An Overview Of Chores Related to Keeping Backyard Chickens
By Tom Seest
Chickens can be a great way for children to learn responsibility and how to care for other living creatures. They can also teach them about the cycle of life and death. Of course, having chickens has wider implications for the whole family, as you’ll need to decide who will care for them when you’re away or if one of them gets sick.
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Table Of Contents
Organically produced chicken feed is more expensive than regular chicken feed and requires more labor. It also requires a lot of processing and shipping. It’s also necessary to purchase different ingredients to ensure that the chickens get the right amount of nutrients. However, if you’re a hobby farmer with limited space, organic feed may be the only option.
A good feed should be balanced in vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. Grain and seeds are good sources of fiber, which is essential for proper digestion. Commercial chicken feed is available in several different forms, ranging from crumble to whole grain. It is a good idea to experiment with different types of feed, since some chickens may reject some ingredients and prefer others.
Another organic feed option is fermented feed. It promotes good gut bacteria and increases intestinal health. Read labels carefully when purchasing organic feed, and avoid anything with obscure ingredients. If you don’t have the time to prepare homemade treats, you can purchase organic chicken feed at your local feed store.
Organic chicken feed is more expensive than commercial feed. But there are many benefits. The first is that it is free of added hormones, antibiotics, and steroids. Another benefit is that organic chicken feed is regulated by law. Non-organic chicken feed often contains synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and antibiotics.
Organic chicken feed contains many nutrients that chickens need. They don’t make many amino acids in their own gut, so they must be supplemented with them. They also require a good protein source, such as soybeans. Be sure to roast and crack the soybeans before feeding them. Another great option is milk. It’s a rich source of protein and can be substituted for water for half of the day. You can also feed your chickens ground alfalfa. It provides the yellow color of their yolks and flesh.
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Keeping predators out of your backyard chickens can be a difficult task. Fortunately, there are several effective ways to keep predators at bay. These methods range from using deterrence and exclusion devices to changing the behavior of the predator. In some cases, you may have to dispatch an animal altogether.
To deter predators, you can use motion-activated lights or flashing lights. Using electric fences is another effective way. Another option is to hide feed in your garage. This way, you won’t have to worry about the predators coming back for more. If you can’t keep predators away, you can try scaring them away with predator urine.
While domestic dogs are the most common backyard chicken predator, there are also other threats to your flock. If you have a pet dog, be sure to never leave it alone near the chicken coop. Additionally, beware of neighborhood dogs roaming freely. Dogs kill chickens for sport and should not be left alone. Although domestic cats are not considered chicken predators, they are also harmful to young chickens and small bantams.
Adding a fence around your chicken yard will help keep predators away. Ensure that the fence is firm and doesn’t have breaks or weak spots. Aside from physical barriers, you can also use motion sensors or bright lights to deter predators. Using an electric fence can also be an effective deterrent for larger predators.
Predators usually avoid areas with minimal cover. Planting bushes inside your chicken run is another effective method of deterring predators. If you’re unable to fence a large area, you can invest in high-voltage electrical pulses to keep predators at bay. If you’re worried about predators, you can also consider installing cover nets around the perimeter of the chicken run.
Raccoons are another common backyard chicken predator. These animals are nimble and can rip chicken wire apart. They can also catch larger birds.
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The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment encourages backyard poultry owners to take simple sanitation measures to keep their flocks free of harmful germs and other agencies tend to recommend similar practies. Poultry droppings often contain harmful germs such as salmonella and campylobacter. These germs can be transferred to people and animals by touching feathers, beaks, feet, and soil. To avoid the spread of these germs, chicken owners should wash their hands often.
While chickens carry some germs, these are low-level, meaning that humans do not experience negative effects from most of the pathogens. Nevertheless, there are some common pathogens that can cause serious illness in humans, particularly those with weakened immune systems. These pathogens can be easily passed from chickens to humans when they eat unclean chicken food or if they are exposed to poop from infected birds. Handwashing is essential for preventing accidental ingestion of chicken feces.
Washing your hands thoroughly after handling chickens is the most effective way to keep your backyard flock free from harmful germs. Moreover, you should wash your hands whenever you handle the animals. After handling chickens, you should always wash your hands with soap. It is also advisable to make sure that children wash their hands after handling poultry.
Backyard chickens can spread harmful germs, especially to young children and people with weakened immune systems. Infected persons may experience diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and abdominal cramps. Infected individuals usually recover without treatment, but if the symptoms persist, call a healthcare provider right away. For your own safety, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or a solution of 60% alcohol.
Backyard chickens can also spread salmonella and other pathogens to people. As a result, you should take precautions and avoid having them in close contact with other pets or wild birds. As with humans, backyard chickens should be kept clean and away from contaminated water sources. It is also advisable to remove contaminated areas of the yard, as well as to ensure proper hygiene for your chickens.
Backyard chickens are becoming increasingly popular among urban homesteaders. Backyard chickens are a great way to get a greener and healthier lifestyle, but it’s important to be aware of the risks. For example, the risk of Salmonella infection is especially high among children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.
This photo was taken by Herney Gomez Martinez and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-a-rooster-on-dried-grass-12326505/.