When I started keeping chickens in my backyard, I quickly realized I was missing some essentials. That forced me to buy stuff in a hurry without proper research. To help you avoid making the same mistake, I’ve gathered a list of my recommended chicken coop essentials so you can be prepared.
Keeping chickens either as a source of eggs or as pets is one of the most popular (and fun) hobbies throughout the world. Besides the nutritious benefits of keeping chicken as a source of fresh eggs, chickens can be great tools for teaching your children how to care for animals.
If you are a new chicken owner or you are contemplating joining the bandwagon of chicken owners, read on to know how to care for these comic and wonderful creatures kept by man throughout the ages.
What they eat
A nutritious diet is crucial if you want your chickens to stay healthy. The diet you feed your chickens should be fresh and should meet their dietary needs. For instance, feed chicks with a diet specifically made for chicks, otherwise known as grower diet until they reach 20 weeks.
For chickens laying eggs, provide them with a laying diet rich in vitamins, calcium, and protein. For your other chickens not laying eggs, otherwise known as roosters, feed them with a maintenance diet that is readily available at any feed store in your locality.
If you need a more complete overview and learn how to keep you flock healthy, you can read my guide to food for chickens here…
Where they live
The size of the chicken house or coop depends on the size of your backyard if you are keeping the chicken in your backyard. The best chicken coop is one that provides security against night predators, easy access to the eggs, and has a sturdy metal mesh.
You should prevent the chickens from crowding by ensuring that the number of chickens in a nesting box does not exceed five. Also, ensure the chicken coop is big enough for the number of chickens.
The chickens can accidentally break the eggs because of crowding and then end up eating the eggs. Every chicken owner knows that trying to stop the chickens from eating eggs is one of the toughest things to do.
Cold climates are generally not suitable for chickens, but there are some things you can do to accommodate the chickens during the rainy and cold seasons. You can raise the coop off the ground and have a heated or a running water source so that the water the chickens drink does not freeze out.
In a hot environment, such as during summer, make sure the chicken house is well ventilated and has shade areas where the chickens can be comfortable. Do this also if you live in areas with warmer climates.
By following the above tips, you are going to discover that keeping chicken pets is one of the easiest and satisfying hobbies ever.