Raising Backyard Chickens

raising chickensRaising one chicken can be a piece of cake for some people especially for those who have some form of past experiences regarding raising other livestock. Raising a group of chickens on the other hand can be the opposite if not done correctly. Taking into consideration that the lives of a lot of hens are at stake, raising your new chickens correctly is critical. Here are a few tips to make sure that your hens live a happy and productive life in your own backyard.

Choose the way in which you want to start your chicken flock. There are several ways to get started on your flock. You can purchase fertile eggs and then hatch them. You can opt to hatch them by yourself by using an incubator or by buying a broody hen and making it sit over the eggs.

Another way to start your flock is by buying pullets. Pullets are hens that have already begun to lay eggs. This usually occurs around 16 to twenty weeks of age. Most chicken breeders encourage this method for first timers. It may demand some work, but the skills that you will develop from cultivating them will help you throughout your backyard chicken hobby.

You can have your pullets debeaked before you purchase them. Never consider doing the debeaking on your own, particularly if you’re only starting out in chicken raising. This is due to the fact that if the debeaking is not done properly, the chick will be distressed and may bleed to death. You may have them debeaked by the grower where you bought it.

A point to remember if you decide to hatch eggs yourself is that there aren’t any ultrasound devices for chicken eggs to show you the sex of the baby chicks. In other words, you may end up with both male and female chickens and since you want only hens for their eggs, this might not be a good idea.

And of course you’ll need a chicken coop to house your new hens. You can read about chicken coop plans here. And if you’re interested in a portable chicken coop click here.

2 Responses to Raising Backyard Chickens

  1. Chris June 9, 2013 at 12:50 am #

    If you plan on raising pullets you need adequate space for them to move around in their pen to raise healthy birds. You should allow 2 square feet per bird inside the enclosed portion of the chicken coop. An outdoor run should provide 10 square feet per hen to allow for adequate exercise. These measurements will allow for your pullets becoming large chickens and will enable you to build one coop without having to add to it in the future.

    Smaller breed chickens like bantams require 1 square foot per bird inside and 4 square feet outside. Average size laying hens need 1 1/2 square feet inside the coop and about 8 feet each outdoors in the run.

    The inside area of the chicken coop is where the pullets will live at night time and it will also include a nesting area for when they reach egg-laying age. The enclosed area needs a solid roof to protect your flock from the weather.

    The outdoor section of a chicken run may be open on the top if there is no threat of airborne predators. However, if hawks or owls are a threat, cover the outdoor run with either chicken wire or bird netting to prevent them from reducing the size of your flock.

    Most enclosed chicken coops have wooden walls. The outdoor run can be built from small gauge wire mesh. Chicken wire is often not strong enough to keep out predators so stronger wire mesh should be used. If digging predators are prevalent in your area, bury an additional 6 inches of wire down and outward from the bottom of the fence.

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  1. The Benefits of Raising Chickens - May 29, 2013

    […] Raising backyard chickens can also provide an income source. This ısn’t just for people who are looking for an additional income stream. This is also for those who are contemplating starting up a business to turn it into their main source of income. One great thing about breeding chickens for profit is that you do not actually need very high investment capital. Aside from that, the competition between chicken breeders isn’t that cut throat which means less anxiety for people who are trying to raise chickens for financial gain. […]

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