Do you want to own backyard chickens? Have you just decided to get into chicken farming but have no idea where to start?
Whether you’re considering homesteading or looking to make it a commercial activity, the most important step you need to take is to prepare a suitable environment for chicken raising.
This article will take you through the six incredibly important things you need for you to start keeping chicken in your own backyard.
A Chicken Coop
One of the first things you’ll need is a place to house your chickens. And that place will be your backyard chicken coop. Chicken coops can take a diverse range of designs, styles, and sizes. It just has to be large enough to accommodate all your chicken along with food and other supplies.
Common materials used to build chicken coops include wood, PVC, vinyl, and plastic. However, the materials used should be of high quality. A chicken coop should also have good ventilation.
The next essential in your backyard chicken raising list is the chicken run. This is an enclosed space in your backyard that you set aside to house chickens. It lets your flock roam and forage around freely without getting exposed to the dangers of the wild.
Common chicken run enclosure options include wooden fences, chain-link fences, chicken mesh, and so on. Your choice of materials should be durable and attractive. The chicken runs should be large enough to accommodate you and all your chickens at the same time.
What if You Have a Whole Barn? Considering Ventilation and More
Often larger than a chicken coop, a chicken barn is an enclosed space where chickens are kept. It comes in handy when keeping larger flocks and also has better ventilation. If you have a whole barn full of chickens, you may want to consider installing barn fans to improve ventilation.
Feeders and Water Dispensers
Another essential in your chicken raising endeavor, food and water dispensers for your flock are a must-have.
Feeders come in various designs and colors, and are made from different types of materials.It could be PVC, wood, or metal.
They are also available in various sizes you can choose from to suit the needs of your flock, and the same case applies to chicken water dispensers.
Nesting Boxes for Hens
Chickens will also require nesting boxes for laying eggs. These boxes provide a safe place for your hens to comfortably lay eggs without worrying about predators or weather damage.
But if you don’t want to bother about the nesting boxes, you can just let your chickens take advantage of the natural nesting behavior of the hen. This is one of the most cost-effective alternatives to nesting boxes.
Chickens will lay eggs in holes of various sizes and shapes, usually dug in the ground. You can then add cardboard boxes, newspaper, wool, or other available material to make the natural nest comfier.
This is another huge essential in your backyard chicken raising requirement checklist. A roost is a place where chickens will sleep at night and rest. They will even fly on top of roosts if they are not too high up.
Now, there are two varieties of chicken roosts – traditional and elevated. Both types of roosts play an important role in protecting the chickens.
- The traditional roosts are simple metal structures. They usually have bars at each end of the structure that is big enough for a hen to sit comfortably on. Your chickens can stay on these roosts throughout the day, keeping watch over their own.
- With elevated chicken roosts, you can create an enclosed space that is much bigger and safer for your birds. This kind of roost gives your birds more security as they don’t have to worry about predators that can come up and raid their roosting space.
You can also add a perch or a perch hole to the elevated roost to provide a place for your birds to land while resting.
Now that you have done your research and prepared your list of requirements, it’s time to start your backyard chicken raising journey. You can start off with just a few chickens and see how it goes as you expand your flock.