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.
At present’s House owner Manufacturing Supervisor Corey Wilson is becoming a member of me to speak hen.
In relation to constructing or shopping for a hen coop, dimension is a crucial consideration. The quantity of area wanted for every chicken will fluctuate relying on the variety of birds you intend to maintain, however a common rule of thumb is to offer 2-3 sq. ft of coop area per chicken and 5-10 sq. ft of run area per chicken.
Keep in mind —chickens sleep within the air, perched on a limb, so make certain to incorporate sufficient area for them to sleep comfortably.
A hen coop usually contains a number of key elements: nesting bins, roosts, runs, and an enclosed space for sleeping and safety.
Nesting bins 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 area 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 wash. Additionally they take up 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 area, 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 usually lay one egg per day, along with her reproductive cycle lasting between 24-27 hours. Nonetheless, the precise egg manufacturing can fluctuate relying on quite a lot of components comparable to the quantity of daylight, consolation, predators, and diet.
- Daylight: Chickens want no less than 14 hours of daylight in an effort to lay eggs. Within the winter, when daylight are shorter, egg manufacturing will naturally lower. You should utilize synthetic gentle to complement the daylight, nevertheless it’s vital to make use of the best kind of sunshine and the correct amount 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 bins 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 vital to guard your chickens from predators by securing the coop and the encircling space.
- Diet: Chickens want a balanced food plan that gives the mandatory vitamins for egg manufacturing. Feed particularly formulated for laying hens will present the best stability of protein, calcium, and different important vitamins.
Curiously sufficient, a rooster isn’t crucial 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’ll need a rooster.
There are a number of varieties of hen meals out there available on the market, every designed to satisfy the particular 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 incorporates a excessive degree of protein, round 20-24 %, 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 incorporates a decrease protein degree round 16-18 % as they don’t want as a lot protein as once they had been chicks however nonetheless want sufficient to assist their progress.
- Layer feed: Chickens are adults as soon as they attain 20 weeks outdated, so that they now want a special kind of meals. Layer feed is formulated for egg-laying hens, so it incorporates a better degree 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: Just 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 totally 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 comparable to corn and barley. Chickens are inspired to forage, so one of these meals is can used as a deal with.
Price to Feed Chickens
In relation to feeding your chickens, a very good 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 value wherever from $40 to $50. This may occasionally look like so much, however when you think about the truth that chickens will lay eggs virtually daily, 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 energy of their eggshells. You should purchase oyster shells in a bag they usually often value round $10-15.