Perhaps the time has come, and you have decided to begin eating healthily and simply- maybe you want natural choice for your kids to learn responsibility.
In other words, you are the proud new or (almost) new owner of a hand-made Amish chicken coop, and now you are wondering the best ways to go about actually beginning to fill it with happy hens. We’ve been there. Here’s some words of advice:
1. First of all, chickens are sociable animals. They will come to know and recognize you- probably even wait for you to come out to them in the mornings! They can even be called by name.
Don’t leave them alone- you need at least two or three chickens to begin with. And remember, hens will produce an egg almost every single day at first.
Over time (chickens generally live 5-10 years), however, she may begin to stop altogether. Anticipate this, and know your options.
2. A pair of hens will produce about a dozen eggs a week. If you need more than this- or you or your kids just really love having the hens around- by all means, purchase more. Eggs last longer than you think.
3. The typical hen will eat about a quarter of a pound of feed a day. Do not forget- chickens need proper feed for nutrition.
If you are trying to save money, permit only about 15% of your chickens’ diet to consist of food scraps (fruits, vegetables, etc.).
4. Do not abandon your chickens. As they are sociable, they also rely on you to remember them.
In addition to the normal duties such as refilling water and feeding, make sure to give your chickens time to roam freely. They love company, and to coop them up for too long without exercise will only stress them out (and remember what was said about stress!).
Like cats, they can be left for a couple of days if you leave the proper provisions. But it’s best not to make a habit of it.
5. Chickens can produce eggs on a regular basis for about 18 to 40 months. As mentioned in No. 2 above, begin planning what it is you wish to do with chickens who no longer produce.
Raising chickens is a wonderfully empowering adventure. As the practice grows in popularity, information will only continue to permeate all corners of the internet.
We’ve been in this businesses for a good time, and we know our way around. If you have any particular questions about raising chickens or about the ins and outs of a chicken coop, please give us a call at 717-205-2660.