A Guide to Keeping Chickens
In the past few years, families across the UK have fallen in love with the idea of keeping chickens and their popularity is still growing. When you can cook up some fresh eggs in the morning and enjoy discovering each chicken’s individual personality, it’s not difficult to see why we’re becoming a nation of chicken keepers!
The only problem is that a lot of us don’t know all that much about keeping chickens, which makes starting out with your chickens pretty tricky. Luckily, you’ve stumbled across this beginners’ guide to chickens which will give you all the information you need to get started as soon as possible:
Where Should You Keep Chickens?
Chickens like and need a lot of space so you need to ensure that the size of your chicken coop is suited for the number of chickens you’re hoping to keep. You don’t need acres of land for your chickens to roam in but you will need:
• A minimum of 250cm2 per chicken. If you’re not sure what that amount of space actually equates to, it’s time to get your tape measure out!
• You’ll need a fairly large space for your chickens to exercise and investing in a run is a good idea if you’re not keen on the thought of your chickens running free in your garden.
• A nesting box with wood shavings is an absolute must.
How Can Your Protect Your Chickens?
Chickens have a number of natural predators that you need to protect them against. Just because they’re kept inside their coop at night, do not assume that they’ll be safe. Foxes are cunning creatures that will find their way inside coop if it’s left unprotected.
• Attaching wire mesh both around and above your coop is a good way to provide vital protection.
• Don’t forget to close the coop at night. It might sound like an obvious tip but you’d be surprised at how many people forget this all-important security measure.
• Be sure to monitor your chickens regularly. That doesn’t mean that you need to do a head count every hour but keep an eye on them.
• Foxes will be more than happy to dig their way to your chickens so secure wooden boards to the bottom of your fencing.
What Breed Of Chicken Should You Go For?
There’s no particular breed of chicken which is the best but you should take into account your level of experience and do your research about the differences between breeds.
Many blogs, forums and information guides will give different advice about which breed is the best for beginners but you should always do your own research to determine which breed will be the most suitable for YOU.
Before you bring your chickens back to your home you need to make sure that you’ve got everything ready and set up for them. Here’s a checklist so you can be sure that you have everything:
• Mixed Grit
• Hanging drinker
• Bale of shavings
• Hanging feeder
• Feed Scoop
• Layers pellets/meal
• Diatom Powder
• Super mixed corn
• Mite kill & disinfectant spray
• Net Tex liquid tonic
Feel free to add to the list and buy whatever else you think you’ll need or benefit from but don’t forget any of these essentials!
Remember: do your research and be absolutely sure that you’re fully prepared before you bring your chickens home. If you haven’t got enough room for the amount of chickens that you were hoping to get, you need to re-evaluate how many chickens you can care for; please don’t overcrowd your coop!
This article was written by Jennifer Griffiths on behalf of Cocoon. If you’re thinking about keeping chickens then you’ll need a chicken coop and Cocoon should be your first port of call!
- Do people have the right to raise chickens on their property? (sunsetdaily.wordpress.com)
- Raise Chickens in Your Backyard (lovinghomelife.wordpress.com)
- Lesson 712 – Support of the flock (simplethrift.wordpress.com)