Friday, January 22, 2010

Keeping chickens

There is a wealth of information now about keeping chicken, but I thought I would give a quick run-down on what to do for chickens. This post is especially for my mom, who I raised three pullets for. You will need:

1. Chicken food and water. This is a no brainer. You can get layer blends at any feed store, and there are organic options. I believe that Naomi's Organic Farm supply sells a locally made and organic blend.
2. Grit. Chickens don't have teeth and they will absorb a lot more of the food that you feed them if they have grit to help break it down. You can buy grit at a feed store and you just sprinkle it in their food.
3. Oyster shell for laying hens. Chickens will need supplemental calcium in their diet to form all those shells.
4. A little house, preferrably propped up off the ground so that rodents and predators will stay out. There are many examples on the internet or in chicken care books.
5. In the house, you will need 1 nest box for every 3 hens. Although, I did have a red sex link that used to yell at the other chickens if they were in the next box laying and she wanted to lay. Funny creatures! That particular flock reminded me of women waiting in long lines for the bathroom...frustrated and impatient.

Those are the basics, and I am happy to share more information if I know the answers.