Elevating yard chickens could be 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 necessary to know the fundamentals of constructing and sustaining a hen coop.
Right now’s House owner Manufacturing Supervisor Corey Wilson is becoming a member of me to talk hen.
On the subject of constructing or shopping for a hen coop, measurement is a crucial consideration. The quantity of house wanted for every chook will range relying on the variety of birds you intend to maintain, however a normal rule of thumb is to supply 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 be sure that to incorporate sufficient house for them to sleep comfortably.
A hen coop usually consists of a number of key components: nesting containers, roosts, runs, and an enclosed space for sleeping and safety.
Nesting containers present a protected 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.
On the subject of flooring, use supplies like sand, hay or pine shavings. These supplies are comfy for the chickens and straightforward to wash. Additionally they soak up moisture, which helps maintain 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 make sure 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 range relying on a lot of elements resembling the quantity of daylight, consolation, predators, and diet.
- Daylight: Chickens want at the very least 14 hours of daylight as a way to lay eggs. Within the winter, when sunlight hours are shorter, egg manufacturing will naturally lower. You need to use synthetic gentle to complement the sunlight hours, nevertheless it’s necessary 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 protected 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 won’t lay eggs. It’s necessary to guard your chickens from predators by securing the coop and the encompassing space.
- Diet: Chickens want a balanced food plan that gives the required 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 shouldn’t be 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 have to a rooster.
There are a selection of forms of hen meals obtainable available on the market, every designed to fulfill the precise dietary wants of chickens at completely 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 stage of protein, round 20-24 p.c, 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 outdated, grower feed incorporates a decrease protein stage 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 progress.
- Layer feed: Chickens are adults as soon as they attain 20 weeks outdated, so that they now want a unique sort of meals. Layer feed is formulated for egg-laying hens, so it incorporates the next 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 an entire feed for chickens.
- Crumbles: Just like pellets, crumbles are additionally compressed, however they’re smaller in measurement and are typically extra palatable for chickens.
- Mash: Mash is made by mixing collectively completely different grains and protein sources. It’s normally moist and straightforward 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, 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 seem to be so much, however when you think about the truth that chickens will lay eggs virtually each day, it’s a small worth 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 purchase oyster shells in a bag they usually normally value round $10-15.