Common Mistakes to Avoid When Raising Chickens
Some people like fresh eggs. Others want chicken poop to use as a natural fertilizer. Still others simply want to be entertained. Regardless of the reason, more and more people are raising chickens. While these feathered friends are relatively easy to keep, there are some common mistakes to avoid when raising chickens.
Frozen Eggs. Raising chickens during cold months has its own rules. During winters, you’ll want to keep your chickens warm and toasty. A 250 watt lightbulb usually does the trick, but don’t forget the eggs! Chickens lay more during the winter season, so gather them often. Otherwise, you may wind up with frozen eggs for breakfast.
Water. Like any other animal, chickens need water to survive. Of course, they don’t need to be in the water. To avoid this, don’t use a metal bucket as a water bowl for the birds. It’s one of the most common mistakes people make when raising chickens. Use a container that hangs, like a fount instead.
Rogue Chickens. You’ve heard the adage, don’t count your eggs till they’ve hatched. When you keep chickens, take a count of your flock before settling in for the night. Some chickens will attempt to build nests outside the coop. Make sure all of them are inside at night. That way you’ll know that all your eggs are in one basket!
Predators. When raising chickens, it’s your responsibility to keep them safe. Racoons, coyotes, and owls all enjoy a good chicken feast, so if you happen to be free ranging chickens, make sure the area is safe from predators.
Cooped Up. Another mistake people make when first starting out is getting a coop that is too small. Chickens want their room, so buy a coop that is sturdy, easily accessible, and large enough for the number of chickens you want.
All Pooped Out. Chicken poop does make for good compost, but it’s foul. Cleaning the coop regularly is critical when you’re raising chickens in your yard. Not only does a dirty coop promote diseases for your birds, it also makes your neighbors angry. Keep the poop out of the coop, and buy one that will give you easy access for cleaning.
Illnesses. When baby chicks are born, you don’t want to lose any of them. Make sure to check for pasty butt. Pasty butt happens when the vent under their down gets clogged. While it sounds amusing and harmless, it’s not. Pasty butt can kill a chick within a couple of days.
Breaking the Laws. Check the laws in your city. Many places don’t allow people to raise chickens in their yard. Find out before you buy a nice chicken coop and bring the chickens home whether they’re allowed and if you need permits.
You might make a mistake or two when you begin raising chickens, but don’t worry. You aren’t the only one. If you do your research beforehand, you’ll have a coop of happy birds in no time.