How To Prepare To Raise Chickens 81752 300x300 - How To Prepare To Raise Chickens
September 23, 2022

 

 

 

 

If you have decided to raise chickens, you’ve probably already done some research to help your decision. However, if you are in the initial stages of consideration: this article will benefit you. 

 

Chickens, contrary to popular belief, are not easy animals to raise. As is with any animals that people commonly take into their care, they can be considered easy. But the reality is very different. The nature of animals is more comparable to human babies. They need a lot of attention, care, and room to grow. 

 

Raising chickens isn’t quite as simple as throwing the seed into a pen and expecting a return of eggs. You must prepare for the level of commitment that raising chickens demands and ensure you have enough time to dedicate to them to help the flock thrive. Most important is the preparation before you purchase just one egg. That is the focus of this article. 

 

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Think about your space

The very first thing to determine is whether you have enough space to raise chickens in the first place. One of the most common forms of animal mistreatment is not providing an animal enough space. It is easy to do this, and in a way, it may be hard-wired into some of us. Brochures affirming the appropriateness of those tiny metal and plastic cages for hamsters could still have some of us believe that that is an okay way to raise animals. 

 

Each chick you have will need 2-3 square feet of floor space in the brooder for the first six weeks of their lives and when grown, will require at least 10 square feet outdoors each. If you can’t meet these requirements, then you shouldn’t be raising chickens. 

 

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Purchase a brooder

You will need a brooder to raise chickens, as they require constant temperature regulation to keep them healthy. Before you introduce your chicks to the brooder, the brooder will need to be preheated to a temperature of 32°C for the first week and be reduced every week for six weeks until the temperature lowers to 13°C. You should ensure that the environment is dry before you put any chicks in there. Chickens have a sensitive respiratory system, and the high temperatures and moisture will eventually breed mold that could compromise your chick’s health. 

 

If you’re raising chickens for meat, you should feed them with 20% protein food to help to bulk them up early. Alternatively, if you’re raising chickens just for eggs, they should be given food with 18% protein content. After six weeks, your chicks will be ready to leave the brooder. 

 

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The types of chickens 

There are so many different breeds of chickens that could be beneficial to you or could be a burden, depending on why you’re raising the chickens in the first place. Breeds like White Leghorn Hybrids, Rhode Island Reds, and Easter Eggers will provide you with one egg a day after they reach 18 weeks old, and are physically mature enough to begin laying eggs. Some of the most common breeds raised domestically are the Plymouth Barred Rock and Buff Orpingtons, as they can be used for meat and eggs rather than just one or the other. 

 

Orpingtons are considered the “easiest” breed of chicken to raise for their friendly and docile nature. But the most difficult type of chicken to raise is the Asil. Asils are bred to fight other Asil chickens and will often do so to death. They aren’t useful for meat or eggs, as they’re quite skinny and only lay 40 eggs a year. This low laying rate could be why female Asils are used as adoptive mothers for chicks abandoned by their mothers because they’re incessantly broody. Broody Asils are excellent mothers. 

 

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Determine how many birds you want

Babies of all breeds can lull their caretakers into a false sense of security and suddenly snap and make everyone’s life very difficult. It is important that you anticipate how much time, money, and space you’ll need to raise chickens in a flock of any size so that you don’t bite off more than you can chew. It is recommended that most beginners start with 4-6 chicks, to create a flock but not overwhelm yourself. It’s better to have a small flock than to feel completely out of control. 

 

 

Provide shelter

Chickens are sensitive to weather conditions and can get sick quickly if they encounter rain and muddy conditions. This is why you should consider constructing a poultry building to protect your flock from temperamental weather conditions. You can design your steel building however you like, so you can choose to construct a commercial layer unit or a free-range chicken house. 

 

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Free range is better for the health of your chickens and the nutritional value of the meat and eggs. So, building a poultry building is a great method of shelter for your birds. 

 

 

Don’t forget about sanitation

It can feel repetitive to constantly clean after chickens. But if you choose to let the dirt build-up, you could simultaneously be allowing diseases to spread, which can make your entire flock sick very quickly. As soon as you identify a chicken that might be sick, you should separate them from the rest of the flock to ensure that it can’t spread its illness. 

 

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Keep the males and females apart

It may be tempting to introduce a rooster to breed your chickens. After all, chickens are cute when they’re babies. But the reality is that roosters can become incredibly defensive and aggressive, especially in the presence of other males. Unless you wind up with a small flock of baby roosters. They will eventually grow into full-size roosters and develop a dangerously territorial nature that could result in fighting to the death between the roosters or the roosters and the hens. 

 

 

Don’t prepare to name your chickens

Raising chicken comes with its challenges. But one of the hardest parts could be refraining from naming them. If you intend to raise chickens for meat, you need to be prepared to slaughter them eventually. This could become difficult if you find yourself naming your chickens and growing attached to them. As awful as it may sound, the best way to raise chickens without becoming attached is to look at each of your chickens as numbers in the flock. This way, they’ll just be another chicken.

 

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We hope you have learned something about the preparation required to raise chickens from this article, and make your choice with lots of consideration. 

 

 

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