Hi Everyone. This is my first post on backyardchickens. I am from Islamabad Pakistan. Since a long time I wanted to have a small scale poultry setup at my home. I always thought its a good source of food and secondly chickens are fun to have. They dont let u get bored. But I did not have any backyard land. I live in an urban area so I had to dedicate my front lawn section to the project.
At the beginning I had plans of 30 hens and 5 roosters. However, just one more , just on more eventually hijacked my mind and I ended up having 150 with approx 135 hens and 15 rooster. But it was a huge mistake and I soon realized it. I did not have prior experience of poultry so I did not know its really a science to keep hens healthy and happy. you really have to understand the dynamics and be a psychiatrist to keep the hens stress free and productive.
The portion of the lawn near the small wall was selected for the hen house.
Another view of the selected area.
The Raw Material
After two months of hard work I finally managed to construct the Hen House.
The Hen house was finally completed. Initially I bought 2 months age of chicken. Some of the hens started laying after a month. Others are coming on laying stage with the passage of time.
The inside view
Initially I brought 45 hens. But later on added more in 3 different stages. I did not realize the mistake I was making at that time. When I brought them they were weak and stressed out and it was really cold. So an outbreak of IBV broke out in the flock. With good care only 2 hens were lost. The others recovered and became healthy. I was happy that I most of them survived. As they became healthy severe pecking order problem broke out. Every morning I used to find one or two hens severely injured and bleeding. I still have that problem as depicted in the picture below. I had to shift the injured ones in seperate room in the backside of the house.
An injured hen with her back side almost eaten.
I spent almost US$ 1500 on the construction inlcuding the cost of the chickens. But now this hobby is turning into a nightmare. I did not think in my wildest dream that hens actually do kill each other.
Currently I get about 30 eggs daily. Some of the chickens have not matured yet but I think stress and severe pecking problem is also keeping the newer hens to lay eggs.
I will share some more pictures and detail of my design if anyone is interested. Its all constructed out of heavy metal coz wood does not survive here due to termites.
Also please help me in getting the fighting and cannibalism down. What steps can I take to reduce these evil habits.