Even if you plan to raise chickens for meat or eggs, there are several things you should keep in mind. In addition to having a high fence and a chicken coop, these tips include feeding your chicken crushed eggshells, clipping your chickens’ wings regularly, and deciding whether or not you want roosters.
To get the most out of your hens, read and follow the advice provided below.
Build a high enough barrier
Like most barnyard animals, Chickens are prone to wandering, especially if they don’t have what they need to keep them occupied for lengthy periods.
At some point during the day, you may find your hens wandering around in an area of the backyard where they aren’t intended to be, so keep an eye out for them.
This necessitates the installation of a taller fence. If you want to keep your hens in, you’ll need a fence that can withstand their jumps of six feet.
This gives you 6 feet of the fence if you use an 8-foot post and bury it up to 2 feet into the earth. It’s also a good idea to utilize poultry wire because your chickens won’t be able to go through your fence, which will save you money.
Keeping an eye out for any holes in your fence is also a good idea because if a chicken finds a hole, it will exploit it. However, once the fence is in place, your chickens should be able to remain in their designated area.
Provide your chickens with a chicken coop.
So, if you’re planning on building or purchasing a chicken coop, be cautious. According to Dummies.com, we need at least 24 square feet of space for our 8 hens.
All those chickens can live comfortably in a coop that measures 6 feet 4 inches by 8 feet 3 inches. Building your chicken coop up instead of out to accommodate additional birds can also make it less expensive.
However, ensuring that the hens have adequate space is critical if you want them to lay an adequate number of eggs. Because if they don’t feel at ease in their coop, they won’t be able to rest there.
Keep your chicken cage warm enough.
Depending on whoever you ask, you may or may not want to use a heat light in your chicken coop. If you live in an area where it’s often hot, like Arizona or California, your chickens won’t notice much temperature variation.
You and your chickens will be miserable if it’s 90 degrees outside because the coop will be dimmer inside. You may want to consider a heat lamp for your chicken coop if you live where it gets cold in the winter or even snows.
Chickens lay eggs only when they are at ease. While their feathers do help keep them warm, they may not be able to keep warm in the snow
Furthermore, chickens are quite specific creatures, and they will cease to lay eggs if their environment undergoes an excessive amount of change.
So if the coop is hot one day and freezing the next, the chickens won’t produce as many eggs. This winter, think about investing in a heat lamp for your hens.
If it rains, make sure that your cords are covered so that you don’t short out anything else and no one gets hurt!
Keep the chicken coop well-ventilated to keep out the cold.
As previously said, hens rely on heat to keep them warm. Therefore, giving a heat light will be beneficial in this regard.
However, a draught in the chicken coop could render the heat lamp ineffective. There will be cold air coming in through the draught from outside, which will cause the chickens’ bodies to become chilled.
This applies year-round, not just while the hens are kept warm by a heat lamp. The chicken coop may have a drought during the summer, causing the chickens to overheat.
As a result, fewer eggs are laid by the birds. So, walk around the chicken coop frequently to check for any draughts.
Include any holes or crevices in the chicken coop walls. Seep some wood putty and patch in any gaps or crevices that allow a draught to get in.
Provide defense against outside threats.
As powerful and swift as chickens are, they are better at evading us humans than hawks or other fowl predators. Hawks and other flying creatures can swoop in and steal a chicken before anyone notices.
To avoid this, you can keep the hens behind a fence or a ceiling all day so that no flying animals can get them. Other predators of chickens include foxes and raccoons, although they won’t be flying in from the sky to attack.
For these predators, holes in the fence or digging under the fence is a common method of entry. As a result, the first thing you need to do is mend the fence’s holes.
Second, make sure you bury the fence about 6 inches under the earth. The bottom of the fence should be able to roll out once it has been buried 6 inches deep.
To clarify, the fence extends outward (parallel to the ground) from the fence by about 6 inches. A predator’s attempt to dig under the barrier results in them slamming into the fence as they exit.
They’ll stop digging once they get to this point of the barrier. In this way, you won’t wake up one day and find that most of your flock has vanished. Maintain a consistent schedule for clearing up their chicken coop.
Chickens prefer their coops to be clean and orderly.
You’ll have to go outside and clean out their chicken coop due to this. Chickens don’t want to lay eggs where their feces is, and the scent will soon become overwhelming.
So you’ll have to clean the chicken coop regularly. Ensure to get rid of any pine bedding and replace it with new pine bedding as part of the cleaning process.
You can then dispose of the old pine bedding and chicken dung in your compost pile. Use the same routine with the birds every day.
In the last section, we learned that chickens are creatures of habit.
As a rule, they prefer to eat each day simultaneously. Providing them with food and water daily and checking on them to make sure they have enough.
In addition, make sure that their water bowl is spotless. Chickens stopped producing eggs for a few weeks, and we couldn’t figure out what was going on.
A few days later, they started bringing us eggs again after we cleaned up their water feeder. To avoid worrying about whether they will lay eggs, set up a schedule for cleaning their water feeders at regular intervals.
Crushed eggshells can be fed to your chickens.
Using eggshells to supplement your chickens’ calcium intake is an excellent way. Replace that calcium with something else.
So why not return the eggshells to the hens who provided them? You can’t just return the eggs to them now without fear of consequences (see the last point in the list)
That said, there is a middle ground you can mediate. You should ground up the eggshells before feeding them to the birds.
Using a rubber mallet or a knife to smash them may be necessary. Toss the eggshells and other scraps into the chicken feeder once you’ve crushed them. Chickens won’t be able to tell the difference, and they’ll be getting the calcium they need.
Regularly trim their wings.
Chickens might not be flight animals, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t cut their wings. The fact that they can soar up to six feet in the air indicates gliding on their wings.
And if you aren’t routinely trimming their wings, they will be hopping over your fence. Now, don’t simply go out there and start cutting.
There is a procedure to how you want to clip their wings. The first thing you need is a pair of decent shears. We invested in a good pair of sheep shears.
Cut roughly halfway up the feathers if this is your first time cutting chicken wings soon as your chicken starts bleeding, you’ve gone too far and need to back down in your cooking method.
After one wing is done, you’re done with the bird. The chicken can’t float and normally glide if the wings are left irregularly sliced. Then it won’t get past your fence and into your yard.
Think about whether or not you want roosters in your yard.
It’s a great idea to purchase a rooster for several reasons. The first step is to ensure the safety of your poultry in general, roosters are excellent at keeping predators away from your chicken coop and ensuring their safety.
Eggs can be fertilized for a second reason. Most people who raise chickens do it by purchasing chicks from the store and raising them in today’s world
Even though roosters are great at guarding your hens, they can also be vicious predators who will prey on your flock.
Roosters can kill chickens, so keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t do it. Roosters crow in the early hours of the morning so is prepared for that.
If you live next door to your neighbors, they may not appreciate your noise. Chickens near your bedroom window may not be ideal, either. So before you buy a rooster, take some time to consider the pros and cons.
The chickens will appreciate a good dust wash.
Chickens benefit greatly from dust baths. In other words, it assists them in getting rid of any critters that might be attached to their feathers.
It also aids in the removal of any extra oils from their feathers. You must give your hens lots of dust and dirt to wash in
It’s up to you to make sure they don’t go looking for it. To bring them back to where they belong, you’ll have to chase them around your yard.
Recommended: Top 11 Tips for Keeping Ducks
Inspect the chicken coop and surrounding area frequently for eggs
So now that you’ve spent all that time and money building a chicken coop and keeping it warm and sanitary, your chickens will still be looking for somewhere else to lay their eggs.
In the chicken coop or outside, something may happen. The hens are on the prowl for a quiet spot to lay their eggs, concealed from view
My brother-in-law and I were chatting in your front yard the other day while we had family in town. When I saw something in the corner of my eye, I decided to walk over to see if I could find it.
It turned out to be one of our chickens hiding out in the front yard under a bush there had never before been a chicken in that area.
After relocating the bird, I discovered seven eggs when I returned to the bush. It’s important to monitor the area around your chickens to determine whether they are escaping or if they are producing as many eggs as you expected.
Check to see whether your birds aren’t eating their eggs.
Inadequate feeding or a lack of adherence to a regular feeding plan might lead to hungry chickens may end up eating their eggs as a result of this.
This is avoidable, but there are a few things you can do. In the first place, be sure to provide your hens with enough food to meet their nutritional requirements, including calcium from crushed eggshells.
Second, put a fake egg or two in your chickens’ brooding room to keep them distracted. People who have been injured by eating a phony egg will be discouraged from eating real eggs. However, if one of your hens eats an egg, the rest of them will likely follow suit.
Many people think keeping chickens is a lot of labor, but it’s rather simple. A happy flock and plenty of eggs are possible if you adhere to the advice in this article.