Keeping chickens can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before – but it’s actually fairly simple if you have all of the necessary equipment, know what to expect, and aren’t afraid to get up up and personal with these adorable feathered companions. As a result, it’s only normal to find yourself immediately bombarded with inquiries and concerns – “what do chickens eat?”, “where do I store them?”, “what do you mean there are different varieties of chickens?!!” That’s why we’ve put together this simple, step-by-step beginner’s guide to raising chickens.
What are the benefits of keeping chickens?
Some individuals may not realize that free-range chicken eggs are not only more delicious, but also healthier than store-bought ones. Keeping chickens is a great way to ensure that you always have a fresh supply of tasty and healthy eggs on hand. Whether you prefer your eggs poached, fried, or scrambled, you’ll never run out of these protein-rich delicacies if you decide to maintain hens.
Tranquility and peace
Many people find that having hens is a simple way to feel more connected to nature, which provides them with a sense of peace, tranquility, and harmony every time they gaze out into their backyard and see their flock roaming free.
Keeping chickens is one of the simplest ways to live more sustainably — they help decrease food waste, provide all-natural fertilizer, aid with composting, and, of course, provide all those eggs! Keeping hens is one of the simplest and most rewarding ways to begin living a more sustainable lifestyle.
Is keeping chickens going to be a problem for my garden?
Many a green thumb has been scared that having hens may harm their flourishing garden, yet nothing could be farther from the truth! Keeping hens in the garden is a great method to improve the quality of your compost while also enriching the soil throughout your yard.
What do I feed my chickens?
When hens have sufficient to eat and drink, keeping them is simple. When they’re bored, they’ll engage in more damaging behaviors like feather picking and pecking order disputes, and food is a great method to keep them occupied. Chickens that are fully grown require a regular supply of chicken feed, shell grit, and water. Scraps like leafy greens, yoghurt, and oatmeal, on the other hand, will be a welcome addition to their diet. Chickens also require a regular supply of fresh water, as they consume between 500 mL and 1 L of water every day, depending on the weather. Investing in a quality feeder and waterer that will not only prevent your flock from knocking it over, but also safeguard the food supply from pests like mice and rats, is one of the greatest methods to ensure that no feed or water goes to waste.
Will having chickens cause any issues with my other pets?
Some would-be chicken owners are hesitant to keep chickens because they are unsure if their other pets will get along with the flock.
Chickens, on the other hand, are such peace-loving creatures that, regardless of whether you have dogs, cats, rabbits, Guinea fowl, or other pets, the animals will usually be able to resolve their conflicts as long as you are present to assist them.
How can I keep my chickens safe?
Keeping chickens is not a difficult task, but you must set up your environment to protect them from the elements during harsh weather and from predators such as foxes, which may be more active in your area at different times of the year. First and first, like with all of our coops, the best security for your chickens is a high-quality coop with a sturdy frame and galvanized wire mesh. Predator sensor lights, wire mesh flooring, and the auto door are all great additions to help protect your chickens from predators.
Which breed should I get?
Choosing a chicken breed may be a lot of fun because some first-time chicken owners aren’t aware that there are so many different varieties to choose from, it’s like picking your favourite sweets at a candy store! The good news is that you don’t have to choose just one; mixed flocks are widespread in many Australian backyards, as well as around the world. It’s a good idea to have certain birds in your flock who are excellent layers, such as Rhode Island Reds, as well as other even cuter varieties, such as the Polish, who are simply adorable! The possibilities are virtually limitless!
When I have hens, what will I have to do every day?
As previously stated, maintaining chickens is a very simple task if you develop a solid schedule. Here are some of the things you’ll have to perform every day for your flock…
- Make sure they have enough food and drink.
- Check the coop for cleanliness and hygienic conditions. If the coop appears to be too dirty for chickens, replace the bedding and, if necessary, clean out the feeder and waterer.
- Remove any eggs your flock has left for you from the nesting box; otherwise, they may devour the eggs.
- If you’re letting your girls go free, make sure the coop door is open so they can come and go whenever they choose. If you’re not sure if you want your flock to be free-range, check out this helpful article.
- Count your hens before they return to the coop at the end of each night to check that everyone is safe and sound.
Other duties can crop up from time to time, such as thoroughly cleaning your coop, bathing your hens, or dealing with any mite infestations, but for the most part, living with chickens is very laid-back.
How much does it cost to maintain chickens?
After the initial investment, keeping chickens is one of the most cost-effective pets available. Chickens can cost as little as €20 per month on average, with the addition of animal bedding, such as hemp bedding, costing less than €8 per month. Of course, these costs vary depending on the number of birds in your flock, but in the end, these wonderful little pets are rather affordable to care for. This is in addition to the money you’ll save on eggs and fertilizer, as well as the tranquility and joy they’ll bring to your life.
Keeping hens is a peaceful and calming experience that any animal lover can enjoy for many years, if not their entire lives. Though there are a few things to keep in mind in the beginning, caring for these fine feathered friends can be a blissful and rewarding experience to be enjoyed every day, did you know that 67 percent of chicken keepers surveyed experienced a chicken health or behaviour issue they didn’t know how to handle in the first 12 months? If you’re not sure what to do, consult a veterinarian.