feed them, collect eggs, and even remove their manure every day or so.
These activities may vary depending on the size of your flock and your schedule, although you may need at least an hour or two to several hours to perform these duties each day.
However, you will also have to check your water troughs on a regular basis especially in summer. Additionally, egg collection may take longer time as you may have to collect them at least two times every day, depending on the number and breed of your chicks.
You will also spend additional time to do cleaning and even packaging the eggs. Cleaning needs done on a regular basis if you have a coop and it all depends on how often your chickens are kept up or allowed to free range. This will defiantly take some of your time.
Your coop should be spot cleaned every day, cleaned out at least once in every two weeks and deep cleaned every year.
Many times, the amount of time required for cleaning will depend on how large your cage or coop is and how many chickens you are housing.
Your cutie little buddy may seem harmless, but this creature can be messy sometimes so be careful to take necessary precaution. They tend to shed their feathers, littering everywhere.
In addition to this, they can destroy your garden or flower beds if they get access to it.
If you don’t want the chickens to mess or damage your garden, be sure to fence your gardens to stop them from gaining accessing them. There are several great fences to choose from and all are very cost effective as it does not take a very strong fence to keep a chicken out.
But you should also clean their living spaces lest they contract diseases and infections.
Just like other living things, chicks are prone to death, which can be caused by diseases, injury or old age so you should prepare to deal with such issues.
These birds are pleasant, and you will certainly feel bad when they die.
If you take the time to mix and mingle with them you will find they all will have their own personalities and they will communicate with you if you just learn to listen and watch their mannerisms!
Yes, if you are not careful they will become a pet, just like a dog or cat and you will become attached to them. You will actually find yourself talking to them just like your other pets!
This can make it difficult when you lose one of them regardless of the means by which they expire.
Before you decide to keep chickens at home, talk to your loved ones about some of these concerns to prepare them in advance.
If you consider all the above tips and do them right, you won’t have regrets so be sure to address these concerns before you buy chickens for your home or small farm.
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