How To Raise Chickens
There is a lot to like about raising chickens. Chicken are a great species as they are inexpensive, easy to care for and rewarding. The eggs they produce are fresh and tastier than those found in egg stores. Someone may be looking for just laying hens, or a combination of laying hens and chicken for meat, but is not sure how to take care of them. Below is a guide on how to raise chicken.
Choosing the Best Breeds
Today, there are more than 400 varieties of chickens available. When selecting a breed or breeds for the flock, factors such as climate, egg production levels and breed temperaments should be considered. One should also consider whether he or she wants purely an egg producer or a dual purpose bird that is good for both meat and eggs. Combination of multiple breeds in a single flock is not a bad idea as they will all get along. The chicken will establish a pecking order irrespective of whether there is just one breed or several. For those who wish to breed their flock and are looking for purity, they might want to stick to just one breed. Alternatively, each breed can be housed separately.
Picking a Management Method
Space limitation will determine whether someone will keep his or her chicken confined in a coop or will allow them roam in the fields. If an individual lives in a suburban or rural setting, then keeping the birds confined is recommended. A fenced run should be set outside their coop for sunshine and fresh air. Chicken coops come in various possibilities. They can massive and complex, small and simple, made using salvaged materials or pretty enough to be set up in a city backyard. They can be bought premade or the owner can build them personally. What matters is that they should have adequate size, ventilation as well as offer protection from predators.
Chicken will scratch and eat in garden plants and flowers; hence the owner needs to be careful when letting them free range. The owner may want the chicken to have space to roaming around and eat fresh grass, but also wants to protect his garden and crops. Should this be the case, then one can buy or build a chicken tractor. A portable electric fence will be used to enclose a perimeter around the tractor. The chicken tractor and portable fencing will be moved to a fresh ground after every few days. This movement will depend on the number of chicken and the space available.
A rooster will not be needed since it is possible to get eggs from chickens without one. However, there are several reasons why roosters may be needed. For one, a rooster will be needed if the owner wants to hatch his or her own chicks. Additionally, roosters do offer some protection to the chicken against predators.
Maintaining the flock and offering the chicken some ongoing care is quite easy. The main tasks involve feeding the chicken, watering them, gathering eggs and regularly cleaning their beddings. The owner should ensure that he or she maintains the schedule, as chicken cannot go for long without food and water.