WHAT HENS NEED
Before you start raising chickens, you should learn how to care for them. The process starts with determining the needed amount of space a chicken needs inside of the coop. You can figure this out once you decide which type of chickens you’ll raise. Large hens need more space than bantams, which are the smallest chickens. Make sure that the chicken coop you build can be expanded in the future to save your having to build a new one from scratch.
After picking a strain or multiple strains, you can start building your chicken coop and begin filling it. Cover the floor with sawdust and straw before getting started as the two materials can help keep the chickens keep warm and protect the eggs if they fall out of the nesting boxes.
After placing the flooring material and ensuring there is food and water, the coop will be ready to receive your hens. You should give them an hour or two inside the coop and then check the whole coop again. It is very important to see that there are no holes that will let predators in or hens out.
It is very important to put the fence a little bit deeper into the ground as this is the only way to protect your hens from the predators that can dig under the fence. Try to choose fence materials that you can afford, but do not go for cheap ones because they will wear out very quickly and you will need to replace them soon. This means that you will end up paying double the cheapest price.
There are three important factors that you need to keep in mind when you are starting your hobby or project of hen raising. If you are breeding hens for egg production, then you will need nesting boxes or your hens will start laying their eggs on the ground and most of these will be cracked before you collect them.
You can use wood shavings instead of straw because they tend to last longer and provide better warmth in the winter months. Supply your chickens with enough wood shavings for bedding purposes in the nesting boxes and on the ground of the coop. Change this bedding periodically so that the hens will have dry and healthy bedding at all times.
Water is the third factor and a crucial one at that. Hens get thirsty all of the time and their water supply must be clean and consistent. The main rules for water are: cleanliness, abundance and that the water must be kept high enough so the chickens can’t step in it.
You’ll have to feed your chickens the right things on a daily basis. Some people feed their chickens only dry food, but chickens also need green feed to lay better meat and eggs. Green feed contains large amounts of water, helping with the chickens’ dehydration problems. It is also very nutrient rich and helps the chickens stay healthy and avoid illness.