Chickens deserve the same level of attention, commitment, care, and love as any other animal.
Did you ever wonder how to responsibly raise your chicken children?
5 tips for making sure you chickens live a happy, healthy life
We all know the basics of raising a kitten or a puppy, but what about chickens?
There may not be a large population that can currently call themselves chicken parents, but for those who do, it is important that they know the correct way to raise their bird babies.
So, what does it take to be a good chicken owner? Following the 5 tips below will get first-time chicken owners off to a great start.
1. Be realistic about your coop size
It’s always best if chickens are able to have ample space to run around; therefore, they should not be kept in a coop all the time, but rather have it as a nice place to snuggle up for a rest.
Most people build their coop based on the amount of chickens they have at the time. This can be dangerous, as baby chicks are notorious for being adorable. One chicken leads to another, and then another, and then another… and so on.
One great rule of thumb is to always build a bigger chicken coop than you think you will need. If the chickens end up having more space, then great! But chances are, you will end up having more chickens than intended.
2. Be knowledgeable about chicken health
One thing we have all learned from having a pet is that they get sick just like we do. While they may not get the same illnesses and diseases as us, they are just as serious.
Make sure you are up-to-date on common chicken illnesses. There are many serious and not-so-serious conditions that can plague chickens, some preventable and some not. If you’re familiar with the different ways chickens can fall ill, you’ll be better equipped to treat them when/if it happens.
3. Plan out your vet care
This one goes along with knowing your chicken illnesses and diseases: make sure you have a plan of action if your chicken does fall ill.
Believe it or not, there aren’t a ton of chicken vets in business. However, there are some qualified professionals who are trained to deal with farm animals, and more specifically birds who would be happy to help your flying friend get healthy again. Make sure you scope out a reliable vet before you adopt your chickens. This way, you’ll be ready if sickness strikes.
4. Protect your coop with a little muscle
Where there are chickens, there are predators.
Sadly, this is something that will always be true. But there are ways you can protect your chickens from prowlers: get a rooster. Roosters are dominant males who will fend for their hens. If a predator comes knocking, a rooster will surely be there to answer.
Another great way to protect your hens is to make sure your coop is secure. Can a small child open your coop door easily? If so, you can be sure other animals will have an easy time getting in as well.
5. Listen to your chickens
The last, but certainly not least, great tip for being a responsible chicken owner is to listen to your chickens.
No, not literally.
Being knowledgeable about chicken behavior can help you understand what chickens need to live a happy, healthy life. If your chickens are fighting or expressing aggressive behavior, you may be keeping them too cooped up together (no pun intended). Chickens need a lot of real estate and will do much better together if they have a place they can roam or have some space from other chickens.
Do your research and figure out how chickens use talk with their moods, behaviors and body language.