How do I raise chickens

There is a movement nationally, increasing numbers of people are beginning to raise chickens. Whether it be the state of the economy or people simply needing to get back to the basic principles - men and women are looking for ways to be a little more self-sufficient and having eggs supplied by your own backyard chickens is one of many ways.

Along with the interest in raising chickens you have to be alert to a few of the poultry equipment needed to maintain your new flock. Some people simply jump right in without a concept - kind of like I did at the outset-- my better half brought home six chickens and we scrambled around looking for temporary housing until we could build better and something to dispense their feed and water. If you've a choice, first determine what is required to start raising chickens and then get your chickens.

What comes first--the chicken or the chicken supplies?

At a local farm supply outlet I noticed a woman had purchased a new baby chicken and along with the chick she had a chick feeder, a chick waterer, and who knows what in your home that was awaiting her new little chicken. She probably is not aware within a few weeks the newborn child chickens will about double in size and will not be in a position to eat out of the chick feeder without opening the top and the waterer will not hold enough to give them a sufficient water supply. These are a few of the things that you study from experience in raising chickens.

If I was considering raising a few chickens in my backyard for the first time, here are the preferred chicken supplies I would have available:

1. Chicken House--when raising chickens the chicken needs a place to call home. Whether it be a chicken tractor, a chicken coop, or a livestock barn, give the chickens a place to get out of the rain, lay an egg, and roost in the evening. Baby chickens require an area with a heat source for a while so the housing requirements will vary.

2. Poultry Equipment--this includes the chicken waterer, poultry feeder, and nesting boxes. The sort of poultry equipment you purchase hinges on the age of the chicken. The feeder and waterer requirements for baby chickens is different than adult poultry. You will require the regular feeders at some point. Unless you buy a pre-fab chicken house most don't accompany nesting boxes so you will need to provide the area where you want to gather the eggs.

3. Used Poultry Equipment-- there are many sources to buy used poultry equipment and the first place I normally look is Craigslist and from there I look for any local livestock or small animal auctions. And don't forget your local trading posts papers. We've one that derives from our local electric company and now and again they have some items at good prices.

4. Chicken Feed--when you bring home your new chickens one of the main matters they wish to do is eat. Again what type you buy is established by the age of the chicken. There are an assortment of chicken feeds around so do your homework to choose the one that is right for you.

5. Storage Containers for Poultry Supplies--what do I mean by this? Somewhere to keep your food and grain so other animals don't have access to it. The likelihood of attracting critters of some sort is very high with all the scratching a chicken does in its food that helps to spread it around. I use metal trash containers and they do the job. I keep my food supplies in one and my chicken equipment in the other.

I have been raising chickens for over five years now so I have my preferred techniques of feeding and watering along with my preferred poultry equipment, some homemade and some outlet bought. If you are just commencing and not sure where to turn, see your local feed outlet. Check out their costs and then compare them to the online stores. As a rule you will see if you buy local you will put away on the shipping costs. And there is the chance that if they don't have what you are looking for they will order it for you.With the interest in raising chickens you should have the right poultry equipment to maintain your new flock.

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