Of course, it is easy to buy chicken meat in any supermarket, and for many years it has been a popular meat choice. However, raising chickens yourself has become increasingly popular among those who live in urban areas, as well as those living in the country. Knowing that the meat doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals is one of the big advantages of raising chickens yourself; another is the free eggs available on a regular basis.
The speed of growth and the overall cost of feeding your chickens are two of the factors to consider for anyone serious about raising their own chickens. The Plymouth and Sussex breeds are recommended for anyone whose main focus is the amount of meat, while if that isn’t too important to you, you may want to go with one of the hybrid breeds. Always do some initial research on the different breeds of chicken, and the amount of meat you can expect to get from them, and one of the best places to look is the Internet.
Buying newborn chicks or buying fully grown chickens are your two main options if you are planning to raise chickens. Before chickens can be killed, you will need to feed them and water them for about 8 weeks. Planning ahead is also a consideration, and to ensure that your hens are able to spawn and produce the next batch of chickens, you may want to buy some cockerels. Always check vaccination records to determine the chances of disease, if you buy fully grown chickens.
Your flock of chickens will need to have a coop that they can live in, and as you may want to move this around every so often so that they have access to weeds, having it on wheels is useful. The coop can also then be positioned exactly where you want it; you may want to locate it away from any crops that you are growing, to prevent your crops from being eaten by the chickens.
Your coop will need to have a place where your chickens can roost, as they like to perch, and the coop should not be exposed to extremes of temperature or drafts. To prevent the possibility of disease, you will need to clean the coop regularly.
Access to fresh, clean water is also important and one of the easiest ways to ensure this is to invest in an automatic watering device. The device can be adjusted for height, depending on the size of your chicks and can also release drinking water at designated times, thanks to its timer. Cleaning the device is quick and easy.
There are strict nutritional standards that regulate meat chicken diets, and growing chickens require a diet that is rich in protein. Barley, oats, soybean meals, grain legumes, and canola should make up about 90 percent of the diet of your chickens. Your local feed store will sell Nutribalancers, and adding these to their feed will help to make sure that your chickens are getting the required recommended daily amount of nutrients in their diet.