Taking care of a flock of chickens can be considerably great fun and also extremely rewarding. Chickens themselves are not difficult to look after but still require some basic level of care. In this article, we will be taking a look at the basic care that chickens require in order to enjoy a happy and full life.
Before purchasing your flock of chickens, you will first need a suitable place to house them, which is a chicken coop. A chicken coop is most probably the only expensive thing you will need to purchase for your chickens. As with anything in life, you get what you pay for. Which means a cheap chicken coop will not last any more than 7 to 8 years with frequent maintenance. When purchasing a chicken coop always check at the quality of the workmanship along with the overall thickness and quality of the wood that is used. The better quality the wood, the better the coop.
Essential features of your chicken coop should include nest boxes, plenty of ventilation (ideally adjustable) and a sufficient number of perches for your birds to roost on. The floor of the chicken coop should be covered (ideally with wood shavings, straw or chopped cardboard). Straw and cardboard chicken coop beds are great if you have a compost heap already, as the cardboard and straw composts far quicker.
The chicken run
To keep your chickens happy and healthy, they need plenty of outdoor exercise. A chicken ‘run’ could be placed in your backyard and should be as large as possible. Chickens can be placed into a fox proof house and run, but it’s always important to keep the chickens locked up at night to ensure maximum safety. One gadget that many keepers own is an automatic ‘pop hole’ that opens and closes the door at night and allows the chickens out in the morning.
Feeding your chickens
Chickens much like all other animals require a balanced diet, surprisingly this can also include household scraps and foraging naturally throughout your garden for yummy insects. Fortunately, there are speciality feeds that contain the correct balance and levels of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. If you want your birds to remain healthy and enjoy the benefits of good quality of eggs, it’s highly recommended to feed your flock formulated feeds.
There is a wide variety of different size water containers that are available and suitable for both chicks and adult chickens. Water containers for your flock need to be kept clean at all time and completely free from droppings. They shouldn’t be able to be tipped over easily and should be easy enough for you to clean out on a daily basis. Your flock’s drinkers should be able to hold enough water to last the flock throughout the entire day. Chicken’s should always have available and easy access fresh drinking water which means you may need multiple drinkers to ensure that all your birds can manage to drink freely without any bullying.