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How to Raise Chickens in Backyard?

Other than providing fresh nutritious eggs, backyard chickens also provide their caretakers with valuable companionship. In this article, we will help you understand the basics of caring for and raising healthy and happy backyard chickens.

Aarushi Chadha
Chickens in Backyard

A lot of people with backyards prefer growing vegetables because they have the space and it saves money on going to the grocery store every day and picking up vegetables. Similarly, people also prefer raising chicken in the backyard as it gives them access to fresh meat and nutritious healthy eggs. If you have a spacious backyard and regularly consume eggs or chicken meat, then you should consider raising your own chicken.

This is because by raising chickens you will avoid supporting industrial farming where the chickens are locked in closed spaces and are not allowed to participate in normal social behaviours. It is also a great tool for teaching your children about the food chain, animal husbandry, and sustainable food practices. Plus, the chickens are allowed to move around and even feast on insects such as flies and mosquitos, keeping your garden and crops free from pests.

Things to consider before bringing chickens into your backyard

Before bringing chickens into your garden, you must ask yourself why you want to raise chickens. For instance, whether you want chicken as strictly pets, for eggs, for meat, or for both egg and meat. Chickens need ample space to move around. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have enough space for the chicken to move after building them a coop and a separate area for feeding. It is also important that you have the right tools and medicines in hand for treating illnesses and injuries.

Now, let’s learn how you can raise happy and healthy backyard chickens.

The Coop- A chicken coop is a small enclosure where chickens are kept at night. The coop is meant to give chickens a safe and secure place to rest away from predators. Pre-made coops can be bought, however, they are pricey. Most backyard chicken raises prefer building their own coops to fit their space. It is important to build the coop with strong materials that can provide protection against harsh weather and predators. The coop must have proper ventilation, nesting boxes to lay eggs, and adequate space for the hens to roost off the floor. Also, make sure that there is adequate room for all of your chickens because overcrowding can cause many issues.

Food and vaccinations - After getting chicks from a local breeder, make sure to find a vet that treats chickens that lives relatively nearby your house. The vets will help you understand the nutritional requirements of chicks and chickens and what is the best thing to feed them. You must vaccinate your chicks against major bird diseases. Chickens have different nutritional needs at different stages of their lives.

Vaccinated chicks can eat store-bought un-medicated poultry feed. Chicks and chickens can be fed select fruits, vegetables, cooked beans, apples, grains, berries, corn, and no-sugar cereals to ensure that they receive a nutritionally balanced diet. Make sure to clean their feeding tube regularly because chickens have a habit of pooping in their feeder. Also, the chickens must have constant access to clean drinking water.

Hygiene- Chickens tend to make a mess. They have a tendency to poop in their feeder and even in their brooder area. Therefore, their living space and feeding tube must be cleaned regularly and their litter must also be changed frequently, especially when it becomes wet. Not cleaning their living space can turn it into a breeding ground for bacteria which can make the chickens very sick. Also, ensure that you wear gloves and protective gear while dealing with chickens and clean yourself afterward.

Running space- During the day, chickens like to roam and socialize with other chickens. If you wish to leave the chickens unattended during this time, then it is important that you build them a safe space in the open which is covered with chicken wire in order to protect them from predators.

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