Chickens have evolved from wild birds which lived in the jungles. Their ancestors had excellent survival skills that allowed them to live on trees and adapt to their changing environment. Thanks to this heritage, chickens today are fairly robust with raisers needing very little to ensure that they flourish. Below are some of the essentials:
The most vital part of chicken care is the provision of suitable housing. This must be safe and sanitary. Predators will come so it should be sturdy enough to ward them off. Entry points must be closed and the perimeter secured to prevent infiltration.
Experts advise those who are raising chickens to build an elevated platform for the chicken house. The gap will help them stay clear of dampness and germs on the ground. Despite their strong genetics, chickens are still not immune to viruses and bacteria.
The weather should be considered as well. In designing the house, the selection of materials must be made in full recognition of the weather patterns in the area. There should be enough ventilation to keep the chickens comfortable inside.
While space is always at a premium, those raising chickens should always try to provide ample space for them to move around. To neglect this would be to invite trouble. Overcrowding may cause them to become irritable with frequent fights breaking out in the coop. Blood may spill out and their natural curiosity may lead to deaths through pecking. Make sure that each chicken is allotted at least 3 sq. ft. of space.
There should be adequate nest boxes for the chickens. Let there be no more than 4 of them in a box at any time. Having just 2 is ideal.
Fencing is crucial in this type of setting. The base of the fence should be lodged deep into the ground to keep it steady, with 10 inches being the recommended depth. The height should be about 5 feet.
Chickens will need to get regular food and water to survive. They aren’t fussy about their liquid intake with yesterday’s water being adequate. However, contamination due to droppings should be monitored. Clean things up and replace with fresh water on a regular basis for best results. Fortify their drink with vitamins and minerals for better immunity against common diseases.
Most chicken raisers use either corn or pellets for feeds. Cord feed can be combined other seeds to enhance its nutritional value. There is little variety between the products offered by different manufacturers. Pellets, on the other hand, can be broken down into 3 distinct categories. The composition remains largely the same between each of these. The key difference lies in the texture of the feeds. There’s the starter mash, the crumbled pellets, and the full pellets. Knowing when to use each one is necessary.
A good thing about chickens is that they are not picky eaters. Most will eat any food and are used to consuming a wide variety. Allow them to roam around to find what they like. Grits are a nice addition to their overall diet as sour crop can be prevented.
Keep this essential care information in mind and you will be well on your way towards raising healthy chickens. After mastering the basics, you can move on to other concerns such as disease prevention, industry regulations, and breed selection.