The majority of people that own chickens get chickens so that they can have fresh, wholesome eggs That’s a wonderful reason to have chickens However, for many new chicken owners, the whole idea of your chicken laying eggs can bring up a bunch of new questions One of the most common questions that I get from new chicken owners has to do with the nesting box and whether or not you need anything in it Let’s talk about the purpose of the nesting box and whether you need anything in it or not
The purpose of the nesting box
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘busy as a bee’ I think that ‘busy as a chicken’ should be just as relevant Chickens are extremely busy and constantly going Well, when they aren’t cooped up that is Naturally, chickens would spend the majority of their time walking around scratching the ground searching for insects, seeds and bits of grass to eat They would get up before daylight and spend the entire day doing this, only retiring right at dark
In an ideal world, you’d be able to let your chickens out everyday and they could spend their days out and about
You’ve decided that you want to raise backyard chickens Now, the question of what you need to get comes up Many people are quick to choose a breed, but often overlook a very important question- “How many hens and roosters do I need?” You may be surprised to know that you don’t need a rooster at all if you’re just looking to have fresh eggs Hens will produce eggs even when a rooster isn’t around!
But, if you’re set on having a rooster and you dream of a backyard farm, baby chicks, and being woken up by the crow of
Flies are a constant nuisance, especially in backyards where you have livestock Chickens don’t attract a huge amount of flies when compared to larger livestock like cattle or pigs, but they will still attract flies Thankfully, there are a few simple ways to keep the annoying flies at bay
One of the first steps to reducing flies is to keep the coop and run clean Flies are scavengers and feed on feces, decaying things and anything gross If you keep the coop cleaned out, you’ll reduce the feed supply for flies around the coop Remove poop daily Poop in the
Have you noticed your chickens laying around in a dusty spot, kicking dust all over themselves? Chickens love to roll around in the dirt and dust It may sounds backwards to ‘bathe’ in dust, but chickens have good reason for rolling around in the dirt When chickens cover themselves in dust, they are doing so in order to take care of their feathers and skin Chickens can easily become infested with external parasites like mites, fleas, ticks and other insects
Most of these insects prefer to hop onto patches of clean skin that they can easily gnaw through to get
One of the best parts about homesteading is the garden-fresh produce that you’ll grow Have you ever heard someone say “nothing tastes better than a home-grown tomato”? That couldn’t be more true Produce that you’ve grown yourself always tastes better than what you can buy in the grocery store or even at a local farmer’s market
But what do you do when your garden grows a little too much? We have a saying in our family about the fact that your garden can never produce too much When you find your refrigerator overflowing with fresh vegetables from your garden, it’s
Chickens are omnivores, which means that they eat both plants and animals Well, mainly insects rather than animals Although chickens have a need for protein sourced from animal tissue, they also need plants to eat
If your chickens are able to get out of the coop and forage, then they’ll have access to grass, seeds and other plants But what if your chickens can’t leave the coop?
Fodder is a cheap and easy way to get your flock the plants that they need to stay healthy Growing fodder is simple and requires minimal time, work and equipment
Are you raising chickens and trying to grow a garden? Don’t get hung up on trying to keep your garden and chickens separate Instead, try to think about how you can make them work together Chickens can be extremely beneficial for your garden In fact, before chicken coops were a thing, many homesteading families relied on their chickens to help in the garden
Benefits of Chickens in the Garden
- Chicken Manure Did you know that many farmers spend a lot of money each year to put chicken poop on their fields? Chicken litter, or chicken manure, is a wonderful fertilizer
As a long time chicken owner, I’ve had many different coops over the years In fact, when I think about it, there are seven different coops that I have housed chickens in I’ve experimented with all different coop designs, changing up the layout, structure and interior of the coop to see what works the best This includes the flooring that is in the run of the coop
The run of the coop is the portion of the coop setup that is outside It’s usually a fenced off area attached to or underneath the coop itself The
Chickens are omnivores, which means that they need to eat both plants and animals, usually in the form of insects Eating both plants and insects is critical for healthy chickens But did you know that herbs are also beneficial for chickens?
Over the years, herbs have become increasingly popular as home remedies for both humans and animals, including chickens Using herbs to raise healthy chickens isn’t just a fad either; there is a ton of research showing the health benefits of feeding herbs to your chickens You can use herbs to replace antibiotics, prevent disease, treat