Elevating yard chickens generally is a enjoyable and rewarding expertise, offering contemporary eggs and even a supply of companionship. Nevertheless, earlier than you begin your yard hen journey, it’s necessary to grasp the fundamentals of constructing and sustaining a hen coop.
At present’s House owner Manufacturing Supervisor Corey Wilson is becoming a member of me to talk hen.
In the case of constructing or shopping for a hen coop, measurement is a vital consideration. The quantity of house wanted for every fowl will fluctuate relying on the variety of birds you propose to maintain, however a common rule of thumb is to supply 2-3 sq. toes of coop house per fowl and 5-10 sq. toes of run house per fowl.
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 consists of a number of key elements: 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 the case of flooring, use supplies like sand, hay or pine shavings. These supplies are snug for the chickens and straightforward to wash. In addition they soak up moisture, which helps preserve the coop dry and smelling contemporary.
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 be sure that they’re snug and wholesome and may produce eggs effectively.
A wholesome hen will sometimes lay one egg per day, together with her reproductive cycle lasting between 24-27 hours. Nevertheless, the precise egg manufacturing can fluctuate relying on quite a lot of elements equivalent to the quantity of daylight, consolation, predators, and diet.
- Daylight: Chickens want at the very least 14 hours of daylight in an effort to lay eggs. Within the winter, when daytime are shorter, egg manufacturing will naturally lower. You should use synthetic mild to complement the daytime, however it’s necessary 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 won’t lay eggs. It’s necessary to guard your chickens from predators by securing the coop and the encompassing space.
- Vitamin: Chickens want a balanced food plan that gives the required vitamins for egg manufacturing. Feed particularly formulated for laying hens will present the correct steadiness of protein, calcium, and different important vitamins.
Apparently sufficient, a rooster will not be needed for a hen to put eggs. Hens will lay eggs whether or not or not there’s a rooster current. Nevertheless, if you wish to breed chickens, you’ll need a rooster.
There are a selection of forms of hen meals out there available on the market, every designed to fulfill the precise dietary wants of chickens at totally different phases of their life.
- Starter feed: Such a meals is formulated for chicks throughout their first six weeks of life. It comprises a excessive degree of protein, round 20-24 p.c, to assist them develop and develop rapidly.
- Grower feed: Because the chicks develop, they want totally different meals. Designed for chickens between 6-20 weeks outdated, grower feed comprises a decrease protein degree round 16-18 p.c as they don’t want as a lot protein as after they have been chicks however nonetheless want sufficient to help their progress.
- Layer feed: Chickens are adults as soon as they attain 20 weeks outdated, so that they now want a unique sort of meals. Layer feed is formulated for egg-laying hens, so it comprises a better degree of calcium to help the formation of eggshells.
- Pellets: These small, easy-to-eat items are handy to make use of and retailer, and are sometimes used as an entire feed for chickens.
- Crumbles: Just like pellets, crumbles are additionally compressed, however they’re smaller in measurement and are usually extra palatable for chickens.
- Mash: Mash is made by mixing collectively totally different grains and protein sources. It’s normally moist and straightforward for chickens to eat.
- Scratch: Scratch is a kind of feed that’s made up of entire grains equivalent to corn and barley. Chickens are inspired to forage, so such a meals is can used as a deal with.
Price to Feed Chickens
In the case of 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 may occasionally appear to be so much, however when you think about the truth that chickens will lay eggs nearly each day, it’s a small value to pay for the scrumptious, contemporary eggs they supply.
Along with common hen feed, present your birds with oyster shells for calcium. That is important for sustaining the energy of their eggshells. You should buy oyster shells in a bag and so they normally price round $10-15.