Chickens are a popular, straightforward group of animals to raise on both farms and home properties. Because they don't take a large amount of space or maintenance, many people keep a couple of chickens in their backyard so they have a supply of fresh eggs. To raise chickens, check the poultry laws in your area and get started.
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Things you need
- Chicken shed
- Chicken nesting boxes
- Chicken scratch
- Water dishes
Set up a space and make sure you have the right supplies for chickens. Although a shed will make an ideal chicken coop, it is just the start. Measure the coop to determine how many chickens it can house. Each chicken should be allotted 2 to 3 square feet of space. Putting fence around the property will give the chickens a chance to roam without danger of outside predators like coyotes.
Set up nesting boxes for the chickens and line them with straw or shavings. Put additional straw or shavings on the floor of the shed so that chickens who don't want to nest or roost will still have a place to rest.
Set up a heater in your shed. Keep your chickens at a temperature of 26.6 to 32.2 degrees C, and never less than 21.1 degrees C.
Maintain good circulation in the shed by keeping the doors and any windows open during the day. This is important not only for the chickens themselves but also for keeping the shed well aired and odour free. Allow chickens to roam outside at this time as long as you have a fenced area for them. Always shut them in again at night.
Feed chickens on chicken scratch twice a day. Throw several handfuls onto the ground in the area in which your chickens congregate. Chickens will also eat snails, worms and bugs from the lawn.
Provide water for the chickens in heavy, shallow dishes. Change out the water regularly to keep it clean, as chickens will probably walk through it and may even attempt to bathe in it.
Clean the chicken coop once a week to keep it clean and as odour free as possible. Gather eggs from the nests ever morning once chickens begin laying.
Tips and warnings
- Cornish chickens are the most popular home chickens in the USA.
- Protect flower and vegetable gardens from chicken damage by building small fences around them.
- Many cities have laws against keeping chickens. Always check city laws before putting chickens in your yard.
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