Are you raising Chickens? Here’s how to keep them happy and healthy!

Chickens are indeed a wonderful family pet but they are much more besides. By raising chickens you will benefit from scrumptious freshly laid eggs, help with pest control, natural fertilizer and if you wish, a very tasty and healthy meal. But ow can you be sure that your chickens are happy with their lot? Let’s take a look at the ways you can make their life as comfortable as possible with little effort and without breaking the bank!

Feeding your chicken the right food is important. Chickens need a good quality chicken feed, calcium (oyster shells are good for this)) and grit although a lot of chicken will feed will include the calcium and grit. Speak to the folk in your local feed store and they will advise what’s best for your breed and age of chicken. Some people who are raising chickens prefer to feed them with food from their own kitchen but for beginners a commercial feed is easiest and simplest as it ensures your chickens are getting the best range of vitamins and minerals. Chickens do love clean water for drinking so make sure to give them fresh water every day.

It is equally important that your chickens have a coop that is adequate in size, layout and position. You coop should be built or bought in mind to give 2-3 square feet of space for each chicken. So it’s a good idea to buy or build a coop bigger than you need in case you later decide to raise more chickens. There should be a 2 inch thick perch positioned around 10 inches off the floor. Allow for about 10 inches perch space per chicken. Its important to remember when raising chickens that they must feel safe. Chickens do stress quite easily. This can seriuosly affect their health. If the coop is located off the ground then you are giving your birds much better protection from predators especially those who might burrow underground to get to your chickens. Chickens will go inside the coop at dark of their own accord but don’t forget if you need to also close the coop door to protect them from predators. If so you will also need to remember to open it in the morning.

The coop must be warm, dry and cleaned frequently. Make sure the material that the coop is made from will stand up to the weather. Depending on where you live you will have to think about ventilation and heat. When raising chickens in warmer countries you may have larger doors and slider windows. For colder countries, smaller windows and doors and insulation might be necessary. It is not advisable to have a felt roof as it can be breeding ground for mites. Build or choose a coop that allows you easy access to clean the coop regularly.

Chickens love to scratch about. By building a chicken run your chickens will have great freedom and will be happy to scratch all day looking for bugs and insects! They will eat however eat your grass so don’t place them in your prize winning lawn but on the flip side they will eat all your weeds, insects and bugs! Each chicken should ideally have 3-4 square foot of space to run about in.

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