Tips for New Chicken Owners | Living the Country Life
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Tips for New Chicken Owners

Follow this essential advice when starting out your first chicken flock.
  • Know Your Basics

    Easy to care for and friendly, chickens need safe living quarters, daily feed and clean water. Consider these tips before you buy your first group of fuzzy chicks. 

    Date Published: January 9, 2018
    Date Updated: January 10, 2018
  • Start Small

    Three to six female birds makes for a great starter flock. This many chickens will produce more than a dozen eggs a week. Remember that small chicks will quickly become large birds that need more space, feed, and time to clean. Starting with a small flock and adding birds later will give you a chance to experience how chickens fit into your lifestyle. 

    Date Published: January 9, 2018
    Date Updated: January 10, 2018
  • Consider Climate

    You need a couple of provisions when raising chickens in northern climates, where temperatures drop below freezing. Access to electricity is helpful to maintain open drinking water from a heated waterer during winter months. A fully enclosed, draft-free coop protects birds in extreme cold and promotes egg production during cold weather. 

    Date Published: January 9, 2018
    Date Updated: January 10, 2018
  • Keep Clean

    Straw or wood shavings work well as bedding material in chicken coops. Change out bedding every couple of weeks, or more often depending on how many birds you own. 

    Date Published: January 9, 2018
    Date Updated: January 10, 2018
  • Feed and Water

    Buy mixed feed from a farm store. Manufactured chicken feeds include mixed poultry corn, chick crumbs, growers' pellets, layers' mash, and layers' pellets: choose the food that matches your flock. A 6-week-old chick needs about 2 ounces per day, divided between chick crumbs and corn. A grower of 12 weeks needs 3 ounces per day of growers' pellets or mash and corn. A laying hen needs about 4.5 ounces every day of pellets or mash and corn. 

    In addition to feed, chickens will also eat table scraps and weeds from your garden. Lettuce, cabbage, and other greens help make your chickens' egg yolks more orange. Chickens will also eat bread crusts and carbs, but will avoid salty foods and fruit skins. Water towers for chickens are best, but a small bucket will also work as long as the birds can reach the water. 

    Date Published: January 9, 2018
    Date Updated: January 10, 2018
  • Add Supplements

    Ground oyster shells provide calcium needed to make strong eggshells. Chickens also need grit, which they use in their gizzards to grind up food. 

    Date Published: January 9, 2018
    Date Updated: January 10, 2018

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