If you like the idea of raising small animals that can provide you with food, you can’t go wrong learning how to raise chickens. Chickens are smarter than most people give them credit for and they all have unique personalities.
Chickens are great outdoor pets for children and adults of all ages. Just as importantly, they will start laying eggs after five or six months. This means free farm-fresh eggs all year round.
While raising chickens is relatively easy, there are a few things you’ll need to learn before investing in your first baby chicks. We’re here to help you along. Keep reading for a quick guide on how to raise chickens at home.
Start Baby Chicks Inside
First, most baby chicks become available to purchase near the end of winter. In most regions, it’s far too cold outside for the baby chicks. They must be kept indoors under close watch to prevent unnecessary deaths.
You can build a temporary container out of household items like cardboard and plastic sheeting. We suggest making a roof over the box with chicken wire to avoid any of the little guys from jumping out.
Finally, get a heat lamp to ensure they are warm enough, as baby chicks can’t generate their own body heat.
Check for Pasty-Butt
One of the most important things about learning how to raise chickens is learning how to keep them alive. Sadly, a large number of baby chicks die from something called pasty-butt.
This is when their droppings get stuck on their bottom down feathers. It dries and gradually causes a blockage. This condition can kill a baby chick in under 24 hours.
Check your baby chicks for buildup on their bottoms. You may have to pull off the droppings and some of their bottom feathers. It will be a little unpleasant, but will ultimately prevent them from dying.
Get the Right Food
Another aspect of learning how to raise chicks is doing your homework to find out what to feed chickens. Baby chicks require different food than adult backyard chickens.
Start with an organic chick starter for the first eight weeks. Then, you can bump them up to adult chicken food. To save yourself a ton of time and frustration, invest in a feeder and waterer.
Build or Buy an Outdoor Chicken Coup
Finally, you need a safe environment where your chickens will thrive once they’re old enough to go outside. This is essential when learning how to raise chickens. After all, why put all the time, money, and energy into the animals if they’re not going to be safe outdoors?
We recommend a chicken coup to keep them out of the harsher elements. Whether they need shade or shelter from hail, their chicken coup should provide it.
You should also build a fenced-in chicken run or keep them in a backyard that’s already fenced in. This will protect them from natural predators. This includes cats, dogs, skunks, raccoons, coyotes, and other animals you would find in a developed nieghrohood.
Want More Help on How to Raise Chickens?
If you’re planning on raising backyard chickens, take some time to learn what you’re getting into. Remember, you’ll be responsible for the lives of these precious animals. Do everything you can to understand how to raise chickens correctly before bringing them home.
And if you want more tips on raising pets or improving your home, stick around. Check out some of our other articles while you’re here. Our blog is full of content created to help people like you.