There are a lot of different reasons people decide to keep backyard chickens these days. Some want farm fresh eggs for their plate or meat from a reliable, trustworthy source. Others like to show them professionally or simply keep them as pets!
Whatever your reasons are, it’s important to realize that you must put the same time, energy, and thought into caring for your chickens as you would any other animal. Be sure to prepare yourself with the best information and supplies before you bring your chickens home. With a combination of dedication and top-quality resources, you’ll be rearing happy and healthy backyard chickens in no time!
1.) Do your research.
Think about what you’re looking for in your backyard chickens. Is it eggs you want? Meat? Do you want to exhibit? A mix of the three? Some breeds of chicken produce eggs faster. Others come in more vibrant, diverse colors. Certain types of chicken harvest better quality meat than others. Once you’ve decided on your objective, determine which breeds and qualities are best for what you want.
2.) Check local laws.
Before you put time and money into your backyard chicken endeavor, make sure you’re familiar with the regulations in your area. There’s usually a limit on how many chickens can be kept as pets that varies between locations. Some towns don’t allow you to keep roosters either. Make yourself aware of these laws so you can move forward in compliance.
3.) Invest in a good coop.
Everyone needs a safe, comfortable place to go home to at the end of the night—even your chickens! Provide a high-quality coop for your backyard chickens so they have a place to thrive. The better their coop is, the happier and healthier they’re going to be. Also make sure your coop is large enough for them to have their own space to relax. If it’s overcrowded, they might peck or bully one another.
4.) Maintain their coop.
A fresh, clean coop is imperative for the success of your chickens. Weekly cleanings are necessary to keep your coop and your chickens in the best condition possible. The feathers, droppings, and other debris that build up daily create a breeding ground for parasites. It’s important to purge it and start fresh often. Better living conditions produce healthier chickens, who will produce better quality eggs.
5.) Keep their water container clean.
This might seem like an obvious requirement, but it’s especially crucial when it comes to your chickens. Chicken won’t drink water they see as dirty or cloudy, resulting in dehydration and eventually death. Check the waterer every day and if it starts to look murky, wash it out and fill it with fresh water right away.
6.) Be consistent with their feed.
Constantly changing your chickens’ diet will disrupt their egg-laying rhythm. It’s best to stick with one brand and type of food. Buy the best kind you can afford. Your chickens need to have a balanced, nutritious diet, just like you! Determine their specific diet based on the needs of your breed.
Provide warmth and comfort for your backyard chickens with plenty of lush bedding. People use many different materials for chicken bedding—straw/hay, pine shavings, sand, shredded leaves, recycled paper, etc. Whatever you choose, it should be soft, absorbent, resistant to molding, and piled about two inches thick. Bedding will also help absorb odor and droppings. Just be sure to muck out and replace it regularly.
8.) Get to know your chickens.
Spend some time with your chickens daily or every few days and learn what their normal is. You should be able to recognize how your chickens look and behave on a regular basis, so you can tell when something is wrong. Check in on them routinely to monitor their health and wellbeing. Observe them often so you can be aware of any issues as soon as they arise.
Ensure your backyard chickens are living in the utmost comfort and protection with a structure from Amish Barn Company! Our handcrafted chicken coops are designed with both you and your chickens in mind. We make it easy for you to tend to your flock, collect their eggs, and keep your chickens safe and satisfied.
Contact us today to learn more about the pre-built and custom options we have to meet your needs!