Are you trying to figure out how to take care of chickens? Read this article to learn more about the best tips for taking care of chickens.
If you’re a first-time chicken owner, there’s probably a lot you’re still learning about them.
It might seem intimidating, but backyard chicken care doesn’t have to be overwhelming. They’re fairly simple creatures that aren’t difficult to care for once you know their basic needs.
Here are some helpful tips on how to take care of chickens.
Clean Their Coop Regularly
Chickens are messy creatures. So, chicken coop care should go to the top of you’re the list for your daily routine.
Their water should be changed every day. If hay pine shavings, dirt, and debris, or even their feces get into their water, chickens might refuse to drink it. If they go without water for even a short period, dehydration is a risk. And if they did drink it, they might ingest bacteria and fall ill.
You’ll also want to sanitize their water container with a water and bleach mixture at least once a month.
Chicken droppings will get everywhere, too. It’s also important to keep the ground clean.
Consider using hay to cover the ground, as it’s a little easier to clean up than pine shavings. Sprinkle some barn lime on the ground underneath this layer to control odors and ammonia build-up.
Find a Vet in Advance
Depending on where you live, it might be harder than you think to find a vet that treats chickens and other farm animals. Compile a list of veterinarians in your area that treat chickens before you ever need to visit one.
Having this list prepared in advance will make your life easier if a healthcare emergency arises for your chickens. And it could mean the difference between life and death for your feathered friend. Since you’ll know where you can go, you won’t waste any time calling veterinary facilities.
Feed Them Well
Chickens are versatile eaters who require a balanced diet.
You can find chicken feed at any agricultural stores. Consider a corn free feed, as it’s the healthier option for your chickens. Corn offers fewer nutritional benefits compared to other types of feed, such as premium poultry grain mix and seeds.
Supplement their feed with kitchen scraps – veggies, fruits, pasta. For additional calcium, give them crushed oyster shells, which helps them create stronger eggs.
And remember, chickens are omnivores. You’ll probably catch them eating insects, worms, and small critters in the yard.
There’s a Pecking Order
Don’t be alarmed when your chickens develop a clear pecking order.
They have their own social structure. So, one chicken will come out on top as the most dominant and aggressive in the flock.
If you see them pecking at each other and getting into small scuffles, don’t panic. It might seem dramatic and scary, but this is normal behavior as they establish their pecking order.
Also, the pecking order changes over time for a variety of reasons, such as injury or illness, introducing new chickens to the flock, or even moodiness.
The Most Important Advice on How to Take Care of Chickens? Provide Them a Safe Space
As a backyard chicken owner, safety should be one of your highest priorities. Chickens have many predators, so you need to keep their enemies out of their coop.
Install or build a coop with secure locks. You’ll also want to fence it in and raise it off the ground for that extra level of security.
And if you have dogs, you’ll need to train them on how to behave around your flock.
Learn More About Your Pets
Now that you know the most important pieces of how to take care of chickens, check out other articles on this site to learn how to care for other pets and animals.
Pets can enhance our lives in many ways. It’s important that we treat them well, protect them, and keep them healthy.