Raising chickens has become a pretty popular lifestyle choice. Not only are chickens personable and cute, but they can feed you too. Eggs, I mean. So how can you raise chickens the right way?
Many of us dream about what it would be like to become more self-sufficient. Like raising chickens. It’s not hard to see why we think this would be a good idea. After all, nothing compares to the satisfaction you feel when the food on your plate has come directly through your own toil.
Unless we have plenty of land and no full-time job, this isn’t going to be a practical reality for every single day. But I digress.
There’s more than enough opportunity for someone who may only have a few hours each day to tend to these efforts. When most of the hard work is out of the way, maintaining your garden is a relatively simple effort. It might be that you’re interested in growing herbs or vegetables. However, raising chickens is fun, will give you eggs (which are healthy) and provide some ‘friends’ to chat with while you’re gardening.
In this post, we hope to give you a simple guide to rearing and caring for chickens in your garden. It’s something that can be a very interesting and enjoyable process. Please, consider:
Raising Chickens + Protecting Against Foxes
Foxes and other wildlife are an important consideration. Because without proper protections they will be interested in your chicken coop… for obvious reasons.
While in rural environments certain firearms are allowed (even in the UK where gun control is relatively strong), in urban environments this may not be needed and could result in an accident.
Installing privacy fencing using stainless steel wire to protect chickens in their coop whilst ventilating the environment well is the first step. Ebsure fencing is UNDER the coop as well as around and above it. Predators will bury under the soil to get into a chicken coop. Another option is to also install motion-sensor lights on your driveway or backyard access. This can help deter foxes or other animals from stalking your property at night.
Foxes are more of a pressing challenge in rural environments. So in addition to the above precautions, also be vigilant and always lock your chickens in their coop at night.
Building A Coop for Raising Chickens
There are many excellent pre-built chicken coops available that can be utilized effectively. Look for those that have easy rooftop access, taller sheds that can offer perched rows for chickens to sleep upright, and divided cubicles within for the hens to feel safe to lay. All of these are important to ensure your chickens are healthy and potentially lay at night.
Chickens can often sleep quite close to one another. When raising chickens ensure that the number of chickens you have in the coop will not cause distress or discomfort.
Also remember that roosters can often fight if part of the same group, as they will want to establish dominance. Additionally, it will be harder to clean a tighter coop. Even free-range chickens can encounter a great deal of stress if not given an ample room to move and sleep.
We would also recommend replenishing this coop with fresh straw everyday, collecting the eggs correctly, and once a week cleaning the coop as much as you can.
For someone who has yet to look after a farmyard ‘pride’, doing so can introduce you to smells and conditions that may surprise you. That being said, you’ll get used to it rather quickly, and maintenance is simple enough once you know what to do.
Feeding + Care Of Your Precious Chickens
It’s important to consider the feeding and care of your chickens, and to understand what your duties are. Having their wings clipped as they grow can prevent them from flying a good distance out of your garden. This will keep them within the environment you have carefully crafted for them.
This can seem harsh, but is rather painless and also a soft mercy to prevent them from venturing into further danger. Most farmyard vets will be happy to do this.
Feeding is also quite simple. Purchase a large amount of chicken feed and distribute each morning. And perhaps night, depending on the type of chickens you have.
Feed them the scraps from certain meals such as ground-up banana peels and other suitable raw foods. However, this should be considered a supplementary part of their diet.
When you are raising chickens, you may need to register them with the local farmyard authority or Council.
And don’t forget that chickens need to drink and bathe too. Therefore, two large containers of water should be available for them and replenished daily.
With this advice, you’re sure to be raising chickens very well.