Groups » 7 Tips For Caring For Backyard Chickens

Unlike many other parts of the world, Australians still love to have their own backyard chickens. If you’re looking to purchase a few chickens then you’ll want to make sure they’re kept safe and healthy. To do this you’ll certainly want a shed and a way to keep them comfortable in your climate.

Let’s take a look below at a few tips for caring for chickens in your backyard.

Check Local Regulations

The first thing you’ll want to do before getting chickens is making sure you're legally allowed to have them in your location. You don’t want to have your animals taken away just a few weeks after getting used to them being around.

It’s also a good idea to make sure how many chickens you can have and whether your yard will accommodate them without bothering your neighbours.

The Coop

Since you’re planning on backyard chickens, you’ll probably need to settle for a smaller coop than you’d like - and that’s okay, just don’t buy a whole load of chickens. The most important factors you need to take into consideration with your coop are making sure it’s safe, the right size and secure. You don’t want snakes or any other animals getting into the coop.

The best size coop would be one that can support around five to six nesting boxes. You can make a coop from a shed like the ones from EasyShed and this way the coop will be a lot easier to make. You can remove parts of the shed and replace it with wire mesh and smaller doors.

Promote Egg-laying

Since chickens will lay eggs less frequently in winter, thanks to less daylight time, you’ll want to make sure that there is plenty of artificial lighting. This way your chickens will feel safe and be able to lay more frequently during winter since you’ve artificially lengthened daylight hours.

It’s also a good idea to add in some higher protein foods to their diet so that the eggs are better quality and the chickens can easily produce eggs more often.

Free Range

If you don’t want to lock your chickens in a really small space then all you’ll need to do is to use a pen instead of a fence. This way they can roam about the yard and hunt for their own bugs and generally have a great time in the yard, unrestricted. Once the day ends, your chickens will know that it’s time for bed so they’ll wander back to the coop and go to sleep.

Chickens that are free to snack on their own bugs and other foods produce better quality eggs too, so it’s a win for you and the chickens.

It’s Easier to Start with Adults

If it’s your first time with chickens, it’s best to start with adult chickens. Don’t try your luck with chicks just yet since they’ll need near-constant attention and a lot more security in the coop and pen. Start off with an older chicken and go from there. That way you’ll have eggs right away too.

Keep Predators Away

Since chickens are almost entirely domesticated they have basically no way to defend themselves from anything. If you’re in a city, it’s not too likely you’ll have to deal with foxes or anything like that, but you will have to deal with feral cats and stray dogs! That means you should always make sure your chickens are kept safe. Keep their coop locked and well secured every night.

Free Range Chickens Need Educating

You may or may not know this already, but if you’re big of free-range chickens, then you’ll find that they will simply lay their eggs in the yard. You’ll need to teach them to use their nesting boxes to lay their eggs and you can do this by either locking them in their coop to let them know that that is their home, or by putting eggs in their boxes to show them what the boxes are for.

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7 Tips For Caring For Backyard Chickens