So, you want to raise chickens? Well, you have embarked on a fun, amazing journey!!! There are some advantages and disadvantages, so this article could be some help for you.
Important!!! before you consider raising chickens, you had better check with the city to see if you can. There are some places where you can, and can't. Also some have a limit. But, if you live in the country, i don't think that will be much of a problem.
I have owned chickens for around 2-3 years. I will assure you they are truly remarkable and a blast to have around. I have tried to learn as much about chickens and other domestic poultry, such as turkeys, peafowl, guineas, etc as i possibly could. I tend to my birds. First, lets look at the advantages of having chickens.
You already know about the farm fresh eggs, and how they are a lot better than factory eggs. And i'm here to tell you that. I will conclude that it is true, since I truly don't eat the store bought eggs even since my first hen, Lucky, started laying. The difference is taste if for multiple reasons. it could be from the food they eat, what breed they are, where they are kept, and how much space they have. Just to name a few. You can sell your eggs to neighbors, family friends, and people you know so that hopefully you can make some money from it. Each hen lays an egg a day, depending on how many chickens you have, you can get over a dozen is a couple days. Imagine how much money you would have then!! Just a heads up, some breeds don't lay an egg everyday, but every other day. Many of the layers will produce 3-5 eggs a week. Which is a good thing, since people are interested in the quality eggs.
Some of the breeds lay brown eggs, others white, and some of the others lay blue or green. If you want a common white layer, look for these breeds: Silkies, Assorted Polish, Black Sumatra, Blue Andalusian, Blue Hamburgs, Buff Silkies, Exchequer Leghorn, Golden Campine, Golden Lakenvelder, Sicilian Buttercup,Silver Spangled Hamburg, White Sultan. If you are interested in a brown layer, look into these: Australorp, Barred Plymoth Rock, Frizzle Cochins, Jersey Giants, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Buckeye, Buff Orpington, deleware, Easter Egger, Golden Laced Wyandotte, Mottled Cochin Bantam,Silver Laced Cochin, Welsummer. If you want to find a bird and what egg class it is in, an easy place to find that is www.mypetchicken.com.
Chickens are also known to be very friendly, depending on the breed. They sure relieve stress for me!!! They will do funny things like hop on your lap, cuddle up with you, make hilarious noises, and much, much more!!! You'll just have to find that out for yourself.
You may also choose to raise your chickens for meat. You may enjoy the meat, after getting it. I will say it is a rather violent process. I wouldn't recommend it. If you want to raise the chickens for meat, remember these tips. 1. Do not get too attached to the chicken, it will be a lot harder to do the process if you name it and give it attention. 2. Don't kill the hens. They will give you a meal or two with their meat, but they can provide a whole lot more with their eggs. 3. Once you are done with the process, make sure you wash and sanitize everything you used.
Chickens produce a natural fertilizer: their poop. it can be used in your garden to speed up your plants growth. You can put it in your compost bin as well. You may think now that it is gross, but it isn't. After you raise chickens, you will realize what is and what isn't gross.
Lets go on to the disadvantages.
You will always have to get them food, water, and grit. Grit is an essential thing for a chicken. If you don't know what grit is, is consists of small rocks. It helps grind up food in the gizzard. You can find all of the materials you need at a farm store, like Campbells Supply, TSC. Some of the stuff is really spendy. it will require some money. If you don't have a farm store nearby, a hardware store will probably do the trick. You will also need to get a coop. If you build your coop, it will require money for the materials, time, and labor. If you buy a coop, it will cost more, but it would save you the time and labor.
Chickens can be dirty, and so the materials in the coop will need to be washed or sanitized to prevent gross things from beginning to grow, jeopardizing your flocks health. Use straw and a bedding, it is cheap and is good warmth for them.
Finally, raising and owning chickens require many things, and thus the owner has to be willing to take care of them, and make sure they get enough nutrition.Oyster shells are an excellent source of calcium. You can get them at a farm store. If a hen doesn't get enough calcium, the calcium that goes into the eggshell comes from her bones, and you will start to notice little bumps among the shell. Another sign that shows a hen that doesn't have enough calcium in her system is that the eggshells start to become soft.
Overall, i love raising chickens, and so do a lot of other people i know. I look back on the day i got them and think to myself, I sure do love them, and ,why didnt i do this sooner! Now it is time to decide if the pros outweigh the cons, but that is your decision, not mine. Hopefully you have learned something from this article has helped your decision. Good Luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.
If you have any questions or just need some advice, Pm me, or come join my chat thread, Turkenstein25's Chat Thread. Good Luck Everyone!!!