Raising Happy Chickens
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The lettuce from the bottom of the fridge don't throw out your food scraps, give it to your hens Have a plan for what you are going to do if you end up with roosters. They can be difficult to find homes for them if you can't keep them. Plan ahead.
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- The Basics of Raising Healthy Hens.
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Choose one breed of chicken and get to know that breed. Generally each breed has specific needs and it is easier to start with one breed. I recommend Rhode Island Reds. Or considering helping a heritage breed. Have at least 5 square feet of space for each bird, 10 square feet if they are in a coop all day. Have a place for your hens to perch or roost.
Best to use 2" wide poles. Hens need hours of light a day to lay eggs. In the winter you may supplement with lights set on a timer. Make sure your coop is predator proof! Coop should be well ventilated but not drafty. To encourage egg laying there should be 1 nesting box per 4 hens. Make sure your birds aren't bored. I make sure they have "scratch" in their coop to give them something to work on. The dirty water is water spilled off the dispenser when I fill it.
I fill their bowls with clean rain water, but they prefer to drink from slimy ponds and puddles. One question for you: We have 2 older chickens and 2 older roosters that we inherited from a neighbor lady that passed away. Originally I fed them crumbles but now they all prefer chicken scratch. Is chicken scratch a good complete food choice?
They no longer lay eggs and are pretty much free range chickens in a large pen with grass, trees, etc. Thank you! Maybe I will try mixing the 2 together. I want to take good care of them. I appreciate your advice!!! This info is sooo valuable to us. Just getting into the backyard chicken craze and have heard lots of differing advice as to the breed of chicken to start with. Any truth to that?
The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Happy and Healthy Backyard Chickens
Just a FYI, my Hens love. I give it to them like a treat.. Your email address will not be published. In this article we talk you through exactly what hens need to be healthy and good egg layers. The basics can be summed up in four words: food, water, shelter and safety. So we will take each one and concentrate on the minimum of necessities for each. Rule 1: Food The first step to raising heathy hens is making sure their food and nutrition is correct. Something else you need to provide them with is calcium in the form of oyster shell.
- 1. CHECK YOUR HENS REGULARLY.
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Rule 2: Water Water is essential to all living beings, chickens are no different. Water should be clean and cool- nobody likes drinking warm water. Of course, no-one told the hen she should not drink from filthy puddles though… When the weather is unbearably hot, you can add ice cubes to the drinkers to keep the water cool for longer.
Rule 3: Shelter A coop is basically a wooden box in which the hen sleeps, eats and lays eggs. There should be no drafts on the hens themselves. Rule 4: Safety Everybody loves chicken — foxes, raccoons, coyote, owls, hawks, weasels and fishers.
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If you think this may be a concern in your area, add a padlock to the coop. Do you have any tips or advice to add? Let us know in the comments section below. An old neighbour tells me that birds and beasts know best what they want and what suits them. I would recommend crumbles or pellets even if it is a touch more expensive… Claire.
This is fantastic news Brenda! Hi Milford, You mentioned that most of your hens are beyond laying age?
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