Elevating yard chickens could be a enjoyable and rewarding expertise, offering recent eggs and even a supply of companionship. Nonetheless, earlier than you begin your yard hen journey, it’s vital to grasp the fundamentals of constructing and sustaining a hen coop.
Right now’s House owner Manufacturing Supervisor Corey Wilson is becoming a member of me to talk hen.
In relation to constructing or shopping for a hen coop, dimension is a vital consideration. The quantity of house wanted for every hen will fluctuate relying on the variety of birds you intend to maintain, however a basic rule of thumb is to supply 2-3 sq. ft of coop house per hen and 5-10 sq. ft of run house per hen.
Bear in mind —chickens sleep within the air, perched on a limb, so be sure that to incorporate sufficient house for them to sleep comfortably.
A hen coop sometimes contains a number of key components: nesting packing containers, roosts, runs, and an enclosed space for sleeping and safety.
Nesting packing containers present a secure and safe place for chickens to put their eggs, whereas roosts give the birds a spot to sleep.
Runs are important for train and foraging. The enclosed space serves as a protected house for the birds to sleep, relaxation and take shelter.
In relation to flooring, use supplies like sand, hay or pine shavings. These supplies are snug for the chickens and simple to scrub. Additionally they take in moisture, which helps maintain the coop dry and smelling recent.
A well-built and maintained coop is essential for the well being and well-being of your chickens. Offering sufficient house, perches, and appropriate supplies for the birds, will make sure that they’re snug and wholesome and might produce eggs effectively.
A wholesome hen will sometimes lay one egg per day, along with her reproductive cycle lasting between 24-27 hours. Nonetheless, the precise egg manufacturing can fluctuate relying on a variety of elements similar to the quantity of daylight, consolation, predators, and diet.
- Daylight: Chickens want not less than 14 hours of daylight with a purpose to lay eggs. Within the winter, when daytime are shorter, egg manufacturing will naturally lower. You should use synthetic mild to complement the daytime, but it surely’s vital to make use of the correct sort of sunshine and the correct quantity to keep away from stressing the birds.
- Consolation: Chickens want a clear, dry and secure place to put their eggs. A well-maintained hen coop with nest packing containers will present the consolation and safety that chickens want to put eggs.
- Predators: Chickens that really feel threatened by predators is not going to lay eggs. It’s vital to guard your chickens from predators by securing the coop and the encompassing space.
- Diet: Chickens want a balanced weight loss plan that gives the required vitamins for egg manufacturing. Feed particularly formulated for laying hens will present the correct stability of protein, calcium, and different important vitamins.
Curiously sufficient, a rooster shouldn’t be needed for a hen to put eggs. Hens will lay eggs whether or not or not there’s a rooster current. Nonetheless, if you wish to breed chickens, you will have a rooster.
There are a number of kinds of hen meals accessible available on the market, every designed to satisfy the precise dietary wants of chickens at completely different phases of their life.
- Starter feed: This sort of meals is formulated for chicks throughout their first six weeks of life. It comprises a excessive stage of protein, round 20-24 p.c, to assist them develop and develop rapidly.
- Grower feed: Because the chicks develop, they want completely different meals. Designed for chickens between 6-20 weeks previous, grower feed comprises a decrease protein stage round 16-18 p.c as they don’t want as a lot protein as once they have been chicks however nonetheless want sufficient to assist their progress.
- Layer feed: Chickens are adults as soon as they attain 20 weeks previous, so that they now want a unique sort of meals. Layer feed is formulated for egg-laying hens, so it comprises a better stage of calcium to assist the formation of eggshells.
- Pellets: These small, easy-to-eat items are handy to make use of and retailer, and are sometimes used as a whole feed for chickens.
- Crumbles: Much like pellets, crumbles are additionally compressed, however they’re smaller in dimension and are usually extra palatable for chickens.
- Mash: Mash is made by mixing collectively completely different grains and protein sources. It’s often moist and simple for chickens to eat.
- Scratch: Scratch is a kind of feed that’s made up of entire grains similar to corn and barley. Chickens are inspired to forage, so this sort of meals is can used as a deal with.
Price to Feed Chickens
In relation to feeding your chickens, a great rule of thumb is to plan for about one bag of meals each three weeks for a flock of 10 hens.
On common, a bag of hen feed can price anyplace from $40 to $50. This will look like so much, however when you think about the truth that chickens will lay eggs nearly on daily basis, it’s a small value to pay for the scrumptious, recent eggs they supply.
Along with common hen feed, present your birds with oyster shells for calcium. That is important for sustaining the power of their eggshells. You should buy oyster shells in a bag they usually often price round $10-15.