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Tips for Beginner Chicken Keepers: Dos and Don'ts



chickens
free range chickens

Raising backyard chickens can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it also requires careful attention to various factors to ensure the health and well-being of your flock. This text lists Do's and Don'ts to help you create a safe and healthy environment for your hens. From providing proper nutrition to regular cleaning, following these guidelines will help you raise happy and healthy chickens in your backyard. These are a starting list of tips to create the best living environment for your feathered friends. 

 Let's take a closer look.


Do:

   1. Provide a spacious and secure coop for your hens. Best to go larger as most chicken keepers add to their flock.

   2. Ensure proper ventilation in the coop to maintain a healthy environment.

   3. Offer a balanced and nutritionally complete feed for optimal egg production.

   4. Provide fresh and clean water at all times.

   5. Include a good layer feed hat includes calcium supplements in the diet to support strong eggshells.

   6. Allow access to a well-maintained, secure outdoor area for exercise and foraging.

   7. Regularly clean the coop to prevent the buildup of waste, pests, and parasites.

   8. Monitor the health of your hens and seek veterinary care when needed.

   9. Collect eggs daily to prevent them from being pecked or damaged.

   10. Use nesting boxes with clean nesting material to encourage laying in a designated area.


Don't:

11. Overcrowd the coop, as it can lead to stress and aggression among hens.

12. Neglect proper lighting to ensure consistent egg production.

13. Use unsafe or toxic materials in the coop or nesting areas.

14. Feed hens scraps that may be harmful to their health.

15. Ignore signs of illness; address health issues promptly.

16. Introduce new hens without proper quarantine to prevent disease spread.

17. Keep a rooster unless you want fertilized eggs and chicks.

18. Neglect predator-proofing the coop to protect your hens.

19. Forget to provide dust baths for natural feather maintenance.

20. Ignore local regulations or guidelines for keeping backyard hens.


Here are some additional resources and links to reputable sources for further reading on raising backyard chickens: 

1. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension's "Raising Chickens in Small Flocks" publication: This guide provides detailed information on choosing the right breed to building a coop, feeding and caring for your chickens, and more.

 2. The American Poultry Association: This organization provides a wealth of information on poultry breeding, showing, and farming, as well as a directory of breeders and hatcheries. 

3. The USDA's "Biosecurity for Birds" publication: This guide provides information on how to protect your chickens from diseases and pests and prevent the spread of diseases to other poultry flocks. 

4. The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service's "Poultry Production: Small Scale and Organic" publication: This guide provides information on organic and sustainable poultry production, including feed, housing, and health management. 

Following these guidelines and resources, you can create a safe and healthy environment for your backyard chickens and enjoy the benefits of fresh eggs and a fun hobby.

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