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The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Raising Chickens
Roger D. Flint grit and oyster shell grit are also required. Lets not forget water! There are a number of different size water containers available suitable for young chicks through to a large flock of hens. Water containers also called drinkers need to keep water clean and free of droppings. Drinkers should store enough water to last all day with some spare capacity for hot days and as a general rule of thumb I allow a litre capacity per chicken plus a litre spare.
The most important factor though is that they should always have fresh water available and there should again be enough drinkers available for the birds at the bottom of the pecking order which may mean providing two water containers in different places. Apple Cider Vinegar is very good for chickens but being acidic, cannot be provided in galvanised containers without them corroding. Plastic containers are the most popular and the least expensive.
Adding a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar to one of my water containers. Galvanised containers are strong, plastic can break if dropped when water is frozen but it is useful to be able to see how much water is left inside a container, especially during hot weather. Chickens cannot sweat so the only way they can lose heat on hot days is to pant or drink more water so it essential you provide this for them to stop them from over-heating.
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- Complete Idiot’s Guide to Raising Chickens.
- Complete Idiot's Guide to Raising Chickens.
Click here to see a range of plastic water containers. Hybrids are generally better for beginners. If you are thinking of getting some pure breed chickens then have a look through our Chicken Breeds section but keep in mind you may have to travel and book some rare breeds in advance. Think about what you want your chickens for. Think about what size of birds you can accommodate in the space available — Large fowl, or bantams.
Unless you have a fairly large set up then it is advisable not to mix different sized birds so that there are fewer problems with pecking. It is also best to buy all of your chickens in one go from one breeder where they have been kept together if you can, this ensures they all get along well and they will settle in faster. Introducing new birds is rarely pleasant as they re-establish the pecking order.
Most of all — have fun and enjoy your hens, I think you will find them incredibly rewarding. I can also recommend you read the excellent Beginners Guide to Keeping Chickens website which contains lots of useful information on how to keep chickens and a handy list of things to keep in stock as a new chicken keeper. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. To Begin At The Beginning! The Animal Welfare Act So basically, before you start, you need to be aware that chickens need some care and attention every day , just like a dog or a cat.
Believe it or not, there are surprisingly high numbers of urban foxes in our towns these days… So you want to keep chickens in the back garden? Chicken House Suppliers Omlet — Famous plastic coops: easy to clean and hold their value well. I wrote a separate article on the best bedding material for chickens here.
A Practical Guide to Keeping Chickens: Chicken Basics
I now own 4 of these and have had them over 8 years. Straw and cardboard composts far faster and gets onto my vegetable patch quicker! To keep healthy, chickens need to get outside. There are many benefits to chickens in free range set-ups, the biggest being healthier, happier birds that cost you less to keep and produce more eggs.
The run needs to be secure — keeping the fox and other predators out whilst keeping the chickens in. If possible, bury wire netting at least 20cm into the ground to stop predators from digging under the fence and cover the roof of the run over. The chicken run shown here backs onto open fields and there are many foxes around. This article on electric poultry netting discusses the use of electrified plastic poultry netting that can be erected quickly and moved around easily in larger spaces. Keeping your hens safe Chickens can be enclosed successfully in a fox proof house and run and neighbours are usually happy to feed the chickens for you in return for some fresh eggs but keeping hens safe from the fox usually involves locking them up in their house at night-time when they are most at risk of predators trying to get in,.
If you can afford one, I would definitely look at these, they are a very worthwhile investment and can take the worry away of you losing your hens to a fox after dark.
The batteries last a year or longer. I now own 4 of these and have had them over 8 years now. You can view automatic door keepers for sale here. Chickens like all other animals need a balanced diet. During times gone by, many people fed their chickens on the household scraps and let them forage for as much as they could to get the rest.
Fortunately these days, there are feeds that have been created that contain the correct balance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. If you want healthy birds and a good quantity of eggs, it is advisable to feed one of these formulated feeds.
They are available as pellets or as a powdered mash. The mash is slightly cheaper although the chickens will usually only pick the bits out that they want, leaving the rest to go bad so all in all it is usually better to feed layers pellets. Chicks or young growers will require chick crumbs and growers pellets. Remember to allow enough feeders for your birds.
There is a pecking order in chickens and sometimes the birds at the bottom will find it hard to get to the feeder if the others can stop them. Click here to see a range of plastic feed hoppers. A handful per hen per day as a general guide is enough. Flint grit and oyster shell grit are also required. Lets not forget water! There are a number of different size water containers available suitable for young chicks through to a large flock of hens. Water containers also called drinkers need to keep water clean and free of droppings.
Drinkers should store enough water to last all day with some spare capacity for hot days and as a general rule of thumb I allow a litre capacity per chicken plus a litre spare. The most important factor though is that they should always have fresh water available and there should again be enough drinkers available for the birds at the bottom of the pecking order which may mean providing two water containers in different places. Apple Cider Vinegar is very good for chickens but being acidic, cannot be provided in galvanised containers without them corroding.