Elevating yard chickens is usually a enjoyable and rewarding expertise, offering recent eggs and even a supply of companionship. Nevertheless, earlier than you begin your yard hen journey, it’s vital to know the fundamentals of constructing and sustaining a hen coop.
Immediately’s House owner Manufacturing Supervisor Corey Wilson is becoming a member of me to speak hen.
On the subject of constructing or shopping for a hen coop, dimension is a crucial consideration. The quantity of area wanted for every chook will fluctuate relying on the variety of birds you intend to maintain, however a normal rule of thumb is to offer 2-3 sq. ft of coop area per chook and 5-10 sq. ft of run area per chook.
Keep in mind —chickens sleep within the air, perched on a limb, so ensure that to incorporate sufficient area for them to sleep comfortably.
A hen coop usually contains 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 area for the birds to sleep, relaxation and take shelter.
On the subject of flooring, use supplies like sand, hay or pine shavings. These supplies are snug for the chickens and simple to wash. Additionally they take in moisture, which helps preserve 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, together with her reproductive cycle lasting between 24-27 hours. Nevertheless, the precise egg manufacturing can fluctuate relying on numerous elements resembling the quantity of daylight, consolation, predators, and vitamin.
- Daylight: Chickens want not less than 14 hours of daylight with a view to lay eggs. Within the winter, when daytime are shorter, egg manufacturing will naturally lower. You should utilize synthetic gentle to complement the daytime, however it’s vital to make use of the appropriate 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 encircling space.
- Diet: Chickens want a balanced food regimen that gives the required vitamins for egg manufacturing. Feed particularly formulated for laying hens will present the appropriate stability of protein, calcium, and different important vitamins.
Curiously sufficient, a rooster is just not essential 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 will want a rooster.
There are a selection of kinds of hen meals out there in the marketplace, every designed to satisfy the particular dietary wants of chickens at totally different levels of their life.
- Starter feed: One of these meals is formulated for chicks throughout their first six weeks of life. It incorporates a excessive degree of protein, round 20-24 p.c, to assist them develop and develop shortly.
- 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 p.c as they don’t want as a lot protein as once they had been chicks however nonetheless want sufficient to help their development.
- Layer feed: Chickens are adults as soon as they attain 20 weeks outdated, so that they now want a distinct sort of meals. Layer feed is formulated for egg-laying hens, so it incorporates 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: 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 totally different grains and protein sources. It’s often moist and simple for chickens to eat.
- Scratch: Scratch is a sort of feed that’s made up of complete grains resembling corn and barley. Chickens are inspired to forage, so any such meals is can used as a deal with.
Value to Feed Chickens
On the subject of 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 will look like quite a bit, however when you think about the truth that chickens will lay eggs nearly day by day, 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 value round $10-15.