One way to prepare for tough times is learning how to raise chickens. You and your family will have a food supply at a minimal time and money expense. Chickens are easy and inexpensive to maintain and they will provide fresh and nutritious eggs, weed control, fertilizer and even meat.
Once you determine which chicken breeds are the best for your purposes, then it's time to get started.
The first step in raising chickens is securing a heated enclosure called a brooder. You can use a cardboard box, plastic tub, kiddie pool or anything else that will keep the chicks contained. In order for the chicks to survive, the brooder will need:
The baby chicks will settle into their brooder, which will keep them warm and comfortable. Check on them often in the beginning and keep their food and water clean. After the first week or two, they can leave the brooder for short periods. As you learn how to raise your own chickens, you will find they are curious and enjoy playtime. It is not uncommon for chicks to bond with their owners.
The answer to raising chickens changes when the chicks become young pullets and cockerels. Chickens can roam or be confined but make sure they have plenty of space and protection from predators. Adult accommodation should include:
Make sure to have adequate chicken wire and fencing around the coop to discourage predators, which is a key component of the answer to raising chickens. If they are out in the yard, they will naturally return to their coop at night to roost or you can train them to return to the coop by feeding at a specific time each day.
Hens and roosters need some attention to keep them healthy and alive that include:
Periodically, you should:
Keeping up with these chores will keep them content and provide endless amounts of farm-fresh eggs and meat.
Dust baths are an important part of how to raise chickens. Dust baths will help prevent parasites on their feathers and skin plus chickens like them. Even if the birds run free part of the time, place a box of deep, dry and loose dirt near their pen.
Young hens will start laying five or six eggs per week at about 20 to 24 weeks old. Productivity will vary throughout the year and with the age of the hens. A rooster is not a necessary part of raising chickens unless you want fertilized eggs, which will produce more baby chicks. Hens will lay just as many eggs whether or not you have a rooster. A rooster will help protect the flock by guarding against predators and alerting about danger.
Chickens are fun, friendly creatures that will provide necessary food in tough times. They do not need many supplies to keep them happy and knowing how to raise chickens will provide you with laying hens for eggs or meat birds.