Your Comprehensive Guide on How to Raise Chickens
by Dakota Storage Buildings, on February 27, 2023
While raising chickens is not an idle task, it can provide numerous benefits. Chickens offer free eggs, meat, and fertilizer, making it a desired hobby for many who want to be connected with their food. Others simply want chickens for fun. They are great pets and can bring joy and entertainment to your life. No matter your reason for raising chickens, you will need to ensure that you are caring for your flock properly so they remain happy and healthy. Where should you start? This comprehensive guide will walk you through the initial steps to make this dream a reality.
Is Raising Chickens Worth It?
Raising chickens may not be for everyone, but many will find that they are relatively easy to care for, and keeping chickens is a valuable option. Getting your own eggs is reason enough for many families to try out the hobby. With the price of eggs nearly doubling, owning a flock is convenient and budget-friendly. Raising chickens can also produce fertilizer for your garden. If you want to grow vegetables or other plants, you can easily use the compost from your chickens for rich fertilizer. For families with children, raising chickens is a great educational opportunity for your kids. Not only will they learn about how to raise chickens and care for a flock, but they will learn essential life skills like responsibility in the process.
What to Know Before Getting Started
Before you buy your chicks and start, there are a few things to consider.
Coops, runs, and nesting boxes can be a significant expense upfront but should keep your flock secure and comfortable for years. If you live in a colder climate, investing in a heating source for your coop is necessary. If you want happy, laying chickens in the winter, you must ensure they are warm. Investing in nutritious feed is one of the few ongoing costs of raising chickens. One type of feed may not be the best fit for every chicken. Evaluating their nutritional needs and purchasing feed accordingly is crucial.
While the overall space of the coop depends on the breed, there is a general rule of thumb to follow. One medium-sized chicken needs 3 square feet inside the coop and 8 to 10 outside. Since chickens are sociable, having a flock of at least six birds is ideal. This will also provide a steady flow of egg supply. Hens typically lay two eggs every three days. With a flock of six hens, that would be 12 eggs every three days. With this standard-sized flock in mind, your coop would need to be 18 square feet inside the coop and up to 60 square feet outside. This will give your flock adequate space to roam and play during the day.
Chickens are relatively low maintenance, however, they do need to be cared for and require the proper amenities. Water and food are essential for survival and should be easily accessible during the day. If you live in a colder climate, you must invest in a heated water source to prevent frozen water. Ensuring that their water supply is fresh and not contaminated is essential for their health.
Purchasing a Brand New Chicken Coop
A pre-built chicken coop is a convenient option to ensure the coop lasts for years. Each coop should have the necessary features to ensure your flock has adequate space and room to live. Nesting boxes are essential for laying eggs. This designated space lets the chickens lay in a private space. You will typically need one box for every four hens. At night, chickens like to roost off the floor so they are not lying in filth. A roost should not be too big as the chickens will want to bunch together for body heat. Additionally, factors like ventilation and security should be closely examined before purchasing a coop.
Runs are one of the most important aspects of a coop. If you do not intend to have free-range chickens, you must provide a secure space for your flock to roam outside and soak up the sun. This is one of the best ways to ensure your chickens remain happy and healthy. You should provide at least 10 square feet per bird at a minimum. The more the merrier.
We offer both enclosed and free range coops of the highest quality at Dakota Storage Buildings. With pressure-treated floors, roosts, and built-in nesting boxes, it is a convenient option for anyone starting a new flock. By using premium materials, you can rest assured that investing in a pre-built Dakota Storage Building coop will make life with chickens easier.
If You Eat, They Need to Eat too
How often should chickens eat throughout the day? A flock will typically eat multiple meals a day. With a unique digestive system, chickens need to eat once their crops are empty. When they wake up, the first thing they will want to do is eat. Chicken owners should be prepared to wake up early enough to ensure your flock will have fresh feed ready when they wake. They will also feed right before they roost to sustain them throughout the night. On top of that, chickens can eat multiple times throughout the day. A general rule is that when you are hungry, your chickens probably are as well. Checking their feed right before or after you eat can help maintain a schedule and ensure they never miss a meal.
Take a Look into the Future
Now that you know more about raising chickens and caring for a flock, you can begin looking into the different kinds of breeds, how many birds you want, and backyard coops. Life with chickens is exciting and can be super rewarding. While the day-to-day tasks may seem daunting at first, you will quickly get into a rhythm, and caring for your chickens may even be one of your favorite parts of the day.
Your Guide to the Perfect Flock
Raising chickens should be fun! Knowing proper chicken care for a flock and what steps you can take to ensure they are happy and healthy is important and can eliminate unnecessary stress. If you want to learn more about caring for a flock so you can be prepared and enjoy the process, download The Beginners Guide To Getting Backyard Chickens.