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Mastering the Art Of Raising Backyard Chickens

By Tom Seest

Are Backyard Chickens Easy to Raise?

At BackyardChickenNews, we help people who want to raise backyard chickens by collating information and news blended with our own personal experiences.

Raising backyard chickens is not difficult, but they require daily attention. Chickens get older, and their egg production decreases. In addition, you have to be aware of the chemicals used to treat your yard and swimming pool. So, it’s best to limit their access to those areas. Aside from that, raising backyard chickens is extremely low maintenance, and most backyard chicken owners spend ten to twenty minutes a day caring for them, and another hour or so on the weekends.

Are Backyard Chickens Easy to Raise?

Are Backyard Chickens Easy to Raise?

Does Your Hen’s Egg Production Decrease Over Time?

Egg production in a chicken flock typically declines as the bird ages. Depending on the breed, season, and feed, hens may produce as many as 320 eggs per year in the first year and only about a hundred and twenty eggs per year by the end of the second year. Egg production declines steadily each year, but at a slower rate as the bird gets older. In addition to the reduction in egg production, hens are also prone to diseases and predation. Their mortality rate is about twenty to twenty-five percent per year.
In addition to the decline in egg production, hens usually begin to molt at around 18 months of age. The molt, which occurs in the autumn, redirects the hen’s energy from egg-laying to growing feathers. Once molting is completed, the chicken’s egg production returns to normal.
The decrease in egg production can also be due to avian influenza, a viral disease that affects many species of birds. Avian influenza causes an infected hen to exhibit tremors and other physical symptoms. In severe cases, the hen may also develop cataracts.
One of the biggest causes of egg production decline is a chicken’s diet lacking adequate protein. Hens need a diet with at least 17% protein in order to produce eggs. You can add sunflower seeds or dried mealworms to the diet to provide more protein. Another factor that can affect egg production is heat stress. Heat stress can reduce the amount of water the hens drink.

Does Your Hen's Egg Production Decrease Over Time?

Does Your Hen’s Egg Production Decrease Over Time?

How Can Chicken Runs Benefit Your Flock?

When raising backyard chickens, using an enclosed run will help minimize stress levels for all involved. It will allow your chickens to forage outdoors during the day while providing them with secure housing during the evening. It will also give your birds a place to lay their eggs. The coop should have sufficient space for chickens to exercise, eat and interact with each other.
An enclosed run will also provide a natural place for your chickens to dust and bathe. Chickens are prone to respiratory illnesses, so keeping their coop as hygienic as possible is essential for raising healthy birds. In addition to an enclosed coop, chickens need access to fresh air. The coop should be cleaned frequently to eliminate smells, and proper ventilation is essential for your chickens’ safety and your health.
Another benefit of having backyard chickens is that they provide an incredible source of exercise. Backyard chickens are also an excellent source of fertilizer, as their manure is high in nitrogen. This means that you won’t have to worry about their food being contaminated by harmful chemicals or other harmful chemicals.
Chickens should be provided with a variety of food. Chickens are foraging creatures, and their diet should reflect that. As such, it is essential to provide them with access to fresh, nutritious feed. Feed costs approximately 70 percent of the cost of keeping backyard chickens. Feed should be considered an investment, since the more nutritious your chickens are, the more productive they will be.

How Can Chicken Runs Benefit Your Flock?

How Can Chicken Runs Benefit Your Flock?

What Are the Hidden Costs of Raising Chickens?

While chickens are not expensive animals, they are still a large recurring expense. Feed is an essential part of their diet and a 50-pound bag will set you back around $16. Typically, it will take fifteen to eighteen 50-pound bags to feed a hundred chickens. You can also feed your chickens kitchen and garden scraps. You can also give them treats like apples, grapes and beans. Other costs to factor in include electricity and time.
Feed is one of the most expensive expenses for raising backyard chickens. A standard laying breed chick can cost as much as $5 to $8 a month, depending on its breed. You will also have to purchase feed and bedding for them. A high-quality coop is another significant expense. Chickens also require medicine and pest control, so you should be prepared to spend anywhere from $30 to $75 a month for food and supplies.
Compared to store-bought chicken, a backyard chicken costs much less. Not only does it cost less than a supermarket chicken, but you can get fresh eggs every morning, which will offset the costs. However, keep in mind that raising chickens requires a large amount of time and effort. You’ll want to make sure your chickens live long and healthy lives.
The first expense is the cost of the chicken. The cost varies depending on the breed and age of the chicken. Common breeds can cost between $2 and $5 apiece while rare breeds can cost up to $30 apiece. However, if you have carpentry skills and recycle materials, you can make a coop for your chickens for very little money.

What Are the Hidden Costs of Raising Chickens?

What Are the Hidden Costs of Raising Chickens?

How Can You Protect Your Flock?

Unfortunately, predators are a reality for many backyard poultry keepers. The problem can be frustrating, but it can also be preventable. You can use deterrence techniques, traps, or other animal control methods to keep predators away from your flock. Occasionally, predators cannot be avoided, and you may need to dispatch them.
Raccoons are one of the worst predators of chickens, and their diet includes both chicken and human waste. Make sure that your trash bins have lids on them. This will discourage raccoons from attacking your chickens. They are quick and sneaky, and will kill more than one chicken.
One way to protect your flock from predators is to build a fence. If possible, make sure the fencing is tall enough to keep predators out. You can use wire or netting, but be sure to check it regularly for any gaps or breaks. For greater security, you can also install an electric fence. These are easy to install and provide additional protection.
The best way to protect your flock is to make sure the area surrounding your coop is predator-free. Aerial predators, such as hawks and eagles, can climb high and easily reach your chickens. Make sure your chicken coop is free of holes and other objects that might attract predators. You will also need to feed your chickens every day and change their water frequently. You should also make sure you collect the eggs every day.

How Can You Protect Your Flock?

How Can You Protect Your Flock?

Is Euthanizing Chickens Expensive?

Whether you are considering the cost of euthanasia for your backyard chickens, or simply want to minimize its impact, the decision is ultimately up to you. There are several options for proper disposal, including burial, composting, or municipal trash pickup. Check local ordinances first to determine what is allowed in your area.
While the process may seem inconvenient, it can be a good option for your chickens’ health. Although backyard chickens are considered companion animals, their euthanasia rates are higher than those of pets. The most common reason for this is that owners may not be aware of all of the health problems they might face. For example, they may not notice signs such as emaciation unless they are regularly handled, such as by veterinarians.
There are many methods for euthanasia, but it is important to seek the advice of a veterinarian who is familiar with birds and has experience with them. The veterinarian can administer a drug or anesthetic via an intravenous line, but a catheter is not required. The process is slower, however, as it involves injecting a pink solution into the animal’s bloodstream, but can result in a more humane death. Other methods, like gunshots, are not considered humane.
In the United Kingdom, backyard poultry ownership is very popular. However, it is important to understand the potential costs associated with euthanizing a chicken. Even if it is not a serious problem, it can still be expensive. Fortunately, veterinarians are becoming more familiar with poultry health and welfare issues, and this may lead to increased animal welfare.

Is Euthanizing Chickens Expensive?

Is Euthanizing Chickens Expensive?

Be sure to read our other related stories at BackyardChickenNews to learn more about raising chickens in your backyard.

 


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