If you are one of those privileged people who have a garden or vegetable garden in your house, we give you some basic tips for raising chickens. Have not you thought about it? Do not even doubt it.
They are ideal as pets: they take care of themselves easily, they will not make you spend a lot of money, they are fun and friendly and, in addition, they will provide you with homemade eggs for the family’s consumption.
Choose laying hens
Based on the fact that it is not in your mind to set up a chicken farm – much less eat your new pets at lunch or dinner – the ideal is that you choose animals that produce a large number of eggs .
These hens can get between 4 and 7 eggs per week. Keep in mind that they start putting them after five or six months and have the maximum production during the first year.
Below, we tell you basic tips for raising chickens . Cheer up
Build a suitable chicken coop
The chicken coop should be a bright and airy place. But, at the same time, it has to protect the birds from the rain, from the excessive sun in summer and from the possible attack of predators.
Remember that a chicken with cold, wet or scared will not lay eggs .
The size should be appropriate for the amount of animals you want to have. If the space is very small, they can be stressed.
You must sanitize the place every 15 or 20 days, removing the excrement and disinfecting with specific products.
Provide nests and hangers
Inside the henhouse you must place nests or nests to deposit the eggs there. You have to place them in the darkest and quietest places and fill them with straw, esparto or sawdust shavings.
In addition, you must install hangers or wooden shelves to sleep , placing them so that the hens can not be stained with excrement each other.
Keep in mind that, in nature, these animals sleep on the branches of trees.
Ensure a space to wander outside the chicken coop
Apart from the henhouse, these animals need outdoor space to be able to move freely . The daily exercise will contribute to your good health and the best quality of the eggs.
Calculate a minimum of one square meter per hen.
Keep in mind that these birds are famous for eating almost everything. So it’s convenient to keep them separate from growing areas or from the preferred plants in your garden.
Remember to also lock them up at night, to keep them safe from possible predators .
Control that they are healthy
A healthy hen should have the following characteristics:
- Show active
- Vivid and bright look
- Erect body
- Plumage in good condition
- Crest of striking color, red or orange
- Do not have mucus in the nostrils (located at the top of the peak )
Also, keep in mind that they usually suffer from respiratory diseases . For this it is important to keep the places where they live or transit dry and ventilated.
Feed them correctly
As we have said, these birds tend to eat everything they find in their way: insects, seeds, plants, leftovers … In any case, they need a balanced diet of proteins, vegetables and starches and to provide them with vitamins and calcium.
As you can imagine, you can find specific foods for sale with everything necessary for proper nutrition.
One option to give them calcium is to crush eggshells or shells from the sea.
Provide small stones for digestion
You should try to give your hens small stones to eat, with the aim of digesting what they eat . Birds store food in the crop; then they pass to the gizzard, where they are ground thanks to the pebbles.
Chickens that eat only commercial food can do without stones, because it dissolves with water and does not need to be ground.