The Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens
July 26, 2023
So, you invested in one of our chicken coops! What’s next? Here is a beginner’s guide to raising chickens in your very own backyard.
Chickens are sociable birds, so you will need to consider how many chickens you want to raise. Providing a 4 square feet per adult chicken is typically a good rule to follow. They thrive in groups, so it is recommended to have three to four chickens to provide companionship. This also depends on the specific breed of chicken you want to raise. Some are more common and readily accessible while others require special ordering. Consider climate, egg production, and temperament when choosing the right breed for you.
To make sure your chickens are healthy, it is recommended to provide them with good quality feed and fresh water every day. Depending on the age of your chickens and what you want them for, food is available for every situation. This could be starter feed (designed for chicks up to 6 weeks old), grower feed, layer feed, and organic or non-GMO feed. You can find these at any local store that carries farm supplies (Tractor Supply Company, Rural King, etc.).
Hens start to lay eggs between the ages of 4-6 months; however, this can vary depending on breed, nutrition, daylight hours, and overall health. The amount of daylight hours affects egg production. Hens must have daylight to trigger their reproductive system and start laying eggs. Little Cottage Company creates a portable chicken coop option that you can move to various places in your yard. During the winter, to ensure they get a good amount of daylight, you can install artificial lighting, so they get 14-16 hours a day. The healthier your laying hen is, the better quality your eggs will be. Fresher eggs have firmer whites and more pronounced yolks.
To handle chickens, do not chase them! Train them to come to you and build trust and a positive bond. You can train them to come to you by giving them treats or pelleted food. Then, gently pick them up. You can secure them under your arm and carry them. Being gentle is key to handling your chickens, as it will keep them calmer and feel more secure. Just make sure to wash your hands after to get any possible salmonella bacteria off.
Hopefully after reading this guide, you have more information about how to raise your chicken in our coops! Buy your chicken coop today and get started raising your feathered friends at cottagekits.com.