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Start Raising Chickens Now: a Beginner’s Guide

By Tom Seest

How to Get Started Raising Chickens?

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

Buying baby chicks is a great way to get started raising your own chickens. You can buy them from a hatchery, feed store, or even a local farmer. Make sure to keep the chicks in a warm, dry location away from children and pets. Invest in a secure indoor enclosure, as chicks need a lot of care and attention. Keeping them healthy and happy requires providing them with warm bedding, good nutrition, and careful housekeeping.
First, you will need to decide whether you want to start with pullets or baby chicks. Pullets are young birds that are ready to lay eggs. These birds are considered the easiest entry point to chicken keeping. However, they require about five months of care and can be vulnerable to predators. Also, you will need to purchase special equipment to care for them.
You’ll need a brooder for the chicks to grow up in. This can be a plastic tote or cardboard box. It should have a heat lamp and a waterer. Chicks will need chick feed for their first six weeks. Once they reach 8 weeks, you can move them to starter/grower feed. By 18 weeks, they will need to switch to layer feed.
If you’re considering raising chickens, you can choose to buy chicks from a feed store, hatchery, or local farmer. The important thing is to learn all about the process and requirements before you bring them home. Ask questions at the store or browse through a poultry magazine to make sure you know everything you need to know.

How to Get Started Raising Chickens?

How to Get Started Raising Chickens?

Are Mature Hens the Best Choice for Your Chicken Coop?

One of the easiest ways to raise chickens is to buy mature hens that are ready to lay eggs. These hens are also known as started pullets. They are a good way to get started in chicken keeping because they are ready to lay eggs within five months. However, these hens can be costly, and you must spend some time caring for them.
The first egg a chicken will lay will be a fairy or wind egg. It may take several days before your hen lays an egg, so be patient and encourage it to use its nesting box. Alternatively, you can place a rubber egg in the box to encourage it to lay. Depending on the breed of chickens, a female may take six to nine months to begin laying eggs.
Chickens need to eat regularly, and you will need to monitor their health. They can become ill or die unexpectedly. You must know how to diagnose and treat these conditions. You will also need the right tools to take care of them. You should take into account your budget, where you live, and how comfortable you are with handling animals.
When it comes to chicken breeds, you need to consider the environment and climate where you will raise them. Some breeds do better in hot climates, while others are better suited for colder climates. For example, a delicate hothouse chicken may not thrive in your area unless you have very cold winters. Aside from climate, temperament is also important when choosing a chicken breed. For instance, a chicken breed that does not like humans may not be the best choice for a person who wants to raise a flock of chickens.

Are Mature Hens the Best Choice for Your Chicken Coop?

Are Mature Hens the Best Choice for Your Chicken Coop?

How to Build a Brooder Bin for Your Chickens?

Building a brooder bin for your chicks is an easy way to provide a safe place for them to grow and learn how to be chickens. You can find plastic bins in a wide range of sizes, but you can turn any one of them into a functional brooder by following some simple steps. Plastic bins can be slippery underfoot, so you should consider adding wood shavings to provide some traction. They can also be cleaned easily, so they can be used again once the brooding season is over. You can also use a large plastic camping cooler as a brooder because they are sturdy and insulated, as well as easy to clean.
Once you have purchased a plastic bin, you will need to cut a piece of hardware cloth that is two inches wider than the hole in the top. Use a carpet knife to cut out a third or half of the top of the bin. You can also use a hammer and nail to punch a hole through the hardware cloth.
Make sure to use an appropriate waterer. A waterer for chickens needs to be large enough to fit chicks but small enough to prevent spillage. Larger waterers can be filled with small stones, which are harmless to the chicks. Chicks need fresh water at all times and will require a quart of water a day. The amount will depend on the temperature of your area and the age of the chicks.

How to Build a Brooder Bin for Your Chickens?

How to Build a Brooder Bin for Your Chickens?

What Should You Feed Your Chickens?

Feeding your chickens is an important part of keeping them healthy and happy. Fresh water and a balanced diet are essential for their growth. In winter, you may also need to add a heat source to keep the water from freezing. Then, you need to change the feed every two to three weeks.
Chickens can be fed a variety of foods, including leftovers and treats. However, it is important to remember that moderation is the key when it comes to giving your chickens treats. Commercial layer feed provides your chickens with the basic nutrition they need, but you can give them treats and “a la carte” foods in small amounts. These treats can keep your chickens content and help you maintain the health of your flock.
Chickens can go for several days without a meal, but it is important to give them water, as they need water to digest their food. You can buy a chicken feeder to make this task easy and convenient. If you’re unsure about what to buy, read reviews online before you make a purchase.
The commercial chicken feed comes in three different forms. The first type is pellets. While pellets are best for chicks, they might not be the most convenient option for larger birds.

What Should You Feed Your Chickens?

What Should You Feed Your Chickens?

What Does it Take to Keep Your Chickens Healthy?

One of the most important things you can do for your chickens is to keep them healthy. Chickens can carry many diseases and germs, so it is important to practice good hygiene to prevent the spread of these diseases. One of the best ways to keep your chickens healthy is to keep them in a closed flock. This means that you should purchase your chickens only from certified disease-free hatcheries. Another important thing to remember is to wash all your eggs thoroughly and discard heavily soiled ones.
Another important thing to do for your chickens is to provide them with clean water and clean feeders. Make sure the feeders are high enough for your chickens to reach. They should also be fed high-quality feeds. Supplements are also important to help your chickens stay healthy.
Keeping your chickens healthy is essential if you want to enjoy your new hobby. Your chickens need your attention every day. They need fresh water and feed at regular intervals. If the weather gets too cold, they will need to be kept warm with a heat source.
While baby chicks do not require vaccinations, they still need a clean and hygienic living environment. Make sure that the area is well-ventilated to avoid respiratory issues and other problems that may arise. Also, make sure that the area is secure to prevent predators from getting to the chicks.

What Does it Take to Keep Your Chickens Healthy?

What Does it Take to Keep Your Chickens Healthy?

Protecting Your Chickens From Predators: Is Your Coop Secure?

Predator-proofing your chicken coop is a great way to protect your birds. You can set up fake predators to scare off other birds of prey or place a scarecrow. Even less intelligent predators are likely to flee if they think they are in danger. Ultimately, prevention is better than cure.
Small predators can easily slither into a chicken coop, so you must make sure all holes are covered to prevent them from getting in. However, it’s important to leave a few small openings for ventilation. You should also lock the ladies at night. This is essential because even simple locks can be easily tipped open. You should also use a locking mechanism like a carabiner, which is very hard for predators to open.
You can also install predator-proof hardware cloth. Hardware cloth is welded wire that has smaller holes than chicken wire, making it a good option for protecting your coop from rodents. Make sure to secure the hardware cloth with screws, and use washers to prevent it from tearing off.
Another way to make your coop more predator-proof is to have a solid roof. Roofing materials like tin and rubber work well for covering your coop. Make sure the doors lock when closed and do not have any cracks around the door frame. You should also use sturdy storage containers for your feed, such as metal barrels lined with a food-safe liner. Avoid using plastic storage containers, as they will eventually fall apart due to vermin gnawing.

Protecting Your Chickens From Predators: Is Your Coop Secure?

Protecting Your Chickens From Predators: Is Your Coop Secure?

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


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