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We are a chicken family.
We have seven cherubs and six chickens.
I have seven kids following me inside the house and
six chickens following me outside the house making me...
one serious mother hen!
We decided to get the chickens to save money.
This all started when we began cooking scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Our family loves scrambled eggs.
A normal breakfast of scrambled eggs in our house uses up 16 eggs!
Insane! Insane I tell you!
So we did our research and got ourselves a chicken coop and chickens.
So today I thought I would share with you our tips for raising chickens to
help you get 'value for money'.
Raising and keeping chickens at home in the backyard is an easy, economical way to get fresh eggs and save money. They are fairly inexpensive to maintain and to raise, and you are guaranteed to have fresh eggs that are chemical and hormone free.
Up close and personal with some of the girls.
Let me introduce the girls:
Penny, Pecker, Rainbow, Skywalker, Buck Buck and Poop!
So here are our top 10 tips for raising chickens:
1. Choose the best chicken coop or house for your space. If you have a small space in your yard make sure you have a coop that can comfortably fit in that area. Also consider how much space each chicken needs in order to avoid squashing them too close together. When purchasing a coop talk to whoever you are buying it from about how many chickens you plan to raise.
2. Create a safe area for your chickens. Protect them against outside predators and make sure they cannot escape themselves. We have learned that chickens like to jump and can cleverly get over high fences even with clipped wings. See example below:
3. Provide ample space for chickens to roam. Chickens cooped up in one small area are generally stressed and unhappy. Giving them some free grass time brings great benefits of better eggs and improved diet.
4. Pick the best possible food for your chickens. There are many organic food options available which provide your flock with the best nutrients and do not contain nasty pesticides or chemicals found in cheaper alternatives. Provide them with plenty of food scraps and add variety to their diet. Our chickens love yogurt, oatmeal and chocolate cake!
5. Provide plenty of attention to your chickens. They can be happy left alone but they love to receive some attention and love. Our children have enjoyed carrying them around, talking to them and running after them in the back yard.
6. Chickens need to be checked on regularly to ensure their health and happiness. Clip the wings, keep the chicken coop clean and treat for bugs and other insects.
7. Decide what age you want to own chickens from. We have had some chickens from when they were a couple of days old and the children have loved watching them grow into laying hens. This was very exciting for the children to own baby chicks but be prepared to wait a while before eggs start to appear. We have also had chickens from the 'point of lay' age and it has been hard to blend them in with the existing chickens we already have. Be prepared for some chicken fighting but the eggs come faster and things settle down.
8. Protect your garden. If you have a vegetable garden or like growing your garden, be prepared to have it attacked by chickens. Many chickens like to nibble on fresh grown vegetables or flowers. They are wonderful at getting rid of pests and bugs but can destroy a garden in seconds.
9. Be careful with young children. Young children are naturally curious and need to be reminded about being gentle if you have baby chicks. As the chickens get older they can peck in the face and go for anything that sparkles. This can result in pecking on clothing and jewelery. We have lost several earrings from our chickens! That being said, when using caution and safety practices, raising chickens can be a fun and exciting task for young children.
10. Chickens are actually quite friendly animals and provide a great way to teach children about responsibility and how to care for living things. They also provide a source of pride for those who raise them, and give people experience in small animal farming and egg hatching. Some people raise chickens in their backyards to raise money. We have delighted in our abundance of fresh eggs and love to share our bounty with friends when we have spare.
We love our chickens and appreciate the gift they provide for us with wonderful eggs.
Does anyone else have great tips for raising chickens???
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