Raising your own chickens for eggs is a growing trend across the nation, and it doesn’t seem to be just with people who live in the country. Having a flock of chickens in the backyard can be quite fascinating, not to mention the benefits of getting fresh eggs every day and learning about farm sustainability. Luckily, creating a space, routine and finding supplies to raise your new chickens is not that difficult.Where should you begin with raising poultry?
The first task is to decide what type of poultry you want to raise. All chickens are not alike, and not all eggs are the same. Some birds lay with different frequencies, and some fowl have traits that make them more difficult to raise. If you’re looking for easier birds that lay frequently, here are a few of the many types to consider.
- Rhode Island Reds: These guys are possibly the most common choice for laying hens because they are considered dual-purpose. They typically lay 250 times per year and can be raised for meat. They are also quite resilient birds.
- Sussex: These poultry types are very tame, will lay up to 250 times a year, and can be raised for meat as well.
- Marans: These birds don’t need a lot of space and will typically lay about 200 times per year. They are known to produce beautiful, medium-sized brown eggs.
- Chickens will require a coop. Even those that are more free-range will benefit from the protection of a structure. You can find ready-made coops that will work with most any type of bird.
- Chicks need something under them to catch droppings and any water that gets splashed around. Pine shavings are a good solution since they are inexpensive and get the job done.
- Nesting space is also very important to every chicken breed. Most coops will come outfitted with proper nesting boxes which can be filled with hay or pine shavings.
- You will need a waterer made especially for chickens that will keep them from being able to submerge themselves and from dirtying their water.
- Feeders that control the availability of food are great for both chicks and full-grown birds. Most feeders are quite simple in structure and easy to operate and manage. The most common type is the hanging feeder that hangs from the ceiling.
Proper nutrition is essential in keeping your birds happy and healthy. Vitamin supplements that are appropriate for daily use are available, and these can ensure your birds are getting the nutrients they need.
It is also important to make sure you are doing everything you can to reduce stress levels. Birds that are improperly housed, don’t have enough space or are without certain supplies are susceptible to being unhappy and unhealthy. Learning everything you can about the particular breed you are going to raise and their specific needs will go a long way in helping you raise a thriving flock.