Chickens are some of the easiest animals to raise. They don’t take up too much space, will gladly fend for themselves, and generally don’t require too much care and maintenance.
To this end, you can comfortably raise chickens in the backyard and enjoy organic chicken eggs and meat.
Here are five beginner tips for raising chickens in your backyard:
1. Do Your Research
How much do you know about chickens? Do you know what breeds are good for meat and which ones are ideal for eggs?
Many people rush into raising chickens only to get rude shocks and realizations when they run into obstacles. Chickens are just birds, but they have unique characteristics and requirements. As such, it pays to learn more about chickens and what it takes to raise them before starting the project.
2. Build a Coop
Your backyard will need a coop if chickens will be moving in. The coop will shelter them at night, house their food and water, keep them warm, and act as a defense against predators. As such, build a coop that can house as many chickens as you plan to raise. Ensure that the coop is steady and aerated. Alternatively, get a ready-made, store-bought coop if you are not handy with timber work.
3. Secure the Backyard
Chickens are prime prey for every predator in the neighborhood. Dogs, cats, raccoons, and other creatures all pose a risk to the chickens. As such, ensure that you secure that back yard by taking all necessary measures.
For example, erecting a strong and deep-seated fence will help keep the dogs and raccoons out. Additionally, trimming the grass using hillside mowers will make it inhabitable for smaller creatures like venomous snakes and spiders.
4. Feed Them Well
Chickens spend most of their days pecking away at anything they can eat. They can eat lots of things, from seeds and grains to small creatures. They have fast metabolisms, and they need the food to grow big and healthy. They also need lots of food to keep laying those tasty eggs.
Feed your chickens well to support healthy growth. They will eat anything if they are not satisfied, and this can put their health at risk. They will also experience stunted growth and starve to death if they don’t have enough to eat.
5. Keep Them Clean & Healthy
Chickens can be messy. They are reckless eaters and leave their droppings everywhere. However, they need to live in a clean and healthy environment for healthy growth. Otherwise, they will contract infections such as salmonella, which would make their meat and eggs unhealthy. What’s more, their mess can stink the back yard if left to accumulate.
As such, keep the coop clean and clean up after letting out the feathery creatures into the backyard. Additionally, schedule regular checkups with the vet to monitor their health.
Raising chickens can be a fun and fulfilling experience. However, it is also a responsibility that will require some work on your part. As such, do thorough research on chickens and practice these tips to make the experience positive.