Raising 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.