Beginner's Guide To Keeping Chickens

Published: 24th February 2011
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Our road to be self sufficient can lead one to put together an awesome vegetable garden. The second step is figuring out a consistent source of meat. Sure, you can try cultivating soy beans and live a vegan lifestyle, but why not try keeping chickens? Chickens provide choices which make them perfect for the backyard. Chickens are usually kept for meat, eggs or both. This article will give you a brief overview if you're considering keeping chickens.

Chickens belong to the genus Gallus which is the Latin word for rooster. Chickens are actually fun to look after. Families enjoy the meat and eggs chickens can provide. Chickens come in many colors and they vary in size. This gives people the opportunity to pick their favorites. Additionally, keeping chickens is educational for everybody.

The expenses related to raising chickens can vary. All chickens must be housed in something. So, some type of housing is required. But, super extravagant housing just isn't needed. Fencing in the chickens is a must because they will get into your garden. Your desired breed might be hard to find in your town which may increase their costs. Costs can vary, but you have a lot of options.

Many people are allergic to chickens. Family members must be checked to find out if they're allergic. You want to learn as early as possible. A good way to check is by checking out several chickens. Fairs, poultry shows, and even zoos are fantastic places to see them. Area chicken keepers may also be a good place to test for allergic reactions. Give them a call and visit. If you make certain you or your family is not allergic, you will save a lot of money.

There are some disadvantages to keeping chickens you have to be aware about. Chickens can generate a great deal of droppings. These droppings must be handled since they will start to smell and will also be keeping chickens and flies! The favorite activity of any chicken is to scratch. Make sure you do not have them anyplace near new plants and delicate plantings. It is best to let them have their very own area. Because of their scratching along with other activities, chickens stir up dust which could prove unpleasant if they're residing in an outbuilding along with equipment or other possessions.

As you look around your own back yard for where to keep chickens, consider your neighbors. Chickens make noise especially roosters. Roosters will definitely crow when the sun comes up. But, they also crow at night and once they prefer to warn the flock. A flock comprised of hens only will remedy the noise problems. While hens do make noise, only a next door neighbor with a lot of time on their hands will be bothered. Hen only flocks are great. One of many jobs of a rooster is to fertilize the eggs. Without a rooster, you will not be able to hatch new chicks, but you can still get fantastic eggs.

There is a tremendous variety of chicken breeds. You will have to decide what you want your chickens to produce for you and your family. Do not stress. This decision does not have to be a difficult decision. Do you need meat, eggs or both? You will find egg breeds and meat breeds. Hybrid breeds are also an option. But beware, hybrids aren't especially great at either. Another choice is to keep two flocks. One flock for eggs and one flock for meat. The choice is up to you.

All hens will lay eggs. Nevertheless, quite a few breeds lay extra and greater eggs than others. You anticipate 20 dozen eggs annually from the best of hens. Chicken breeds which produce eggs best are known as layers. They are usually small compared to their meat providing counterparts and produce white-shelled eggs. You can also find brown-shelled layers. There are some reports that state brown-shelled layers are calmer and easier. Minorca, Ancona, and Leghorn are examples of great layers.

Meat breeds usually are not as small as egg breeds. Egg breeds spend almost all their time creating eggs. Meat classes help identify when you should butcher your chickens. The classes are: Cornish Hen, Broiler, Roaster. The Cornish Hen is the youngest of the three. The oldest will be the Roaster. Be sure you bear in mind the feeding costs associated with the time it requires the chicken to get at its butchering weight. The price per pound increases as your feeding costs increase. Keeping chickens involves planning even before you begin. Australorp, Orpington, and Cornish are usually fantastic meat breeds.

Hybrid breeds usually are not good at laying or producing meat. Even so, you will find some excellent cross breeds. Don't anticipate your hybrid breed to supply as many eggs. Additionally, it will take longer to get them to the body weight you desire for butchering. Don't forget to monitor your feeding costs. Also, if you choose to make use of a cross breed, you won't be able to raise your own chicks. You'll need to be a regular customer at a hatchery. The top examples of this breed are New Hampshire, Plymouth Rock, and Wyandottes.

You'll have to wait about 20 weeks before young chickens or pullets will start laying eggs. The initial eggs are normally smaller and hens lay one every four days. 30 week old hens will start laying regular size eggs every three days. The poor performers from the group should turn into candidates for slaughter. Remembering this can help keep your flock successful and keep costs in check.

Meat breeds need to be monitored for weight per meat classes. Butchering is something you should prepare for. There are great resources for learning to do this. A local butcher shop could be another choice. Either way, you will have one of the better meals you have ever had.

If you enjoyed this article, try reading more about keeping chickens and how to be self sufficient at

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