Today I have a guest blogger, Akshata, you can learn more about below! She’s written us a fun post about raising chickens!
Spring is just around the corner, which means that if you’ve played with the idea of raising chickens, the time to start planning is now! Doesn’t the idea of having fresh eggs every morning sound appealing? It sure does to me. Ultimately, raising chickens takes time and effort, but it is an extremely satisfying hobby. Let me address some of the basics about raising chickens, so that you know a little about what to expect:
1. Chickens are Noisy.
Everyone has heard and knows the familiar chicken call. Not everyone has heard them squawk for 10 minutes or more, non-stop and often – but this is what you will have to put up with when you raise chicken. Usually, this happens right after they lay eggs, and their “egg-song” can be very noisy depending on their breed and personality.
2. Chickens Poop a Lot.
You might have heard this one before, but before raising chickens you need to consider the severity of this statement. Chickens poop a lot, and they will poop on everything. Cleaning their coop can be time consuming, and you will have to clean often. The positive is that chicken poop can be put into your compost pile, and will really benefit your soil in a natural manner.
3. Chickens Need Protection.
As poultry, chickens become prey for many other predators. That’s why it’s important to make sure your chickens are well protected. Plain chicken wire can easily be cut through, and so you might need something more advanced depending on the setup of your chicken coop. You could consider hardware cloth, or electrified netting that is especially useful in keeping predators away. If you are raising large chickens and broilers that need to be fenced tightly, electrified netting may be worth considering.
4. Chickens Have Personalities.
Like most other pets, chickens too have personalities. Much like other pets, chickens can be cranky, quiet, active, lazy, friendly and many other things. You will start to notice the differences between your chicken’s personalities, and hopefully this will enhance your entire raising experience.
5. You Will Easily Get Attached to Your Chickens.
Contrary to what most people think, it’s really easy to get attached to your chickens. Even if you are just raising them for those delicious farm fresh eggs, it’s hard not to get attached to the creatures you care for and give attention to daily. It’s important to be aware of your attachments, as these will shape your decisions in terms of your chickens.
6. There are Different Breeds of Chickens.
People usually first buy chickens according to which chicks look “cute” to them. While this is perfectly alright, it’s good to know that there are various breeds of chickens, and different breeds yield different products. Chickens breeds also influence personality. A good resource is Chicken Breeds List, which gives information on not only chicken breeds but also appropriate chicken care.
7. They Won’t Always Lay Eggs When You Expect Them to.
No matter how much research you do, your chickens may not always lay eggs when you most need or expect them to. Jason Price, on The Modern Farmer writes that the best thing to do is to “make sure they have a good, whole grain food with at least 17% protein, water them often, and keep the light on until you go to bed. Hopefully that’ll do the trick”. Once they do lay eggs though, you will gladly agree that they were worth the wait!
8. Egg Production Will Eventually Slow Down.
Chickens don’t lay eggs forever. At some point, their egg production will slow down significantly, and you will have to decide what to do with your chickens. As Depressing as it may be, you need to know what your ultimate goal is in terms of your chickens, so that you can make informed decisions along the way and are ready for what might need to be done when the times comes.
9. Sometimes You Will Have to Deal With the Worst.
When you start raising chickens, it’s almost inevitable that you will have to deal with loss at some point along the way. From getting eaten by your neighbors dog, or falling prey to disease, you might lose one of your chickens in an absolutely heartbreaking tragedy. You’ll find that dealing with your loss may be surprisingly hard, as your chickens have grown to be considered part of the family.
10. Raising Chickens is One of the Most Fulfilling Things Ever!
Considering all the noise, poop, cleaning and all-round care, raising chickens might be starting to sound like a huge burden. I won’t lie – it takes a lot of effort, but ultimately, you will come to adore your chicken family and find that raising them is one of the most fulfilling activities ever, worth every bit of effort you put in. From the excitement of your first egg, to the calming sense gotten from watching them play around in their coop, raising chickens is quite an adventure – one you don’t want to miss out on.
Akshata has a passion for traveling and exploring the world. She loves to write and is interested in entrepreneurship and sustainability.