Table of Contents
Set Realistic Expectations 9
Free Range vs Free Run 14
Maintain a Flock’s Continuity 18
Never Neglect Their Care and Maintenance 22
Manage Waste Properly 24
Processing Poultry Products 27
Reduce Your Food Cost 30
How To Make Money With Chickens 32
The Ultimate Childhood Companion 35
Maintain a Mild Setting 36
Sample Content Preview
The first step is to determine your own expectations. What do you hope to gain by adding chicks, roosters, or hens into your life?
Urban chicken owners looking for a source of meat closer to home should turn to Broilers – chicken breeds ideal for quick maturation.
Amid the growing awareness of how severely factory farms produce just as much cruelty and disease as food goods, Broiler owners can rest easy knowing exactly where their meat is coming from and how it was raised.
Any homeowners looking for a steady supply of fresh, healthy eggs just out their back door won’t be surprised why chickens are the perfect companion.
Certain hen breeds can provide over 300 eggs in a year! But, be warned, just like their human counterparts, female chickens only produce eggs for a limited time. So, before adding egg layers to the family, consider what you’ll do when those feathered females reach henopause:
The commercial farming approach to the issue is the most cost-efficient.
From a business mindset, there is no motive for continuing to invest the cost of feed once a hen ceases to produce. If a homeowner shares this view and isn’t opposed to the act, then all “spent hens” can be equitably killed for their meat.
For many homeowners, an attachment forms with the creatures that they care for and interact with daily.
If killing isn’t an option, then only those willing to care for a hen until its comfortable, natural demise should consider pursuing the responsibility of owning Layers.
For reference, most hens significantly slow in their productivity after twelve months.
Depending on the breed, many chickens live for five to ten years, while the Guinness World Record is held by a hen who died of heart failure at the age of sixteen.
As with the later option associated with obtaining Layers, many urban agriculturalists are comfortable with committing to backyard chickens, even without any mind for their meat or eggs.
Just like any other pet, chickens have individual personalities, provide companionship, and, as such, are often bestowed with names.
They show affection, respond to their caregivers, and, although many breeds aren’t as prone to cuddling, almost all, given comfort and time, will feed from a familiar hand.
Some chicken owners operate with a mindset altogether different than those focused on food production or having a pet.
Just like canines and horses, some chickens are simply more attractive than others, to the extent that some hobbyists – and even careerists – selectively breed chicken heritages for the purpose of competitive exhibition shows.
Looking for a pet? The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend bringing chickens indoors or letting small children handle them due to the birds’ propensity to carry and transmit Salmonella in their dander and feces.
The opposite of Super-Size: Bantams are miniature chickens, requiring less feed and space, making them exceedingly popular for those in search of a feathery pet.
Free Range vs Free Run
Nobody likes to be cramped, animals included. Providing a living space for your backyard chickens that is considered Free-Range, meaning each bird has at least one square meter of outdoor space, will enliven each chicken’s ability to pursue their natural behaviors.
Yes, Broilers will grow slower… but that’s because they will actually be able to move around and expend some of their energy.
They’ll be able to peck, flap, forage, and scratch to their heart’s content, reducing stress and improving circulation (both of which happen to improve taste).
If Free-Range isn’t possible due to space constraints, Free-Run is the next best option. Instead of having a wider range of mobility outside, chickens are permitted to freely roam in an open space within an enclosed barn or similar structure.Other Details
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