All Around the Homestead: Poultry
Finding the most efficient way to care for chickens often comes from ideas from other poultry owners. These tips from our audience might come in handy.
A woman in West Virginia sent us an excellent tip for keeping the baby chicks in a safe place away from the other chickens. She gets her chicks in May, and keeps them in a baby playpen until they're large enough to go in-and-out of the hen house. She hoses it down to clean it.
You don't have to spend a lot of money on chicken feeders, either. A man in North Carolina says to build a chicken feeder, cut the bottoms out of a 5-gallon bucket and a 3-gallon bucket. Screw the long side of an L-bracket to the 3-gallon bucket leaving one-inch of the bracket below the bottom of the bucket. Finish it off by screwing the bracket bottom to the 5-gallon bucket.
Chickens often perch on top of their feeders, and defecate in their food. A man in Michigan has found that one way to keep them off is to put a ring of chicken wire over the top of the feeder. The chickens may try to stand on it and it will bend down, but the wire is easily bent back in shape.
It's important to have a perching spot in the coop where chickens can settle down at night and sleep. A man in Ohio built a roost for his coop with a section of wood ladder. It attaches to the wall with two chains and two hinges so it swings up when he's cleaning. A screen door hook is mounted to the wall to hold the ladder.
Repurpose old items to build a chicken coop. An Illinois man used half of a wagon that his father bought in the late 1950s. He used side boards from a loading chute, old gates for a door, and leftover tin siding as a roof.
Here are more tips for keeping chickens:
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