Chickens are fun and loving creatures that also provide a constant supply of fresh eggs. However, you need to take proper care of them if you want to have a beautiful flock of happy and healthy chickens. Discover everything you need to know about the basics of caring for chickens. There are a number of tasks you need to perform daily and monthly basis to keep your flock of chickens happy and healthy.
Needless to say, you need to feed your chickens daily. For feeding the chickens, you can use a large hanging feeder and in this feeder, you can add chicken feed as required. Make sure that you feed them a set amount of chicken feed each day.
You also need to collect eggs on a daily basis to make sure that the eggs are as clean as possible. It also maximizes freshness and minimizes cracked eggs.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the chickens have a clean source of fresh water at all times. Poop, shavings and straw can easily get in the water and make it unfit for drinking. If the waterer is slimy, it is important that you clean it before filling it up with water. You may use an oxygen bleach product or a dish washing soap and water to clean the water.
Make sure that the water is clean otherwise chicken may not drink the water and may fall ill. You should also observe your chickens regularly to make sure that they look healthy. Healthy chickens should be active, alert and have smooth feathers and bright eyes.
Other than the daily tasks, there are some tasks you need to do on a monthly basis to keep your chickens healthy and safe.
If your chicken flock is in suburban or city areas, it is recommended to change the bedding in the chicken coop at least once in a month. For chicken flocks in rural areas, the deep litter method may be used. In this method, you need to keep on adding more bedding each month until you reach 6 inches of bedding. This method will allow you to remove the bedding only twice a year. This chicken litter can be composted for a season and used in the garden as its nitrogen rich.
Bedding in the nest boxes will also become soiled with broken eggs or poop over time. You will need to pull out the soiled and wet parts and replace it with fresh bedding materials. This will allow you to clean eggs in an easy manner and your hens will keep laying eggs in the nest boxes.
The waterer should be scrubbed with dish soap and warm water regularly. You may also use a sanitizing solution or you may add one part bleach to ten parts water to form your own sanitizing solution.
You should remove everything from the chicken coop at least once or twice a year. After removing everything, you should wash everything with a sanitizing solution of your choice. You should also make preparations to make sure that your chickens are ready to thrive in the cold winter weather. You may get heaters for the waterer if needed.
Use this guide to help you with the basics of caring for chickens so that your chickens will be healthy and clean while producing the tastiest eggs for your family and friends.