CHICKEN TIPS & TRICKS

What came first? The chicken, or the egg?

I WANT CHICKENS!

Where the peck (Ha! See what I did there?) do I even start? I'm not sure why I am so overwhelmed by having chickens, but I am. I put up an Instagram question box where my homies commented chicken tips & tricks and there were SO many great things that I thought they needed a permanent spot where we could all come together as a community and share tips & tricks that we can all refer back to, and hopefully benefit from! 

So, PLEASE comment your chicken / egg tips & tricks!

Y'all are awesome. 

XoXo,

JS

10 comments

  • Skip the goats and go to chickens! We also tried meat rabbits too. Chickens have been our preference! (We’ve also tried turkey’s which you can NOT keep with chickens as the chickens will give your turkey’s fetal diseases!)

    Start with a small flock and learn from them! Raising 10 chickens is very different from raising 50 chickens. We raise our meat birds in the summer since meat birds can be a little bit more tricky if you are located somewhere prone too blizzards, snow etc.

    You can keep specific animals with your chickens but be aware that chicken poop can cause diseases in certain animals. We have 2 dogs which is why we prefer to pasture our chickens so our dogs never encounter the chicken poop/potential illnesses. Research what diseases chickens can pass on to the animal you would like to pasture them with/be around and vice versa.

    Order from a hatchery, and research that hatchery for beak clipping, vaccinating birds prior to shipping, if they offer sexed out birds or just straight run. Sadly expect to lose several during the shipping process and brooding phase. I typically order 10 more than what I need. The more you order the more they have to keep warm with body heat during shipping!

    Research the breed that best suits what you want out of your chicken. We like the buckeyes for egg laying (good for meat as well) since we are in upstate NY, winters are harsh and Buckeyes were built to last. This also tends to be a friendlier breed and if you end up with too many roosters you can always donate him to your local 4-H kid as they do show them (at least where I am located).

    We like the Cornish for our meat, they are extremely similar to what you get in the grocery store.

    As chicks in the brooding phase we have a mini chicken tractor we pop them in to peck at the grass in the sunshine when it’s warm enough (this is mainly for the egg layers Cornish aren’t really foragers they just want to sit in the same spot and eat their feed). We prefer coop/pasture style since we have so many coyotes, raccoons, fishers etc. I like to keep them as safe and secure as possible!

    Cat owners beware!! We have 3 cats that patrol our property keeping the rodent population in check and they drool over the chicks! They even drool over them full grown. As chicks we make sure the cats don’t have access to the babies! once they get bigger they often fight back or are too fast for our cats!

    Do not invest in a plucker and all the boujee processing tools until you KNOW you can stomach the processing of an animal you raised. You can also out source to a local butcher.

    You ARE going to make mistakes, you are only human! You are doing your best and learning as you go. BREATHE they are tricky and smart little things! Facebook groups are an awesome resource! Don’t forget to have fun!

    Samantha Rose
  • Try and get them in the spring or summer that way you don’t have to worry about heat lamps or them freezing! Get the self watering and feeding containers saves you from being away at the office or else wear and worrying if your not hime by a certain time, they’ll still be able to eat. Build your roost with an angled bottom that way the eggs will roll out the back and of your little collects you don’t have to worry about a brooding hen pecking at her.

    Haylie
  • You do not need a rooster for the hens to lay, all hens lay one egg a day. If you want the eggs fertilized to hatch then you will need a rooster otherwise roosters can be a pain.
    Chickens need protein to lay, so you will need to buy a layer crumble feed. Many people feed them corn or scratch grains but they need more protein than that to lay better. Also they love fruits, bread, and greens! You will also want to put some calcium out for them such as oyster shell, it will help keep their egg shells firm! Definitely do some research on the certain breeds, there are so many fun ones! My favorites are Ameracauna (easter eggers), Cochins, Wyandotte’s, Delaware’s, Barred Rocks and Speckled Sussex. A lot of people like Rhode Island Reds because they do lay good but they are kind of bullies! 😆 It is really better if you can let them free range during the day, they are much happier and love to look for bugs and dirt bathe!

    Brandy
  • Chickens need protein to lay, you will want to feed them a layer crumble! So many people feed them corn or scratch grains but they need more protein then that! And yes they love fruit, bread, and greens! Also you will want let them free range during the day, they are much happier getting to look for bugs, dirt bathe, and eating grass or flowers! But yes they will tear up a garden and poop everywhere lol! You do not need a rooster for them to lay eggs, hens lay one egg a day! If you want the eggs fertilized to hatch then you will need a rooster. But if you just want eggs just get hens! You will also want to leave oyster shell out for them, calcium in oyster shell helps their egg shells stay firm.

    Brandy
  • Chickens are the best and easiest animals!! ❤️
    Free ranging is so fantastic for them. They will dig, scratch and eat bugs which helps not go through feed as quickly. ALL THE SCRAPS! They eat everything we have leftover like peelings from carrots, tops of strawberries, leftover oatmeal, they love it all and nothing goes to waste!

    Putting chickens away at night can sometimes be difficult. We trained ours to the sound of a canister filled with bird seed since young and they all come running and go right in at night!! 🙌🏼

    My favorite breeds are Ameraucana’s, cream legbar, rode island red, Wyandotte’s, literally so many good ones…
    Raising them as chicks has been a great benefit! They are never mean or aggressive towards anyone or littles. We have little kids all the time playing with our hens and collecting eggs without any worries!

    Emmalie

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