I love that raising chickens is catching on as a hobby – even for folks living in the city. And when I see a chicken coop in someone’s backyard, I am always tempted to try it myself. A friend of mine with a healthy little flock of chickens has told me, more than once, that raising them does take research and preparation. If the coop isn’t secure enough, chickens can easily be lost to predators – which of course would break my heart.
So I thought that this post, brought to me by a guest writer, would be a good starting point in learning all about raising backyard chickens.
The following is a contributed post. For more information on my contributed posts, please see this page.
Backyard Chicken 101 – Your Guide to Raising Chickens
There’s nothing better than getting back in touch with nature. And, during the lockdown, many people have been doing just that – by focusing on their gardens.
As a result, raising backyard chickens has become a popular new interest. With a properly built coop, chickens can be fairly low maintenance. It’s a fun project for the whole family, and you’ll certainly notice the difference between home-raised and store-bought eggs.
Where Can I Keep Chickens?
A chicken coop can be built in any private outdoor space. Chickens are very resilient animals and in many cases can cope with both hot and cold seasons. The coop size and shape can vary, depending on your backyard and the number of chickens you will have. Use a little common sense when choosing the position in your yard. You’ll want to provide some shelter to protect them from the elements. Face the front, windows, and outside run to the south to make the most of the sunlight.
Building Your Coop
You can choose whether to build your own chicken coop or buy one. For a little inspiration, here is a selection of poultry homes and accessories. But if you want to tackle a DIY project this summer, you can build a home for your chickens yourself. It’s a good idea to build a one- or two-brick foundation under the edges of the coop to prevent predators from digging. Make sure all walls are sealed with good quality chicken wire. Here is the ultimate guide to building a DIY chicken coop.
What Do Chickens Need?
Chickens need a well-ventilated coop that won’t be prone to moisture. In the winter especially they will need extra dry bedding, hay bales, and a heat source. They are pretty tough in cold weather, but keeping them dry is key. Make sure they have plenty of shade and drinking water in the summer.
Chickens are omnivorous animals and can eat a mixture of ingredients, but it’s better to give them chicken feed to be on the safe side. Here is a guide to supplementing chicken feed.
It’s recommended that hens be kept on your own property, and in a suitable outdoor space. If you’re renting, it’s very important you speak to your landlord first. If you’re looking for a new place to live, remember to check on which animals are allowed, and are a good fit, for any property you are interested in. It’s also a good idea to check with previous owners or your realtor. For more advice on plans for your future home, contact https://altrua.ca.
Chickens are not cuddly pets, so be careful when handling them. Many people tame their birds to be very comfortable with human contact, but always wash your hands after handling them, and be especially careful with toddlers. Here is a health and safety guide about the risks involved.
Like any animal, chickens are a commitment. After lockdowns are lifted, life will become busier again. So, before you commit to raising chickens, be sure to have an honest conversation with yourself about whether you will have the time to care for them in the future. It’s also good to have a plan for who will care for your flock when you and your family are away on vacation.
But, if you do your research and take the proper steps, there’s no reason that you and your new feathered friends can’t coexist in harmony. Take good care of them, and they will provide you with delicious eggs all year round.
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