Elevating yard chickens generally is a enjoyable and rewarding expertise, offering contemporary 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 the moment’s Home-owner Manufacturing Supervisor Corey Wilson is becoming a member of me to speak hen.
With regards to constructing or shopping for a hen coop, measurement is a vital consideration. The quantity of house wanted for every chook will differ relying on the variety of birds you propose to maintain, however a normal rule of thumb is to offer 2-3 sq. toes of coop house per chook and 5-10 sq. toes of run house per chook.
Keep in mind —chickens sleep within the air, perched on a limb, so ensure to incorporate sufficient house for them to sleep comfortably.
A hen coop usually contains a number of key components: nesting containers, roosts, runs, and an enclosed space for sleeping and safety.
Nesting 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.
With regards to flooring, use supplies like sand, hay or pine shavings. These supplies are comfy for the chickens and straightforward to scrub. 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 certain that they’re comfy 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. Nonetheless, the precise egg manufacturing can differ relying on quite a few elements reminiscent of the quantity of daylight, consolation, predators, and diet.
- Daylight: Chickens want no less than 14 hours of daylight as a way 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 sort 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 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 encompassing space.
- Diet: Chickens want a balanced weight loss 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.
Apparently sufficient, a rooster is just not obligatory 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 forms of hen meals obtainable in the marketplace, every designed to fulfill the precise dietary wants of chickens at completely different phases of their life.
- Starter feed: One of these meals is formulated for chicks throughout their first six weeks of life. It accommodates a excessive stage of protein, round 20-24 %, to assist them develop and develop shortly.
- Grower feed: Because the chicks develop, they want completely different meals. Designed for chickens between 6-20 weeks previous, grower feed accommodates a decrease protein stage round 16-18 % as they don’t want as a lot protein as after they had been chicks however nonetheless want sufficient to help their progress.
- Layer feed: Chickens are adults as soon as they attain 20 weeks previous, so that they now want a special sort of meals. Layer feed is formulated for egg-laying hens, so it accommodates a better stage 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 a whole 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 completely different grains and protein sources. It’s often moist and straightforward for chickens to eat.
- Scratch: Scratch is a sort of feed that’s made up of entire grains reminiscent of corn and barley. Chickens are inspired to forage, so the sort of meals is can used as a deal with.
Value to Feed Chickens
With regards to feeding your chickens, an excellent 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 wherever from $40 to $50. This may occasionally seem to be lots, 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, contemporary 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 and so they often price round $10-15.