Suppose you want to start your mini farm, like to have unique pets or want to grow your eggs. Raising chickens might be for you!
Here you’ll find everything you must learn to provide your chickens a balanced diet!
Rise in Chickens Purchase
In light of the recent health crisis that forced people to adapt to working and entertaining themselves from home, there has been a noticeable increase in individuals’ dependence on technology and online resources. This period of time also witnessed a significant expansion in education, extending beyond traditional methods. Individuals found themselves learning various new skills, acquiring knowledge on how to perform tasks that they would typically outsource to businesses for products and services.
This shift was further amplified by the scarcity of products available in stores, instilling a sense of fear and uncertainty about meeting basic needs. The situation did not improve immediately after the crisis; three years on, we are still grappling with exorbitant price hikes aimed at compensating for halted development.
During the pandemic, for instance, this situation applied to eggs, which became a scarce commodity, with stores having only about half of their usual stock, often leaving shelves empty. The situation forced consumers to seek alternatives or, in some cases, go without. Remarkably, even when eggs were eventually restocked, their prices had soared to unprecedented levels. The cost of a single carton became almost exorbitant, prompting many to reevaluate the feasibility of raising chickens at home.
What Does It Take to Raise Chickens?
Raising chickens is not that hard of a feat. There is some work to it, do not get me wrong. Yet, being a farm animal is not as hard as a beginner would think. Not only that, but you do not need any specialty farm equipment. Chickens can be raised right in your backyard. Give or take a few things. Your local city/state ordinance will have a few clucks to give. Make sure to check with their policies on chicken raising, mainly if you are located in an area that permits it.
Next, you need to think about the general care of a chicken.
The Chicken 101
Don’t be a chicken. It is not that much. Food, water, shelter, space, and TLC. Everything any other animal needs, yet your mind automatically thinks on such significant terms when thinking about a farm animal. Chickens are tiny. Therefore, you can feel much smaller. I will break it down into little groups, and you will see it is very doable. Sure, it might take some time, but it will also give you eggs.
Food and Water
Like any living creature, a chicken will need food and water. Otherwise, it is simply not going to survive. Chickens eat randomly throughout the day as they are hungry. Roughly 120 grams of pellets in a day if that is what you are choosing to feed them.
A chicken is an omnivore. This means it will eat anything, much like an opossum. But they do need proteins and calcium. Then, let them do a little bit of foraging on plant matter. Fruits and vegetables are always an excellent choice to add to their diet.
That said, if you do not feed your chickens the appropriate amounts of calcium and protein needed, you could cause them harm. A chicken cannot lay eggs without the proper amounts of calcium and protein in their diet. They also could become sick. Not having the appropriate amount of these things could make them more susceptible to getting certain viruses.
A sick chicken will not benefit you, as it does not lay eggs also will not provide you with any reward. Whether you use these eggs for food consumption or furthering your chicken dynasty does not matter. The eggs are the best part!
To read more about the diet of a Chicken, click here.
You must ensure your chickens have a safe spot to lay their head. Throughout the day, chickens are known to roam. But at night, they need to have somewhere safe to sleep. Since chickens are considered prey, you must provide them with an enclosure to keep out more enormous creatures. Animals such as coyotes, foxes, opossums, raccoons, and even some cats are known to be predators of a chicken.
During the daytime, when the chickens are roaming, you need to remember that they are out walking and are prey. This means getting a fenced-off enclosure for them to wander in or just keeping your eye out for their safety.
In speaking of a fenced-off enclosure, we need to talk about space. You do need an adequate amount of space to house the chickens and room for them to roam. Chickens like to coop up together at night. Room for a large enough coop to house your chickens will be needed. Freedom Range Hatchery states a chicken needs “3-5 square feet of space per chicken inside a chicken coop.” Then, you will also need room for them to wander. Chickens need exercise, and to get their enjoyment for the day, they “roam.” A fenced-in backyard or a quarter of your yard would be sufficient. Freedom Range Hatchery says a chicken needs at least “8-10 square feet per chicken of outdoor space to forage and roam freely.”
The Benefits of Chickening
The fantastic part of owning and raising your chickens is the rewards. Not only can you provide yourself with your proteins (eggs), but you also have meat (chicken). You are providing yourself and your family with a meal. With the current price of eggs and how much chicken costs per pound, that is a win-win!
Looking towards something other than physical sustainability and looking towards mental sustainability, chickens can provide significant stress relief in that area as well. To help care for something else can do great deals for your psyche. Sitting and watching chickens roost and roam can relieve stress and create peace. Many people with mental health concerns appreciate the calm that chickens can provide.
We cannot forget that it is also a great educational experience for children. Teaching the reproductive system to those who have already seen it happen is much easier. It helps teach children the circle of life. To raise a chick that grows into a chicken that eventually roosts and lays her egg, which will then turn into another chick.
No matter what, if you are looking into chickens, if you are wondering if they are worth it. So many families say they are.
A chicken’s diet is not complicated — greenery, fruits, veggies. Never forget the importance of calcium and proteins to keep your chickens healthy and laying eggs. Please provide them with a home big enough to sleep and lay eggs, space to walk, and a safe enclosure to keep out their predators.
Spend time with your chickens, watch your chickens grow, relax with your chickens, and talk to them. Chickens tend to like to chatter. They are frequent noise makers. You will find they enjoy your company.
Teach your children the lesson of life through their eyes. Chickens live for about 4-10 years, long enough for your children to grow and create a bond.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Toa55/iStock via Getty Images
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