In This Article
- Before We Begin
- Choosing The Chicken Coop
- Types of Chickens That Lay Eggs
- Chicken Feeding and Watering Systems
- Chicken Coop Costs
- Electronic Chicken Feeders
- Difficulties You May Encounter
- FAQs for Raising Chickens
- Q. How much space do chickens need in a coop?
- Q. What is the difference between hens and roosters?
- Q. How long do chickens live?
- Q. What’s the best chicken coop available?
In this article, I will be going over the easiest way to raise chickens.
The egg-laying chicken is a very popular choice for small-scale poultry growers, and there are many reasons for this. Chickens usually lay eggs once a day.
Hens can be raised on scraps without giving them commercial feed, and they don’t require much space in their coops. They are also great at helping with pest control (chickens eat around 50% of what they find). That’s why they’re so great!
Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Before We Begin
Chickens lay plenty of eggs and can provide you with tasty meat once they’ve outlived their egg-laying years (at around 3 to 4 years old).
You need to know more about these creatures before you choose to raise chickens as a pet or even for their eggs.
They are not the same as any other animal, and they take some special care to keep them well-adjusted and happy. Here are a few things you need to know about chickens that will help you decide if they’re right for your family.
- Chickens lay eggs when daylight falls on their bodies. So they will lay more eggs in the summer than in winter, but regardless of season, they still won’t lay enough for your needs if you don’t let them have enough sunlight.
- The ideal temperature for chickens during cold weather is 50 degrees Fahrenheit. In the warm parts of the year, they should be kept at around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Chicken coops can be made out of several things, including wood, metal, and plastic, or a combination of these materials. You may want to consult with your local building codes regarding any laws you may need to follow regarding the construction of chicken coops.
- When it’s time to molt. Chickens will do so by shaking themselves down. It often happens at night, so place any roosting nests and perches near the bed you’ll be sleeping in. To feed during the molting process, you can add a little additional low-cost protein source like meat scraps to their food.
Choosing The Chicken Coop
Picking a chicken coop can be somewhat difficult, depending on your personal preferences. There are so many to pick from. It is important to choose one that best fits your specific needs.
Depending on how much time you have to spend looking after and taking care of your chickens, you may want a smaller coop or automated one. If you are planning on letting your kids take care of the chickens, you might want something that is very kid-friendly and easy to clean up after.
You’ll also need to consider the number of chickens that will be living in the chicken coop. The coops themselves come in all shapes and sizes, obviously depending on what kind of birds they will house.
If you are fairly new at raising chickens and don’t want to go for one of the official sizes made for them but still want a good coop, then a portable chicken coop might be perfect for you. The cost of these typically ranges from $150-$400, depending on your needs.
No matter what kind of chicken coop you decide to buy, having customized one for your chickens and their unique needs will get them off to a great start.
You should not cut corners in the design process of building your chicken coop. Chickens are social animals who need to stay warm in colder climates. The larger the coop and the more comfortable space you can provide for them, the better they will be able to live inside it and reproduce.
Types of Chickens That Lay Eggs
There are many different chickens that lay eggs. Some breeds of chicken hatch yellow-colored eggs, while others hatch brown eggs. There are various breeds of laying hens that are egg layers for those of you who plan to raise chickens for their eggs.
Most hens lay white and brown eggs, although there are also varieties that lay blue or speckled eggs as well.
If you want to keep your chickens as pets, then you will need to choose between a closed system and an open system coop for your pet chicken flock. Both types of coops allow the chickens access to the outside world, and they can rotate freely between the open area and the closed quarters in which they live.
Chicken Feeding and Watering Systems
The most important aspect of raising chickens is the food they eat. When you are planning to raise chickens, you will have to decide what kinds of food they should eat and how often they need to be fed.
Different breeds of chicken need varying amounts of nutrients and vitamins in their diet, depending on the time of year and the amount of energy required for egg production or for maturing into a healthy, adult chicken.
If you decided to raise a coop full of laying hens, then you should plan on feeding them at least 2-3 times a day during their egg-laying cycle. They will need enough food to meet their nutritional requirements and some extra calories to prompt them to lay as many eggs as possible during the season.
You should also provide water for your chickens, with a water fountain or at least enough running water for each chicken to get fresh water.
Chicken Coop Costs
There are many different types of chicken coops available in the market. Some are marketed more towards pet chicken owners, while others are specifically designed for breeding poultry.
The cost of these vary from one another, and depending on the type of material used and how it is built, you may have a hard time finding the right cost. If you are just starting to raise chickens, buying a cheap chicken coop might be ideal. Still, you should be aware of the costs incurred when purchasing the chicken coop.
Depending on your budget, you can decide on which materials you would like to use to construct your poultry coop. The cost of building a chicken coop varies with different materials. You can also choose from different sizes that will accommodate your chickens better.
Wood is more rigid and durable, while plastic is more affordable and easier to work with. Plastic is also more resistant to rot and mold than wood, so it will last longer for those who have easy access to bleach, paint, or even silicon spray or linseed oil.
Electronic Chicken Feeders
With the growing demand for meat and eggs and also an increase in the number of backyard chickens, many farmers have started building electronic chicken feeders.
The main advantages of this type of feeder are that it reduces labor and maintenance on the part of the poultry farmer.
With these feeders, egg-laying hens get fed automatically at night. Also, a timer is built into premade models to regulate the feeding time so as to control waste.
In the video above, he explains how to make your own automatic chicken feeder for just around $12, which is extremely cost-effective. If you want a premade solution, you can get an automatic feeder from Paul’s Feed Store for about $100.
Difficulties You May Encounter
If you’re building a chicken coop for your backyard chicken flock, you may find the construction process to be difficult. It’s important that when building your coop, you take time to plan out the exact layout of where each hen will stay.
In the video above, they go over how to build your own DIY chicken coop.
Depending on which type of coop you choose, it may involve digging in the ground or building a wood structure and then adding a roof and interior walls.
FAQs for Raising Chickens
In this section, I will be going over the most commonly asked questions that people get when they want to start raising chickens.
Q. How much space do chickens need in a coop?
A. Chickens prefer to live in warm, climate-controlled environments where they can keep warm and can also sleep at night without being disturbed.
The coop should be big enough to accommodate each chicken’s own food and water supply, as well as be able to allow them enough space to walk around and do the occasional dust bath and tail wagging.
The pros of a large chicken coop are that chickens will not fly away if they feel trapped inside a small cage or enclosure. With a large coop, you can also keep a certain number of chickens and not have to worry about too many being stuffed into one small place.
Q. What is the difference between hens and roosters?
If you are setting up a small chicken farm, you may not want to bother with a rooster. The rooster is known for its crowing and may not be welcome if you live in strictly residential areas with minimal noise tolerance.
This doesn’t mean that if you get some chickens, there won’t be any eggs because as soon as hens get old enough, they will start laying eggs themselves, even when there is no rooster in the house.
Hens don’t usually lay many eggs in winter because of the lack of daylight hours (hen’s bodies need sunlight to create hormones that trigger the egg-laying process).
Q. How long do chickens live?
A. The life expectancy of different breeds of chicken varies, depending on its size and the mode of living it has been subjected to. Chickens are naturally susceptible to certain diseases and sicknesses that can cause their death.
This is why chicken owners should be careful when buying chickens and only seek out healthy stock from reputable breeders who can guarantee a healthy product.
Q. What’s the best chicken coop available?
A. It’s hard to say which coop is best because each family has different needs depending on the number of chickens they have and their feeding and living requirements.
The best solution is to visit your local farm shop or building store and talk it over with the sales staff, who should be able to help you choose a suitable unit that will match all of your requirements.
If you’re not sure what kind of chicken coop you want, then why not try a kit on for size? You can buy a whole kit that includes various materials and even step-by-step instructions on how to build it yourself at home. In the video above, they build a chicken coop kit step-by-step with additional modifications.
All in all, despite whatever problem you may encounter when raising backyard chickens, the rewards of watching your chickens grow up and produce eggs or meat of their own will make up for any difficulties they may cause.
As with anything, take your time planning out how you want things to go and how you want to take care of your chicken flock, and if successful, you’ll have a wonderful little hobby that will pay off.
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Also, be sure to check out some of our other articles, if you liked this one:
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