4 Tips for Raising Chickens

Chicken Eggs

1) Give them some space

Your chickens will need a place to sleep and lay eggs. The general rule of thumb is at least two square feet of space per bird, but the more space the better. Chickens are healthier when they have more space to live.

They’ll also need a place to get exercise and generally be a chicken. A run could be your whole backyard if it’s fenced in and (relatively) predator proof. Or you may need to buy some chicken wire or netting and set up a run for them stay in.

2) Collect and store your eggs
One of the main reasons folks raise chickens is for the abundance of fresh eggs they’ll soon have. Once your chickens begin laying, you’ll need a good system for collecting them.

You will usually collect eggs in the morning. Be sure to keep the coop and run free of any egg shells, as chickens may begin to eat the shell fragments and then start to eat the eggs themselves.

Once you’ve collected your daily eggs, wipe them off with a dry cloth and organize them in egg cartons. It may help to date the egg cartons as well – they should stay fresh for a month or so.

3)  Consult with chicken experts
There’s a large online community of people that have raised and are currently raising chickens. If you’re having a problem with your chickens, it’s likely someone else has had the same problem and asked about it as well. If you purchased your chickens from a local store, they may be able to provide some pointers as well.

4) Be prepared to do some cleaning
Chicken coops get smelly and dirty quickly, so you’ll need to regularly clean all areas of your run. Adding straw and organic material like diatomaceous earth can help, but you really should stick to cleaning and replacing straw on a weekly schedule.

With a little work and some determination to get through the learning curve, raising your own chickens can be an extremely rewarding hobby. You’ll become a food producer instead of consumer, will have access to fresh eggs on a daily basis and – this is especially true if you have kids – you might just get some enjoyment out of watching the chickens run around from your back window.

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