Hello friend of the farm in this opportunity I will talk about some tips so you can raise your own chickens. If you are a beginner breeder, choosing a breed will be a complex task, so here are some tips for the first steps. You have chosen well, chickens can become excellent pets; They are cheap, you have to dedicate them little time, they are easy to take care of and they are a source of food, both for the eggs and for the meat.
<< The first thing we must take into account should be, more than race, the state of health of the hens that you are going to acquire. We must take into account the general health of a chicken or chicken:
Check if it is active. A hen that shows activity is a healthy hen.
The posture is a health indicator. A decayed or crooked posture will indicate bad condition.
The eyes must be bright and vivid.
There should not be any remaining mucus in the nostrils (nose of the hens, in the upper part of the beak).
The crest must have a striking and vivid color. For example, a purple crest could indicate circulatory problems.
Examine the plumage, which is another good indicator of health. To the naked eye it is observed if a hen or chicken has a correct plumage or not.
Then choose the race. The choice of the breed is secondary, each having different characteristics in terms of egg laying (quantity and size), character, appearance. Choose a race that we like, that gets our attention.
<< THE CHICKEN
A chicken coop all agree on certain essential characteristics that must be met to meet the needs of its inhabitants, such as:
To be of a size and shape appropriate for the number of birds we want to have.
Be made of waterproof materials.
Present a convenient ventilation.
Be equipped with a small door
They must present nests and hangers.
They must compulsorily have a "park", given that the chickens, to lay eggs, need a minimum of 14 hours of light per day.
In a good chicken coop, we must go a little deeper into the size and ventilation.
In terms of size, it is convenient to plan well and first calculate the number of chickens we want to keep, because space is a capital factor that, if it is missing, can cause great stress to our chickens, the more space the better, as this will also allow them move at your leisure and, in this way, exercise your muscles and improve your general health, which will also result in a better quality in the eggs that you put.
If we talk about ventilation, it is necessary to point out that it is a determining factor, because a chicken coop that is well ventilated and that receives good light, will be a healthy and pleasant environment for our chickens. To ignore this factor can cost us dearly, because an environment without ventilation can even cause birds to contract serious respiratory conditions.
Regarding daily care, we highlight the following:
We must let our hens out of the henhouse in the morning, walk, walk, run ... but we must also remember to put them back in the evening, to be safe from possible predators. This care is essential. A hen that walks freely when it pleases, is a chicken whose eggs will be of excellent quality.
We must provide adequate "beds" for our chickens. We call the base the bed on which the chickens will rest in the chicken coop. These beds can be prepared with different materials, being highly recommended wood chips, chips or products based on chopped straw. There are also materials that are not recommended to make beds, such as hay, which has the characteristic of easily accommodating a large amount of fungal spores, which can cause serious damage to our hens.
It will be necessary to provide them with a space for their instinctive "dust baths" to take place. The dust bath is an instinctive need that birds have, and adapting an area with sand or ash to cover this need will bring great benefits in terms of animal health. In case the hens are allowed to go to the field, they will be the ones that choose the place where they will make these special baths.
Normally it will be enough to clean our chicken coop once a week or every two weeks, trying to do it thoroughly and reaching all corners, in order to avoid the appearance of parasites or other unexpected visitors such as mites.
This is an important point and one in which we must focus with special attention. Ideally, you should leave your hen all day to eat freely grass, worms and plants, throw whole grains in the henhouse to peck and put the cereal mixture in the feeder so that they can eat according to their needs. Chickens have no teeth, and therefore they swallow whole food, which is stored in the crop and mixed with saliva. The food passes from the crop to the stomach where it is mixed with its juices before passing to the gizzard. In the gizzard the food is milled thanks to the small stones that the animal has swallowed to help digest. Nutrients absorb them as the food passes through the intestine.
Since chicken breeding is spreading more slowly, today it is very easy to find ready-made food especially for chicken and chickens. Specifically, we are referring to pre-mixed foods, whose commercialization is increasing every day, and which have a special composition to cover the nutritional needs of chickens according to their age. You can supplement your diet with other types of fresh foods, such as seeds (corn, wheat ...), fresh vegetables, rice, pasta ... but you should always be careful not to give them any food that contains salt or meat. As for food, as in many other facets, chickens prefer the routine, so the simplest thing is to feed them twice a day (always at the same time) or leave them a hopper so that they are the ones who feed during the day.
<< THE FOOD OF THE HENS SHOULD BE CONTRIBUTED:
Protein: It serves to develop and helps the laying of eggs.
Fats and carbohydrates: They provide them with energy.
Vitamins and minerals: They prevent diseases.
Calcium and Phosphorus: They help them to have strong eggs and to lay eggs with a good shell.
<< PROBLEMS CAUSED BY BAD FEEDING:
Lack of protein the chicken weakens and can suffer from infections, and can produce low egg laying, it is recommended to give a mixture of quality cereals.
Lack of minerals occurs legs hunching and weakness in eggshells and does not walk well, it is recommended to throw cereals to the ground to dig the earth
Vitamin deficiency, does not grow well the chicken is itched among themselves, are weak, with bristling feathers or curved fingers, you must provide green plants or vitamins purchased.
<< EL COMEDERO DE LAS HALLAS
It must be large enough so that all chickens can eat and must also be constructed so that the food is not contaminated by the chickens themselves.
Water is the most important food for chickens. They drink a lot of water, and in times of heat they can consume up to half a liter of water a day. The sprue must be clean and have a shape that prevents the hens from entering it to avoid infection. For this, it is best to have special drinkers. It will be preferable to place these sprues in a shady place, as the hens prefer fresh water.
<< WHERE THE HENS SLEEP
For your well-being you should place "hangers" at different levels and in an elevated way by the henhouse so that they can go to sleep.
Once our chickens and chickens have all the above factors covered, they will lead a healthy and satisfying life, and this will be noticed in the quality of the eggs they put. At about 6 months of age, a normal chicken will begin to lay eggs, which you can use for your own consumption and that of your own or to have more chicks. This depends on whether we have cock or do not have it. In case of having a rooster, it will fertilize the eggs, making them fertile and being able to hatch if they are incubated by the hens. On the other hand, if we do not have a rooster, the hens will continue to lay eggs (probably to a lesser extent), but these will not be fertile, and will be exclusively for food consumption.
When you collect the eggs, you must first clean them carefully and dry, although a good practice will be to keep the beds clean (that the chips are not old), so that you do not have to clean them practically.
Also in the collection, you must show attention to the consistency and hardness of the eggs that your hens put. If you notice that the eggs have soft skin, it will be a sign that your chickens need to consume more calcium, at which time you should provide nutritional supplements specifically formulated for these cases (commercialization is common).
<< BENEFITS OF THE HORSE FARMING OF HENS
For those who worry about knowing what they eat, they can enjoy fresh eggs with a higher content of vitamins and omega-3 fats, and on the contrary, with less cholesterol and saturated fats.
For those who have an orchard, they are good allies to deworm the insect and worms' bed when digging, which also helps to remove and aerate the earth. On the other hand, they are good to recycle because they can eat the remains of the harvest and food, leaving them ready for compost along with their droppings (it turns out that the chicken manure is one of the most complete natural fertilizers, always)
<< SOME DETAILS THAT CAN NOT BE FORGOTTEN.
When deciding where to put the chicken coop, keep in mind that when you locate it to the south, the chickens will receive more light and put more eggs.
It has to be constant at the time of collecting the eggs, once at noon and once at nightfall, since if they stay longer it can be that the chickens themselves break them. In summer we will increase the visits to preserve them from the heat, unlike in winter, we will notice a lower production due to the reduction of daylight hours.
Finally, a trick to get a better coexistence and avoid buts and problems. No one is reluctant to enjoy the flavor and quality of a freshly laid egg, so you can beat your neighbors by sharing them.
I hope that my article has served you well