Essential Supplies for Your Backyard Chickens
By Tom Seest
At BackyardChickenNews, we help people who want to raise backyard chickens by collating information and news blended with our own personal experiences.
If you’re planning to raise backyard chickens, you might be wondering what to buy. You’ll need food, water, nesting boxes, and fences. There are many different breeds available, but the Australorp breed is a popular choice because of its versatility. These birds are prolific layers and are also very gentle.
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Chickens need a balanced diet to thrive, and the food you give them can help them reach their optimal health. Some common ingredients for backyard chicken food include cornflakes, oatmeal, soaked raisins, mealworms, waxworms, and non-sugar cereals. You can also add honey to their food, which can improve their health and egg quality.
Chickens like a variety of foods, including vegetables and yard clippings. Fresh grass can substitute 15 to 20 percent of a chicken’s diet, and garden leftovers are also great sources of protein. In addition to vegetables, chickens will enjoy consuming most fruits and vegetables from your garden. These foods will also provide them with high-quality protein. For a balanced diet, make sure that your chickens have a grit feeder.
Backyard chickens can also be fed earthworms, which are larvae of a dark-colored beetle. Mealworms are rich sources of protein. They also accept kitchen scraps and scratch grains. If you’re worried about the nutritional value of this food, you can always use commercial feeds for your chickens.
Water is another essential part of backyard chicken care. You should always provide clean, fresh water for your chickens. A plastic bowl or drinker is a convenient and easy way to do this. Water bowls should also be cleaned regularly, especially during colder months. Chickens love fresh water, so try to provide them with as much as possible! Just don’t forget to feed them table scraps, too! They’ll love them.
While chickens love to eat human food, you should be careful to avoid oversalty food and sugary snacks. As a rule of thumb, you should feed your chickens up to 10% of their daily calorie requirements. They can also eat some table scraps, but make sure to cut meat and vegetables into small pieces.
It’s important for your chickens to always have access to fresh water. The best way to provide fresh water for your chickens is to provide several water sources in various locations. For the best results, place several sources of water in cool and shady locations. You can also provide ice cubes or frozen water bottles to keep your chickens cool when they need to drink. Always change the water for your chickens daily and make sure it is clean and fresh.
Changing the water is also a good way to prevent bacterial contamination. Chickens thrive when they drink water that is free of bacteria. Water that is contaminated by bacteria will make them sick. Therefore, it is important to change the water in your chicken coop on a daily or weekly basis.
Providing your chickens with fresh water is essential for their health and well-being. Fresh water is the best option for your chickens, as stagnant water will turn green. It is important to provide fresh water, even if your backyard chickens live in the winter. If your coop is cold enough to freeze the water bowl, you can always replace it. Alternatively, you can use a heater to heat the water bowl to avoid ice from forming.
The water that your chickens drink should be kept cool in order to avoid the summer heat. The heat also tends to reduce feed intake, which makes water a top priority. Backyard chickens need a balanced diet, plenty of water, and a comfortable environment to thrive. With these tips, your chickens can have a wonderful backyard summer!
You should choose a nesting box that is the correct size for your chickens. Bantams and standard breeds need nests that are about a foot deep, but larger breeds need larger boxes. A standard-sized box should be at least 12 inches wide, fourteen inches tall, and have an opening about a foot high.
Nesting boxes for backyard chickens can be made of a variety of materials, from plastic milk crates to wine barrels. While plastic milk crates tend to be lightweight and easy to clean, metal ones are sturdy and durable. Metal boxes are more suitable for larger breeds and can be stacked multiple times.
When you choose a nesting box, keep in mind that chickens naturally prefer protected, private spaces. You can also make them feel comfortable in these boxes by placing bedding inside them. Then, your chickens will begin to use them for laying eggs. You can even use fake eggs, like golf balls, as a training tool.
You can choose to place your chickens’ nesting boxes in different locations around the yard. Some people place them along the floor, while others choose to line them up in a line. Either way, the hens will want to help you install the boxes. A good nesting box is easy to clean and exudes comfort. As long as you have the right tools and materials, installing your chicken’s nesting boxes will be a breeze.
You’ll need several nesting boxes for your chickens, depending on the size of your flock. A standard-sized hen will need a 12-inch by twelve-inch nesting box. Bantams will need a box that is slightly smaller.
Fences for backyard chickens can be made of several materials. Chicken wire is one of the cheapest, but it is not effective at keeping predators away. You can extend it around the lower half of your chicken coop. The wire is flexible and can be shortened or lengthened to meet your needs.
Chickens are flighty and can leap high into the air. As a result, fences should be taller than the chickens‘ wings. The hens can fly for up to 6 feet when startled, but roosters do not fly as high. Fencing may also be necessary if you want your hens to remain in your flower or vegetable garden.
Chain-link fencing is a great choice for chicken owners because it will protect the chickens from predators. Whether your chickens prefer a free range or a caged environment, chain-link fences will protect them. The wire is thick enough to keep out large critters and predators, but small animals can easily climb over it.
A chicken-run fence is easy to install. It’s made of galvanized wire and has wires woven into it. It also comes with spikes on each end, which provide stability. The wire should be taut and secured to each post with fencing pins. The netting must be tightened every few feet so that it will not come loose.
Another popular choice is wood fencing. It comes in various styles, ranging from basic property barriers to privacy fences. It looks neat in your yard and is inexpensive to purchase. However, wood fencing has its disadvantages, such as its lack of durability. Chickens can fly up to 6 feet, so it is essential to ensure that your fencing is solid enough to protect them.
Chickens can be very picky creatures, so having first-aid supplies on hand is essential. One of the most important items in a first-aid kit is Blu Kote, which is available in brush and spray forms. This dark blue/purple substance is a natural deterrent for chickens and prevents them from pecking at exposed skin. In addition, it helps the chicken to regrow its feathers.
Chickens can become very sick or injured when not properly cared for, and having first-aid supplies on hand can prevent the chicken from becoming dinner. Keeping your chickens separate can also help prevent disease from spreading to the rest of the flock. Keeping sick chickens in a sick bay can be a great way to keep your flock safe while you attend to their needs.
Although chickens are able to self-treat some injuries, most chickens need veterinary care for more serious injuries. While basic first aid for chickens can be performed by most homeowners, severe wounds, broken bones, or puncture wounds from cats and dogs should be treated by a veterinarian. As a result, it is important to have a quiet, safe space to keep your flock.
Antibiotic ointment can be a great way to treat chickens when they become ill. Just remember to avoid ointment that contains a painkiller, as these are deadly for chickens. Rubbing alcohol can also be an effective disinfectant for minor wounds, but be sure to keep it away from the chicken’s eyes.
It is also important to keep a separate hospital coop where chickens can recover if they get hurt. In a chicken hospital, you will be able to treat chickens with less stress. You will need to keep the chicken isolated and away from the rest of the flock until it recovers. This should be a room inside the house, but in a place that is quiet and predator-proof. You can even use a dog crate for this purpose.
Be sure to read our other related stories at BackyardChickenNews to learn more about raising chickens in your backyard.