How to look after your chickens and keep them healthy and happy!
Follow these easy steps on how to keep chickens happy, fed and warm in your garden and you’ll soon be collecting fresh, organic eggs every day!
Owning chickens can allow you to eat fresh, organic eggs every day and reap the many important health benefits that are in eggs. For example, the eggs will be coming from 100 percent organic fed chickens and will be free of any agricultural chemical sprays and residues. The chickens will be treated humanely and will have access to roam around outdoor space. The organic eggs will also contain essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals need to keep you healthy, something that can be jeopardised in battery-farm chicken eggs.
We have put together a guide on how to keep chickens and look after them properly, to provide you with fresh and organic eggs every day!
How to raise chickens
Chickens are very sociable animals, so if you’re thinking about keeping chickens, plan to keep around four to six birds. They will need a good amount of space to spread their wings and walk around, so a good size would be a 20×5-foot chicken run for example, or even the whole garden! Ensure the space is fenced off to keep the chickens in and the predators out.
The more space the chickens have, the happier and healthier they will be – and perhaps the more eggs you will get!
Keep the coop warm and ventilated
As well as a good amount of space, chickens need to have a warm and well ventilated coop to shelter and stay safe in. Chicken coops can be as simple or as fancy as your imagination (and budget!) permits. A coop usually has an indoor area to sleep and nest, and an outdoor area to feed and spend the majority of their day in.
It’s extremely important to keep a coop ventilated to ensure the chickens do not overheat, and diseases such as bronchitis are not spread. You can keep a controlled environment in a coop by installing electric tubular heaters on a timer to keep the coop at a steady temperature for the chickens. Electric heaters should only be used however once the temperature drops below freezing as chickens can adapt to different weather over time.
Organic diet for chickens
Your chickens have free space to roam around, so now it’s time to focus on what you’re actually going to feed your chickens. Chickens tend to eat a lot of forage, from mice to bugs and grass to vegetables, chickens will peck at just about anything. When you make homemade organic chicken feed, you have the chance to control exactly what goes in it. A healthy and balanced feed should contain a mixture of corn, wheat, sunflower seeds, nuts and lentils and vegetables.
It won’t hurt to add any table scraps to the mixture, like meat and vegetables, as it will create a pretty well-rounded and balanced diet!
Collecting, cleaning and storing chicken eggs
If you can hear your hens cackling loudly, it’s a sure sign that they will soon be laying eggs! Check throughout the day to see if your hen has laid, as they can sometimes stagger it out over a period of time.
Eggs have a natural coating that protects the egg from bacteria, so avoid washing the egg and instead wipe it with a dry, rough cloth. Really dirty eggs can be submerged and scrubbed with a vegetable brush in warm water, as cold water will make the egg shrink inside the shell and draw in bacteria. Store eggs in a basket in the fridge. It’s important for safety reasons and they will stay fresher for longer in the fridge.