There are a lot of great reasons why you should raise backyard chickens. Not only will you get a constant source of fresh eggs that you can eat or also sell if you choose but they’re also great for kids, teaching them about different animals. Not to mention the current difficulties of getting eggs!
The main things that backyard chickens need are food, water and protection. It’s especially important to invest in a high-quality fox-resistant chicken coop to provide a safe space for your chickens to roost in. This will, in turn, will prioritise chicken welfare as this will yield you the most eggs and the happiest chickens.
How Many Backyard Chickens do I Need?
As a general rule of thumb, adult hens will lay about 2 eggs every 3 days. This is important to keep in mind as, if you’re after a supply of eggs, people are often surprised when they aren’t getting quite as many as they expected. Hens won’t lay every day.
Backyard chickens are also extremely sociable so it’s important for chicken welfare to keep them together, especially so they can help to protect each other from foxes! Generally, most people would get between three and six birds.
What Type of Chicken Should I Get?
There are both hybrid breeds and pure breeds of backyard chickens available. Hybrids are generally better for beginners as they’re usually vaccinated, more friendly and lay better than pure breeds do. Think about what your backyard chickens are for. If you’re looking for eggs then hybrids are the way forward, if you’re more interested in them as pets then maybe a pure breed could be for you.
It’s also important to note that you don’t need a cockerel for chickens to lay eggs. Male birds can make a lot of noise, disturbing neighbours, as well as yourself during the early hours of the morning so it’s often wise to start off with just hens. Especially if you like your lay-ins.
What Should I Feed my Chickens?
There are a large number of chicken feeds around on the market that have been carefully crafted to contain the correct balance of minerals, nutrients and vitamins. It’s always advisable to stick to pellets and powdered mash as opposed to household food scraps in order to maintain them on the best diet possible.
It’s also worth noting that chickens can’t eat many foods that humans can and so if you are handing over any leftovers it’s important to check beforehand.
Backyard chickens also have a pecking order, so sometimes the birds at the bottom of this can find it harder to get to their feeder if others stop them, so it’s important to ensure that there are enough feeders for your birds.
How Big of a Coop Should I Get?
Understandably, different breeds of chickens will have slightly varying requirements. One thing that can be said though is that the more space inside the coop your chickens can have, the happier they’ll be. Chicken welfare is very important as this will also help them stay healthy, reducing the risk of disease and feather picking and also lead to more eggs. The coop is also the chicken’s primary source of protection against predators. So, it’s important that they come well made with sturdy locks.
Chicken Coops can come in all different shapes and sizes so it’s important to think about where you’re keeping your chickens. If you’ve got a larger space then it’s advisable to create a pen for the chickens to roam around, allowing you to then let them out when you can supervise them.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help you find the perfect coop for your chickens, please get in touch today! Give us a call on 0845 873 0253 or head over to our contact page for more information.