Something isn’t right. Why? Encourage your chickens to come to you, comfortably accept gentle touches and even sit in your lap. Overflowing with calcium and many other essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, dandelions also help with digestion. Shy birds, in particular, may even cluck along. Before the end of the year, you need to take other steps to care for your chicken as a way of keeping the birds healthy. Luckily, chicken poo can be composted, aged, and eventually added to the garden. Eggs from Backyard Chickens for Beginners. I haven’t seen the earring since; nor did I search for it among, well, you know. Typically vocal and busy, she started keeping to herself and lying beneath the hatch ramp or right in the middle of the doorway to the run, blocking access for her annoyed flock mates. If it isn’t, remove the previous ones and fill with new bedding to keep the chickens warm. You need to start from the first steps and work your way down to the next. Make it a little more tasty and interesting by adding dried berries, raisins, oats, sunflower seeds and flaxseed. It gives you great insight into the overall health of your flock. Experiment with sounds and watch your chickens’ responses: Healthier, happier chickens are just a melody away. Barred Rock roosters make excellent flock mates. How to Care For Chickens. Feather dust and dander float around and settle. Every week, you have to carry out specific tasks to make sure that your birds are in good health. Scrambled eggs, oatmeal, pasta, rice, greens, berries and breads. We’ve looked at how you can take care of your chickens on a daily and weekly basis. This is bad news for an otherwise busy social bird. Sprouts to the rescue. Scratch is a mixture of corn and grains. You need to invest in and get larger chicken coops if you are rearing backyard chickens. Either you choose to feed the chickens with a specific amount of feed or you pour the feed into the large hanging feeder for the chickens to eat as much as they want. Dig a hole and fill it up again so the dirt is piled loosely on top. Do you dread dandelion season? Probiotics come in powder or liquid forms. Those who lack stimulation and entertainment often become bored and act out by pecking siblings. Do this regularly throughout the day. You will also use hot, soapy water to wash and remove germs from the water dispenser while two (2) teaspoons of bleach should be used with a gallon of water to sanitize the water dispenser. Bored chickens are unhappy chickens, and unhappy chickens can become stressed or pass the time by pecking their siblings. For the most part, they’re hardy and require little care and maintenance, a real plus for those who take care of them. Weekly comb-to-toe checkups will help you learn to recognize what’s normal. Keep updates – You should keep yourself informed about how to look after your chicken by taking help of online websites, blogs, forums, various books on chicken wellbeing, even you can gather information from chicken owners. Ask yourself these questions: Busy chickens are happy chickens. This is an important step. So, be on the lookout for any bird that is isolating herself. According to Jeremy Hobson and Celia Lewis, co-authors of Keeping Chickens: The Essential Guide to Enjoying and Getting the Best from Chickens, “Australorps are easy to keep and become very tame, so they make good pets for children.”. Dandelions and weeds in general can be your best ally against disease. You can easily sprout your own delicious seeds for chicken peckin’ pleasure — try sprouting clover, alfalfa, lentils, oats, mung beans and peas. When Annie was barely out of her chick fluff, she actually pecked my pearl earring from my ear. Incorporating the supplements above into your flock’s diet should improve their overall health, making them not only healthier but also happier. Without adequate water, your chickens may go into a premature molt or dehydrate. Using the above 6 tips will help give your baby chicks their best start, but nothing can take the place of daily care and attention. When raising just a few chicks (30 or less) use a large box with walls at least 18-inches high and place the box in a safe area away from drafts and household pets. Otherwise, they may end up roosting in trees instead of in the coop. I especially like to watch my hens’ varied reactions. Therefore, you should look into all of these aspects and preparing the best conditions in which the chicken will grow. Please leave me a comment below! She was at the bottom of the pecking order. Although some supplements are season-specific or simply more plentiful at certain times of the year, feel free to supplement the following regularly: All chickens need grit to grind up food because they have no teeth. Then as the chicken droppings begin to increase, you will also increase the number of added bedding. Before you start spending money on chickens and supplies, take the time to search your local laws and regulations online. Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a combination of silica, sodium, magnesium, iron and a mixture of other trace minerals. Does Playing Classical Music Benefit Your Chickens? When preparing your birds for winter, some of the things you can do are to: The end of the year signals the start of a new chicken rearing season. Make out time in a week to look at how your chickens are faring. The word probiotic means “for life.” Simply put, probiotics are beneficial bacteria that work to boost immunity, improve digestion and appetite, and help feed conversion. This is very easy! Chickens thrive in a clean environment. If you have chickens, you’re bound to have a sibling rivalry. And disease-carrying bacteria and viruses do not. That, in turn, will soil their bedding. If you have chickens, you have to be careful on how you should take care of them. During the show, the judges may ask you to have your chicken walk along a table while you direct it with a baton or pointer. You will find the ways of taking care of your chickens on a daily, monthly, quarterly/semi-yearly, and yearly basis. The good news: Regular free-range time can prevent misbehavior. If it's not legal to keep poultry in your area, it's not legal … You want them to be healthy and happy at all times, right? Even though we sometimes awaken with a crow and I have a lone pearl earring in my jewelry box, I adore my Australorps for their sweet, strong and curious nature. Your chickens will peck it like crazy. On average, a chicken will drink a half-pint of water per day. Because of the feeding pattern of chickens, they may leave some droplets of their feed while drinking. Time spent tending your chickens Naturally, setting up housing for your birds takes some time. Just consult your veterinarian if you’re concerned about your flock. Your backyard birds are especially susceptible to respiratory illness. Several types are available online. Unfortunately, it’s her siblings’ favorite nest box, too. Your garden plants should, by now, be hardy and tall enough to withstand even the most persistent chicken beaks. Ethel, steal the show with their comical antics. They’re accessible. In as much as you have now understood and ready to implement the strategies to take care of your chickens, there are other important tips you need to be aware of. On average, it will take between 4-5 months before your hens will begin laying eggs. Did you enjoy this comprehensive guide to chicken keeping for beginners? Once or twice a year, remove everything from the coop, and wash down all surfaces with 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Feel free to move around while tossing treats. It’s also what makes them one of the most broody breeds. Below are some tips for choosing backyard chickens that will help you to get started with you flock. They’re plentiful. With a little redirecting on my part, though, all is well once again. Remove a layer of paper every day, and by the time the last layer is gone, the chicks will have found the feeding trough. Among the most beloved chicken breeds, Barred Plymouth Rocks are known for their quiet, curious temperament and are avid, happy-go-clucky explorers. Invest In Larger Chicken Coops for Backyard Chickens, How To Care for Your Chickens On A Semi-Yearly Basis, Final Thoughts On How To Take Care of Chickens, complete guide to raising backyard chickens, Chicken Scratch: Things You Need to Know before Feeding, How to Sex Chickens: 6 Ways to Determine Hen Or Rooster, 8 ways to keep chicken water from freezing, Best Chicken Dishes and Treats for Your Dog in 2020, How Long Do chickens Live: Factors That Impact Lifespan, Chicken Anatomy: Everything You Need To Know, Get heaters for your chickens’ water dispensers, Get a good roosting place for your chickens. They go wild pecking at it while it bobs around. Do share them via the comment section so other chicken owners can get inspiration to help them cater to their chickens. Is she hiding in a corner, or isolating herself from her flock mates? When you're choosing, keep in mind your main goal in chicken keeping, and which breeds do best in your climate. ACVPM, and Rob Ludlow. In about 6 months’ time, you will accumulate about 1 cubic foot of manure per chicken. My Buff Orpington, Emily, replies with a warble every time. If you want to start keeping chickens, you need to read this comprehensive guide to beginner chicken keeping, only from Petful. Lone chickens are alone for a reason. Teach your birds to do tricks. Feed and water are two of the most important things you need to have handy when looking to care for your chickens. Well, fear not, because all parts of the dandelion are superhero supplements. Use a screen or a towel to cover the box. This behavior developed as a way to trick predators as well as siblings who may peck the weak among the flock. Any time is a good time to add probiotics. Chickens are prey animals and thus innately distrusting. Moreover, the earliest collection of eggs makes it easier to minimize the chances of having more cracked eggs than you bargained for. That is because the smaller coops that have been constantly used are smaller and need to be removed. You are the most important, and biggest factor, when it comes to raising your baby chicks and their health. Laying hens especially require access to fresh, clean water at all times. Chickens are incredibly light sensitive and need about 14 hours of sunlight a day to be in top form. That would in turn, keep giving you fresher eggs because the nesting is not soiled. Indeed, you made out time to clean the water dispenser within the week. A knowledge on how to look after chickens. My Partridge Plymouth Rock, Phoebe, a quieter hen, spends her days happily cooing and wandering. However, they do get sick. Silkie chickens in particular are extremely tame and have remarkably soft, “silky” feathers. Daily observation is key. It is because the nesting boxes may not be clean! Chickens have a keen sense of hearing. My Emily is a broody heavyweight champion — she goes through phases where she tries to camp out in her favorite nesting box. You have taken away the eggs to preserve them and keep them clean. Semi-Yearly Chicken Care Tasks Deep clean and sanitize the coop. Here are some resources to help you choose: For an introduction to many of the amazing breeds available, take a look at the BYC Breed Focus Project and The BYC Breed Reviews Here are some ideas that I use to play with my flock: Interacting with your chickens helps keep them active, happy and healthy. We’ve put our ten favorites into this post to make it easy for you to choose! This is a deal breaker. Autumn’s cooler temperatures and fewer daylight hours cause chickens to molt. Then cluck to them. Sometimes, some of the birds may get into danger and get hurt. You’re not alone. Add 1½ cups of DE per bag of feed for optimal health benefits: Rose, violet, marigold, pansy and sunflower petals. And they’re sneaky about it — like cats, they mask their symptoms to protect themselves. Chickens are amazing. Seek the advice of your veterinarian. Spending quality time with your flock is also a great stress reliever for you. You will reduce the risk of the chickens soiling the eggs. Improves the quality of eggs — they are bigger and stronger shelled, Helps rid birds of nasty worms and internal parasites, Lessens pain and inflammation in aging birds, Help you keep an eye on their overall health, Help develop a sense of trust between you and your flock — trusting birds are more easily handled during checkups and more likely to enjoy being petted. Copyright © 2020 Chicken Scratch & The Foundry, How To Take Care of Your Chickens On A Daily Basis, 9. Scatter oats or chicken-friendly treats on the ground. In a healthy chicken flock, the cliché stands true: Birds of a feather flock together. Even if they don’t all remember, at least a couple will and the rest will follow suit. Ideally, taking care of chickens isn’t as hard as many tend to paint it. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Don’t underestimate the Buff Orpington’s quiet gentle nature, though, because this breed will step up to the top of the pecking order and rule the roost — gently but effectively. Only a closer look will help you discover those bodily harms and other things you may have never thought would have happened to your chickens. Just like cats and dogs, chickens respond well to petting. Chickens need a good balanced diet with plenty of calcium and water to lay at their peak rate. The key to a healthy chicken flock is proper nutrition. This method is ideal if your chickens don’t drop much litter. Then their feed spills, gets trampled on and results in dust. Provide chickens with a quality feed formulated for their needs. Daily care of chickens is the first step and the procedures below will help you do that. Unfortunately, they can also hide any sign of disease until they’re so ill that they can’t mask it any longer. Even though this is true, supplementing their feed is a good idea. If you play a portable instrument, such as the guitar or flute, serenade your chickens. My other Australorp, Annie, is curious and busy. You are not supposed to leave the eggs more than the duration they are supposed to be there. Because those boxes are where your chickens lay their eggs, you want to make sure that they are clean at all times. In fact, they not only respond to a variety of sounds, but also they actually enjoy listening to pleasant-sounding music. Some municipalities will not allow you to keep chickens, or they might have some strict rules on keeping them. They sure seem to enjoy a head of cabbage on a string in the coop. They are cautious yet highly curious. Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks of starting with baby chicks is that they do require far more care than full-grown chickens. But remember, chickens are hardy — and still the best pets ever, in my opinion. She’s always on the job and focused on keeping her flock happy and safe. Set up a nontoxic children’s play tunnel in your backyard or try a DIY version: Cut out the bottoms of cardboard boxes and connect them. By getting larger chicken coops (such as garden shovels), you will be able to remove the droplets, as well as the bedding. Winter can be tough on chickens. They don’t really need much care and maintenance. Set your chicken down on a long table covered in old carpet. Nothing beats fresh produce — vegetables are packed with nutrients they take in from the soil. You will need a good hutch to put the chickens in at night so foxes don't get them, and if you have young chickens you should keep them inside until their six weeks old then keep them in a hutch until their full grown. Watch out for: All of these abnormalities warrant further examination. In warmer weather, that amount may increase to 1 pint. However, you also need to dedicate more time once a week to thoroughly clean the water dispenser. Additionally, the germs can be found on the hands, shoes, and clothing of those who handle the birds or work or play where they live and roam. We hope you know that they must be cared for too, and if you overlook that, the chances are that you may either end up having unhealthy chickens or you may lose them after they can no longer cope with their malnourished state. So give your fine-feathered friends the chance to stretch their wings and thrive. Decide on the purpose of rearing chickens: Is it for fun or to make money by selling them? One word of caution, though: A little dairy goes a long way. Therefore, look in every week and see if the bedding is in order. Make sure you check their water twice a day. They’re the ultimate middle-of-the-road chicken and typically get along well with most feathery siblings. It is now time to look at how you can care for your chickens at the end of every month. Birds can’t fake poop! This happened recently with my Black Australorp, Abby. And it’s no wonder — the so-called “urban hen movement” means you get oodles of farm-fresh eggs, happy chicken chatter, nutritionally rich garden compost and bug catchers on the job 24/7. This curiosity can work in your favor, though, plus the fact that the way to a chicken’s heart is through its beak can work wonders. During times gone by, many … using the same type of clickers as dog trainers, Come to know their normal behavior and individual personalities and quirks, Learn to recognize potential signs of illness. In an instance that the dispenser has become slimy, the ideal thing to do is to change the entire water. Thankfully, observation has kept me in the know, and my flock is healthier for it. Because normal droppings vary greatly depending on temperature, diet, water intake and more, abnormal-looking droppings coupled with physical changes, behavioral changes or any of the other signs of illness will help with a diagnosis. The following advice will prove to be quite useful if your goal is to learn how to care for chickens as well as the experts. I love this about them — they’re just easy. Summer equals fresh garden goodies. Water is vital to a chicken’s overall health. Having clean and fresh water is very important. That is why you need to collect the eggs and store them safely if they wouldn’t be hatched. In addition, the procedure is effective in get out the entire residue that may have been lurking around. So be prepared. They love keeping a watchful eye on their flock. We’re getting close to the end of our comprehensive guide to chicken keeping for beginners! However, don’t worry because I’ve made a list below! But, with the benefit of your daily observations, you’ll be well prepared to spot any bullying before it gets out of hand. A Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Chickens, Part 2: Tips for a Healthy Flock. Your aim is to ensure that your birds have enough water and that the water is clean. This breed is hardy, often continuing to lay large brown eggs through the winter, filling up your egg baskets with a whopping 250 eggs on average. Abby is a vocal gal and, as fate would have it, crows. This quality is probably what makes them such exceptional Mother Hens. It is time to entirely remove the bedding used by your chickens. Before you decide on a breed: To choose a chicken breed make a list and think about what you want and your circumstances. Sometimes, your birds may be scavenging for food and in the process, they will … My Sadie and Sophie spend most days quietly cooing among my flock or wandering in search of the perfect dust-bath spot. Chickens make great livestock and pets and are fairly simple to care for. Watch these chickens enjoy the beautiful strains of live guitar: Playdates will help keep your flock healthy. You have to check for eggs early in the coop. Are you thinking about sharing your backyard with a flock of chickens? Even so, there are several things you can do … You have chickens that lay eggs. Are you a classical music aficionado? People become infected with Salmonella when they put their hands or other t… Unfortunately, it is also inevitable in a chicken coop because of these factors: In my flock, Lucy, named for comedian Lucille Ball, and Ivy, a.k.a. Whistling, humming and singing will definitely catch their attention. Hide a piece of red fruit (cored apples only; no seeds) or a red bell pepper inside. Care for Newborn Chicks Set up a brooding area. Basic Chicken Care Beginner's Guide Caring for a small flock of chickens in much easier than most people think, especially for those who purchase a Henpen. A chicken’s body is only able to digest small amounts of lactose, a milk sugar. Buff Orpingtons are a beginning chicken keeper’s dream come true — they’re friendly, gentle and sociable. Unlike eggs you buy at the store, you don’t need to refrigerate the eggs right away… Quality time together also provides other important and practical benefits. Check the Bedding. Although some owners of chickens may consider it a daunting task because of the somewhat complicated process, the fact remains that you can effectively take care of chickens if you want to. Ideally, you are likely to remove and change all the bedding twice every year. Add a treat dispenser to your chicken run — your birds will go crazy! Encourage the birds to “crawl” through by tossing in treats. Chickens are generally hardy, healthy, busy little creatures. Gauthier, Julie, DVM, MPH, Dipl. Yes, chickens can learn to do simple tricks. Every wonder what it's like to care for chickens for an entire day? But Abby still has that spunk — she doesn’t miss a beat and responds with a little coo-like warble when I call her name. Next, in Part 5 — our final section of this guide — we discuss various ways you can interact with your flock. Interacting with your chickens is fun. Does she appear to be unsteady, sluggish, sleepy or blinking? The basic philosophy behind supplementation is that you are giving your birds the best possible foundation to fight off disease. She got around slowly and with difficulty. My gals love a rousing flap-happy game of mini-tomato soccer. If you’re not-so-handy, or you just want a few chickens, you may want to start out with a pre-fabricated chicken coop. They will lead and protect, and are — for the most part — more calm and pleasant than the typical roo. Here are some common signs that your sick chicken needs a vet’s care. Hang a Head of Cabbage for a Chicken Play Toy Just like humans, chickens can get a little bored and stir-crazy in the winter. Does the bird look sick or uncomfortable? Most chickens won’t be phased in the least by their feather loss, but some will need a boost of protein to aid in regrowth. Even though you may leave your birds to move about to source for food, that shouldn’t stop you from performing the primary duty of the birds when due. In fact, they will turn their beaks away from it. The first week it’s best to keep them fenced. Feeding Chickens. Check your local laws and regulations on keeping chickens. Knowing your chickens well and being able to recognize signs of illness are the best ways to prevent disease. Is it legal in your area? Or offer your chickens sourdough bread, kefir milk or yogurt. Chicken droppings may be the first sign of sickness. Therefore, you need to check the water occasionally, preferably every two to three hours. Lead the chicken around the table with a treat until it gets the hang of following you around. So, you have bought baby chickens and you are falling head over heels with the creatures. The hutch and outdoor area. With her signature light-as-a-feather peck at the first sign of bullying, she keeps flock activity under control. Choosing Pullets. It is important to keep in mind that live poultry at any age may have Salmonella germs in their droppings and on their bodies (feathers, feet, and beaks) even when they appear healthy and clean. Chickens also have a secret sweet spot: Gently rubbing your birds on the back of their necks underneath all their feathery fluff seems to calm them. The main one- don’t crowd your chickens. As chickens would be different from the other types of animal, there are different conditions that are needed for them to grow healthily. You can also train your birds to peck at a colored shape, follow an agility course and more. They need more than feed and water to keep surviving. You have oriented them to food and water – they will remember that and now be able to feed and water at will. To make things a lot easier and comprehensible for you, we have broken down the procedures into different segments. They are happiest in a group and usually bond easily with their human families. These chicken keepers went the extra mile by installing a swing in the coop: Chickens are naturally active. She is stressed (for example, from overcrowding, flock or coop changes, inadequate ventilation, poor nutrition, extreme heat, inadequate water supply and distractions such as nearby construction work). For the most part, they’re hardy and require little care and maintenance, a real plus for those who take care of them. A healthy hen might lay fewer eggs. If you don’t envisage that, you may consider the other option of removing and replacing the bedding once a month. Chickens need stimulation — otherwise, they may become bored. Below are some of the semi-yearly best practices of caring for your chickens: Winter will definitely come around before the end of the year. Chickens can take as much time and money as you care to spend, but you need to recognize the minimum time, space, and money commitments required to keep chickens. Even though you may live in a temperate region, you’re likely to experience colder temperatures now and then. If you’re building a chicken coop, give yourself plenty of time […] If purchasing from a They are teenage chickens that are just about ready to lay their first eggs. Chickens like all other animals need a balanced diet. It contains all the necessary nutrients for chickens to live a long, healthy life based on their stage of development. Hence, you have to thoroughly wash the container with dish soap and water. Although these black beauties may go broody, it’s infrequent. My Buff beauty, Bea, is the perfect example of a lady who knows how to rule with a gentle wing. Train your chicken to do a controlled walk. Sometimes, your birds may be scavenging for food and in the process, they will knock over their feed or water. You want to be sure that you are not leaving anything to chance. So a change in activity level is a big red flag. Spread a 4-inch layer of pine shavings on the floor, then lay several layers of newspaper over that. As is typical in an all-girl flock, a hen may take on the role of a rooster by crowing. She is responding to the decreased daylight hours and cooler temperatures during autumn and winter. 2. And they’re full of immunity-boosting nutrients. Encourage your friendliest bird to hop up onto your arm when prompted with a treat. Backyard chicken keeping is a pastime that continues to grow in popularity. Hailing from the Land Down Under, these feathery Aussies can be quite the characters. Here are some of the things you need to do on a weekly basis to care for your chickens. Each morning when you let the chickens out, just check on their food and water levels. Plus, you can’t beat the rich nutrition found in nature. If the eggs the chickens lay are not meant to be hatched, the rule of thumb is that you must remove them as possible. Here’s a few things you as a chicken keeper should do to take care of your feathered friends: Feeding and watering You’ll need to provide lots of feed and fresh water for your flock to stay healthy and happy. Considering that the water dispenser is in continuous use within the week, the chances are high that it may have chicken poop or slime. Enter Abigail. Anything warmer than 90 degrees Fahrenheit will be ignored. Chickens don’t only provide a constant supply of fresh eggs—they produce an endless amount of manure, too. Developing a relationship with your flock can be tricky. This may mean a heat source to keep water from freezing in winter. They’re also active, genial and charming. Featuring a striking blend of deep black and flashy emerald-colored feathers with matching black beaks and smoky gray legs, family-friendly Black Australorps are fabulous. Rearing and taking care of chickens can be a bittersweet experience. Next, we’ll discuss great supplements for healthy chickens. First, you’ll need to gather some supplies to help you care for your chickens. To care for a pet chicken properly, make sure that they have full and easy access to fresh water and … Toss your flock some cherry tomatoes on a nice summer day, and let the games begin. A quieter breed in general, these chickens will often blend into the background of your flock. What they eat: Layer feed can be bought from any pet store, and makes up the bulk of a chicken’s diet. Pullets are chickens between 4 months and a year old.Basically? The information contained on this page is verbatim from Randy's Booklet Basic Chicken Care: A Beginner's Guide . Aside from that, you also need to look at the water container. So, let’s take a peck at some easy ways to spend some quality clucky time together. A heater is not necessary. Below are 3 go-to breeds for those wishing to get their wings wet in the wonderful world of chicken keeping. So, one of the most obvious ways to interact with your flock is to chat with them. Scatter lots of chick feed on the paper and also have feeding troughs filled in the pen. You can also consider it if you are rearing your chickens in a suburban area or city. Boasting a good egg production of about 250 eggs per year on average, an excellent tolerance to cold weather and an adaptable comfort level, whether confined to a coop and run or free-ranging the day away, Buff Orpingtons make a great addition to any beginner flock. Feathers consist of about 85 percent protein, so extreme molts can spell trouble. It is a great winter treat, though, because as your chickens’ bodies work to digest the corn and grains, they’re actually creating body heat. On the one hand, you are happy because of economic importance. You can also use oxygen bleach or chlorine bleach to sanitize the water container. On the one hand, if you are using the Deep Litter Method, it is advised that you will replace the bedding with about four inches of bedding. Chickens are chatty. Observe them – You should spend some time with the flock to make sure that they are healthy. Felicity, my speckled Sussex, typically pauses whatever she’s doing and clucks. Want to offer your flock the jampacked nutrition of fresh seeds and grains all winter? Chickens especially enjoy tomatoes, bell peppers, cabbage, greens, corn and berries. There are many supplements you can add to your chickens’ diet all year long. Next, as our comprehensive guide to chicken keeping continues, we look at various signs of illness in your flock. Supplementing your chickens’ feed is basically a matter of personal preference and your birds’ individual needs. Time, patience and consistency are key. You will also have to wait for your hens to begin laying. Your new chickens will need to learn where to sleep. If it is slimy or it has become slippery, it is an indication that germs are lurking under the container. As we’ve previously discussed, these are natural health boosters for chickens. Lisa Steele, from the Fresh Eggs Daily Blog, says, “Sprouted seeds and grains are actually more nutritious than either feeding them whole or grinding them into feed.”. Instead of roosting, she slept on the floor. The following, simple measures, taken daily, help to keep your chickens healthy: Keep water available at all times. You don’t want your chickens to become broody. If you’re handy, there are lots of free plans online for how to build a chicken coop. You don’t want to be caught unawares and in extension, expose your chickens to harm. You need to make sure and shut their coop door at night (to keep them out of the elements and safe from predators) and let them out first thing in the morning. Encourage your birds with chicken-friendly treats such as raisins, oats, leftover pasta, grapes and berries. Chickens were taking care of themselves long before they were domesticated and even today’s domesticated breeds can still take pretty good care of themselves with a minimum amount of help. Just like humans, chickens also deserve to be taken care of. In her article from Backyard Poultry, Lisa Steele poses the question, “Does Playing Classical Music Benefit Your Chickens?” She reports that her chickens “are more calm, friendlier, never peck at each other and live more stress-free lives because of the music.”. Therefore, establishing a simple, regular cleaning routine is a priority: Even though chickens eat exactly what their bodies need, a little help can’t hurt. Check out this handy grazing frame that helps chickens get the nutritious greens they need: Give scratch only as a supplement and not as a replacement for regular feed because, depending upon the ingredients you use, it has little protein and lots of carbohydrates. That is because they don’t demand a lot and they can be contented with what you have to offer. Yes, chickens can get arthritis, as can dogs and cats. The germs can also get on cages, coops, hay, plants, and soil in the area where the birds live and roam. Take them out one by one, dip their beaks into the water and then the food and place them under the heater. This happens for several reasons: If these reasons don’t apply to your hen’s decline in egg laying, then she’s most likely sick, and the only thing to do is notify your vet. Chicken feed is created with a healthy flock in mind. They also love to stand on feeder rims. Play hide-and-seek: Quickly hide while your birds are busy foraging. No matter how you have been feeling about taking care of your chickens, we hope you now have enough insights on the right steps you can take when caring for your chickens. You will: Healthy chickens are active, gregarious birds who thrive on interactions with their families. Chickens are fascinated by the color red. Flap along with me and discover how some simple tips can do wonders for keeping your flock in tip-top shape. Dare 2 Dream Farms This Lompoc-based chicken ranch (previously profiled here) offers an online care guide to help new owners feed, house, protect, and care for their small flock. This breed is extremely hardy against the cold, rarely broody and lays an average of 200 large brown eggs per year. Now that you understand the importance of taking care of your chickens, you may now be wondering about the steps you need to take. The daily responsibilities of taking care of your chickens is probably the easiest. You may think that your chickens will need one, but really, chickens are … On the other hand, you are bothered about the efforts you need to put in to make sure the birds are in good health. Chickens are lively, playful creatures. Temperature extremes, biannual moulting, stress and not enough sunlight are some factors which will affect how many eggs your girls produce. Do you have other ideas you have successfully used in caring for your chickens? 3  You should also do this in between flocks or if a member of your flock comes down with a … A thorough cleaning of the coops helps to keep your birds cleaner. Even so, there are several things you can do to ensure that they’re healthy and happy. However, after getting 6 new flock mates, Phoebe zipped up in rank and can be a bully at times. They’re all heritage or “traditional” breeds and have been foraging this great land for centuries. Dust is the prime enemy. Chickens know what they like — and they do not like stale, warm water. Molting can cause minimal to extensive feather loss. However, you need to understand that the periods or times you can remove the bedding depends on the type of litter method or system you are using. Share your love for fine music with your flock. That said, we have outlined and discussed below, some of the steps you can take when taking care of your chickens. Barred Rocks rarely stir up trouble. While there are many other farming tasks that may appear to be more difficult, you should make it a point not to take things at face value. That is why it is important to look at the housing/roosting place for the chickens to see if there are parts that need to be repaired. You are lucky with that but you may not be so lucky the next time. Build a chicken coop or buy one if you can’t, Consider the costs of rearing chickens and be sure you can handle that before starting, Always use the correct type of feeds for your chickens, Ensure that the chickens’ enclosures are not within the range of predators. We have a complete guide to raising backyard chickens if you are wanting something more specific. My vet and I concluded that she’s suffering from arthritis. It is important because the birds may have littered the bedding you had put there before. Hop up onto your arm when prompted with a healthy flock in mind bird that why! 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