Brought to you by our friends at Peckish.

 

So, you want to start up your own chicken coop? And who doesn’t? Chicken ownership has increased during the pandemic with many people working from home and interested in having access to eggs from their backyard.

Chickens make wonderful pets and are great additions to any hobby farm or backyard. Here’s a basic guide on chicken care and maintenance to help you get started on your chicken keeping journey.

Chicken keeping doesn’t need to be complicated, and breaking down their care requirements into daily, monthly, and bi-annual requirements will go a long way to knowing what you need to do to make sure your chickens live long and healthy lives.

 

Daily Requirements:

Like all pets, chickens need access to fresh, clean water throughout the day. Chickens can be somewhat fussy and won’t drink water that is dirty. So, you may find you need to change their water once or twice a day depending on how many chickens you have and how hot it is during the day.

Likewise, giving them access to a high-quality chicken feed can help ensure they stay healthy. While you can occasionally give your chickens food scraps as a treat, you should avoid relying on scraps as their main source of nutrition as most kitchen scraps won’t provide your chickens with a balanced diet. Fruit and vegetable scraps are usually high in fibre but low in protein, meaning that your chickens will fill up quickly but not get the nutrients and proteins that they need.

If you choose to let your chickens out during the day, make sure to take a few minutes to check the coop and ensure that all your chickens return at the end of the day. This helps to protect your chickens from any predators looking to sneak into their coop.

 

Monthly Requirements:

Every month you should clean out your chickens’ coop. Bedding will need to be changed every month to prevent ammonia build-up that can cause respiratory illness in chickens. You will also need to remove any chicken droppings and dispose of them. Chicken droppings and bedding can be added to your compost bin, which when broken down is great to add to your gardens!

 

Bi-annual Requirements:

Every 5 – 6 months you’ll want to deep clean your coop by removing all bedding, nesting materials, and containers for feed and water. Once you’ve cleaned and rinsed everything, allow everything to dry completely before putting in fresh bedding and returning the containers to avoid mould and any residue mould getting into your chickens’ feed and water.

Remember to keep an eye on your flock to see if they’re active and appear healthy. Chickens can become sick fast and it’s best to stay on top of their health. Consult a Veterinarian if you notice your chickens acting unusual.

 

Some important things to consider:

  • Check local council by-laws about chicken ownership
  • There are strict rules regarding the selling of eggs. Check with your local state Safe Food body