Keeping chickens is becoming increasingly popular as many people realise the benefits of embracing the good life, at least in a small way. But keeping chickens does require some serious thought as like any animal, they will need an investment of time. But if you are thinking about keeping poultry, we’ve put down some of the most commonly cited considerations below.
First it important to realise that chickens come in all shapes, sizes and breeds and if you have sufficient outdoor space can be great fun to keep. They do not require a daily walk and as long as they are corralled into bed at night, are relatively easy to keep.
Hens, Cockerels or a Mixture?
Whilst chickens will typically appreciate the male company of a cockerel, they will also live pretty happily if it is just hens. Most hens will lay eggs without a cockerel and if you live in a residential area, for the sake of your neighbours it can be better not to have one.
There are a number of different chicken feeds available although most chickens will be suited to a diet of corn grains, grit or pellets. You may even want to consider leftover vegetables or fruit, although not exclusively. Remember Seapets have a wide range of chicken food available.
One of the reasons many people keep chickens is for the eggs and with some breeds laying up to 300 eggs per year it is likely you will have plenty to cook with. It’s common that your hens will take breaks from laying however, especially if they are moulting they will stop laying. Remember that the frequency of eggs is hugely affected by the breed.
The number of chickens you keep is largely dependent upon key factors. These include not only how many eggs you would like, but also the amount of space you have and how much spare time you will be able to devote to their upkeep.
Chickens are kept in chicken coups and runs. These should be fox proof to keep your chickens safe from predators and if you are thinking of buying one, make sure it is easy to clean and maintain, with features and openings that make it easy to get to the perches. Chicken coups range from the larger Harry’s Chicken Hotel to the smaller Cool Pets Henriettas Chicken Run, both available from Seapets.
Keeping Chickens Healthy
Diet plays an important part in the health of your chickens although equally you may want to consider chicken disinfectants to ensure the coup is kept clean. There are also a number of vitamin tonics and sprays for everything from stopping self plucking to treating wounds. A full range of chicken treatments is available at Seapets.
Hopefully with this information you will be a little more clued up as to what you need to consider before keeping chickens. If you think you are ready to realise the benefits of poultry farming, our Chicken Supplies section has everything you need to get started.