Hello fellow crafters, artists and farmers! Yep I found a name for you guys!😄 finally lol. Today I realized even though I have been farming for half a yr I have learned a lot and I decided to start making posts on what I have learned. This one will be dedicated to how to raise a chicken and I will also be giving tips. I hope you enjoy, let me know if I should keep making posts about it.
The baby, week 1-4
Usually when you get a baby chick they come in a box, unless you raise them. In the box the baby chicks will be starved so you need to have a cleared out place with wood chips on the bottom and food and water. When putting the baby chicks in you need to check each one for a clogged butt. (I am not joking) most chicks will have hardened poop on their butts which can make them constipated. Therefore they will die. If so then simply have warm water, dip rag in it and slowly rub the area. Soon it will all come off and you will have a happy little chick.
Another thing in the pen you will need is a heater, low enough for warmth but high enough for them not to get too hot. Warmth not only keeps your chicks alive but it helps their feathers develop faster.
As your chickens grow you will need a place for them to stay outside. Most of you know this as a chicken coop. A chicken coops needs 6 things:
- A roof
- and inside area
- an outside area
- a fence around it
- a roost
- and nest boxes
The first picture is the front of our coop. It has a door to let the chickens in and out, with chicken wire around the side and metal so nothing can dig underneath.
the second pic: Inside the coop on the left side is the inside area. the inside area is were they can go in to, roost, sleep, and lay eggs. Basically it is a place were they can stay safe, as you can see it has walls around it to keep them safe from wind and cold. But have openings at the top for air ventilation.
3rd picture: Is the roost. It is long enough for all the chicken and needs to go at a slant so the can get up.
4th Picture: Is the outside area of the coop. it has food, water and dirt so they can bath.
The chicken wont need to be in the coop until all the feathers are developed. but if it is springtime they can go in as juveniles.
The Teenager, week 5-15
As your baby chicks reach week 5 you need to start letting them outside so they can get used to it. have them in a little pen with water and food. Preferably grass too but your chicks need loose dirt as well. Chickens bath in dirt to keep bugs off and will do this their whole life so it is a key part of their growing stage. Don’t worry this is of no affect to you because they will find their own dirt or you can dig it up for them. You do not have to buy dirt.
Do not kiss your chickens! Don’t worry I know it is tempting because they are so cute but they carry deadly sicknesses so be careful when holding and always wash hands.
if your chickens are egg layers then you most likely wont be eating them so get attached, nice chickens will give you an easier life.
my tips on keeping them outside is let them out every morning and put them up during the evening.
Now it will be time for the coop! At the age of 7-8 weeks your chickens should be ready for the coop. Stick them in with water and food and they should do well. But before letting them out! Keep them in there for a time of 2 weeks, that way your chickens know this is home and they have food and water there. So once you start letting them out they will always come back for food.
Once letting your chickens out, start in the morning and I have found that if I wait till all the sun on the trees has left, everyone is in the coop. This way I have less of a hassle getting them in if I were to do it when the sun is up. Now I may have forgot to add this part but do not put a nesting box in the coop!
Most people think it is nice having it in their early but it is not! This makes way that they start pooping in the nesting boxes and you have to clean it everyday. Keep the nesting boxes out!
Eggs, week 16-18
At this stage of life they will start getting more mature, you will now notice your roosters better and your females. The females will usually start laying eggs at this time but before putting nesting boxes in, watch carefully to see if your roosters tries to breed. Once he does it is time for the boxes! That way while the hens are developing their eggs they can check it out.
1rst Picture: It is of the nesting boxes, we have 10, they are high enough and have plenty of room.
2nd picture: we have bars that the chickens can stand on to get inside the boxes.
3rd-4th picture: we have fake ceramic eggs that help the chicken know that this is what we do in the boxes. It just helps teach them.
5th picture: we have straw that helps keeps the eggs safe and is more tempting to the chickens.
6th picture: You want to put a lot in there because the chickens tend to scratch it to make it into a nest, so put about 5-6 inches in so the don’t scratch their way to the bottom.
7th Picture: even though you may not want to check the nests everyday because you are certain there will be none, keep checking. You need to look for feathers. They are a good sign the chickens have been using the boxes.
Once you have your first egg you are certain to have way more very soon. To know more about how and when your chicken lays eggs look out for my new post called Farm knowledge: Chicken eggs and I will explain it all.
After their first eggs they should keep going. Congrats you have raised your chickens right! I hope you guys enjoyed the post and watch for more because this wont be that last! If you have any farm knowledge post suggestions I should post on, let me know! but for now see ya next time!
-Sawyer the Crafty Farm Girl? lol