Friday, 29 January 2010
How to Increase Your Chickens' Health
You have to make sure your chickens have a lot of outdoor activity. It's good to have a chicken coop and a shelter facility for your birds, but sooner or later, you're going to have to let them go out and range in the open. Chickens need this for a variety of reasons - their emotional happiness being the foremost.
Chicken ranges vary depending on how you're letting them range, the size of the area you let them use as their pasture, and method that you use to keep them in. The type of pasture you use will have to be determined by the number of chickens that you own and the size of the ranging area that you have.
I mean, let's face it - you can't have a hundred-bird barnyard and keep them in an enclosure built for twenty birds. The land will be barren within days, if at all. What you want is to establish the kind of place where your chickens will be safe from the elements and still be able to graze a patch of land that won't die off due to the sudden influx of population.
Why do chickens benefit from chicken ranges? Simple - they need vitamins A and D. So yeah, what's the connection, right? Well, chickens are like human beings, in that their skin naturally generates vitamin D upon contact with sunlight. Meanwhile, the grass is a good source of vitamin A, among other nutrients.
Another good argument for letting them graze is due to the fact that they require ventilation. If you constantly keep them inside their coops for very long, they will be prone to diseases. Ranging will also give you a chance to clean their coops without any disturbance from the chickens as well.
There are a variety of ways in how you can set up your chicken range:
* The open-air coop is a simple set-up that you can build to make sure that your chickens are getting all the air they need.
* Management intensive rotational grazing is a type of yarding that changes the pasture area often so as not to deplete just one patch of land of its fertility
* Free-range pasturing is a method that employs a large tract of land with little or no boundaries to where your chickens can graze
Truth be told, there are other methods of letting your chickens graze. Do a bit of research before you start fixing your chicken range. Just remember - the idea is to let them roam about and give them plenty of fresh air and vegetation to eat, and you're sure to have a good brood of happy, energetic chickens.
Chad B. is an advocate for backyard chicken care and has been involved in raising chickens since he was little boy back in 1986. Find out more about chicken ranges and how you can get a free 10-lesson chicken raising mini-course by visiting Chad's site at http://RaisingChickenSecrets.com.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chad_B.