ALEXANDRIA, VA – There are many perks to raising your own chickens, and it can give you a sense of pride and purpose from the comfort of your home. However, it’s important to remember that these birds are dependent on you to stay happy and healthy. If you’re considering adding these avian creatures to your property, follow these tips for raising chickens in your backyard to help get you started.
It may seem like a fun activity to hatch chicks. But it actually requires a lot of time, effort, and equipment. Rather than going for eggs, start with healthy chicks so that you can learn how to care for them before taking on hatching. You can often get chicks from feed stores or even via mail order.
There are two types of chickens to be aware of: meat breeds and laying breeds. The type of chicken you get will depend on what you want. Both breeds are rather self-explanatory. If your goal is egg production, you’ll want to go with laying breeds. However, if you get a hen that can’t lay eggs, you’ll have to decide if you’ll use it for meat. There are also dual-purpose chickens.
Coops don’t have to be extravagant. They do need to protect your chickens from outside predators and give them room to roost, roam, and create nests, though. As you continue to keep chickens, you can reevaluate the digs you’ve set up for them. Follow routine chicken coop maintenance tips to keep their areas clean. Also, take measures to provide temperature-regulating features in the coops for inclement weather conditions. You can look into heated water bowls when necessary.
Like most animals, chickens respond well to routines. You don’t need to spend an insurmountable amount of time trying to make them happy. They’re pretty low maintenance. However, putting together a simple schedule for daily feedings, watering, egg collecting, and coop cleaning will ensure that they’re comfortable and know what to expect.
These tips for raising chickens in your backyard will help you start smoothly. Raising chickens can be a very enjoyable and natural way to get farm-fresh eggs or meat. Once you understand chickens better, you may want to look into hatching chicks or increasing the number of birds you keep.