Raising a flock of chickens for personal meat or egg production can be a fun, simple and rewarding experience. Caring for and raising baby chicks is a great family project and is a cost-effective way of growing your first flock or raising replacements for you existing pen. Here are a few resources to help you get off to a great start!
Small scale poultry coops seem to be built in almost every possible shape and size. Many existing buildings can easily be adapted to accommodate poultry.
One responsibility associated with backyard poultry ownership is managing the waste products of your birds, particularly the manure and bedding mixture (termed “litter”) that builds up in the coop.
One of the most important ways you can minimize eggshell bacteria is to provide the cleanest possible nesting environment for your birds. First, there should be an adequate number of nests. You will need only one nest box for every four to six hens. Each of these nests should be in a location that is not brightly lit and is out of the way of foot traffic.
The health of your birds is important when maintaining a backyard flock. Regular maintenance of your housing and frequent monitoring of the flock are the first steps in preventing and detecting diseases. Identification of the cause and appropriate treatment can prevent a minor condition from becoming serious.
The term biosecurity refers to the measures taken to prevent the introduction and/or spread of disease in a poultry flock. It is important for every poultry operation to develop, and implement, a biosecurity plan.