Friday, 15 January 2010

Clucking Mad About Keeping Chicken

Why in the world would I invest my time and money in keeping chicken? Chicken are demanding, bossy, peck like hell and the rooster crows every hour of the day and don't get me started on the chicken poop.

But wait a minute! They are good to eat; both eggs and meat and I hear they are very social, probably make good pets too. They are also comical, especially when the rooster is chasing after the hens. They keep pests away and provide the best organic fertilizer for my flower garden and more importantly I can sell the eggs and make some extra cash. I guess I will keep my own chicken after all!

So how do I get started? First, I need a backyard, the apartment is not ideal; don't want my chicken wearing diapers and pecking away at my furniture. Secondly a chicken coop, to shelter the chickens from rain, cold and safe place to spend their night. The size of the coop will depend on the number of chicken, but for starters three are good.

You can choose to have a fancy or creative coop to blend with your beautiful garden. Most importantly it should be predator proof and shelters the chicken from rain and cold. The floor can be lined with dry grass or saw dust, but eventually the chicken will dig it up, they love to play in the dust. It should also be well ventilated.

Have the chicken house about an inch or two from the ground and at the door provide a ladder, which they can climb up and down into the coop. The chicken coop should be well fenced to prevent predators like fox and dogs from eating the chicken.

How about the interior? You will need a water dispenser, need not be expensive that old bowl in the kitchen will do. Have a another bowl for the food and your done with utensils. The darling hens sleep airborne, therefore get milk crates or wooden boxes they can perch on.

Now that the chicken coop is all set up, it's time to bring the birdies home. You can get chicks from a hatchery or buy young birds from the feedstores or bird traders. The only problem is there's a fat chance that a rooster may be part of the hens.

It's advisable to get 12 weeks old birds, chicken breeders say that you can differentiate the young and old chicken by the size of the crown. For the 'green' breeders who can't differentiate the crown sizes, better visit a chicken farm or agricultural fairs and for $5 to $20 you can buy a laying hen.

You have purchased the chicken, its time to settle them in their new home. Get them to roost in the chicken coop for a couple of days until they know their home. Hens like fresh clean water to drink and feed them on 'laying egg pellets' which should contain protein and carbohydrates. Vegetables are also good in their growth and egg composition. They also like to feed on people's left- over.

Keep the coop clean, shovel it out every other week and compile the shavings and manure, this is good for your flower garden. So what are you waiting for! Isn't it time you began keeping chicken on your farm or backyard and start enjoying those scrumptious organic eggs!

If you are mad about keeping chicken I dare you to take the Free 11 part Mini-course, on how to raise the best chooks around. Visit:

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