If you have thought of raising chickens at some point in your life and now seriously thinking about winging it, then you have come to the right place.
Raising chicken may not be a highly complex task but it is also not something that you could learn in a night and think of excelling at it.
It is true that there is no special course or specialization needed to be able to build a proper life for chickens, but you cannot expect to grow a complete living being without knowing the basics of caring for them.
So, if truth be told, raising a chicken or an entire clutch, is a commitment that one has to make after careful considerations.
But that being said, we would like to stress this that it is not hard. Once you know exactly how to care for them, the task then comes naturally to you and you keep learning new things along the way.
The considerations that you should make before deciding to fulfill your life-long dream of raising chickens, range from legal to non-legal issues.
So, without further ado, let’s unearth these golden factors that can help you decide whether you are all ready for this expedition or not.
While this may sound a bit shocking but every state has specific rules when it comes to keeping chicken flocks in residential areas.
The reason for keeping such laws is that some chickens produce loud noise and disgruntled the neighborhood as no one likes to hear crowing at odd hours.
So in many Australian cities, there are many rules and regulations that ensure that the people keep chickens in good condition and poultry owners do not cause any nuisance to anyone living nearby.
The rules set by the council takes care of how the poultry is being brought up and how the surrounding conditions are. It puts certain limitations depending upon certain inadequacies such as the number of chickens you can keep depending upon the area of your poultry shed or backyard.
So, always check your council’s ordinance thoroughly and see if you are fulfilling each and every requirement within the law. When you think you are fitting the criteria fully, only then go and get chickens.
Proper space for chicken house
You have gone out and brought some healthy chickens to your place and are thinking of starting your own small poultry but wait, have you arranged a dedicated space for the chickens where they can easily live, eat, and sleep? Or were you just planning to keep them anywhere in your house?
Then let us tell you that chickens need a proper shelter to live where they are not only protected and secure but they also have the necessary equipment to lay eggs easily and an appropriate place to rest or sleep soundly.
You also need to keep chickens in a place where they have easy access to peat or sand for dustbathing and easy access to greenery to engage in their typical behaviors such as foraging, pecking and scratching.
You also need to be careful about the chicken coops you buy because many of them appear pretty but are actually made of poor quality and they eventually fall apart after some time.
To buy coops of good quality, you have to look for certain small and technical things while buying them. These technical things are gaps between boards, the occurrence of shaking and rocking when pushed against, the thickness of the wood, rust endurance, lock quality, ventilation, protection, and finally the material.
The developmental stage of chickens
When you go purchasing chickens, you will have plenty of options to choose from. Among these options, you will also have to decide which developmental stage of the chickens you are looking for.
You can choose from the different stages, from newly hatched chicks to mature ones who are ready to lay eggs for the first time or have been in the business for long and this is probably their fifth or sixth time of egg-laying.
So it is up to you which chicken you want, if you are looking to bring up chicken all on your own and watch them grow, then you must go for newly hatched – but you have to make necessary arrangements for chicks as they need much more attention than chickens.
But, if your intention of buying chicken is purely for eggs, then you must go for either pullet or two or three years old hens so that they start laying eggs immediately after you buy them.
When it comes to safety, we do not mean just the safety of chickens but yours too. Chickens can become carriers of dangerous germs such as E. coli or salmonella, which can cause serious illnesses in humans. Therefore chickens can be pretty harmful to you too.
So you have to make sure that you have proper hygiene arraignments laid out before you bring chickens to your place. And the hygiene regime you should follow must include sanitizer or any alcohol-based gels and thorough hand washing each time when you come in contact with the chickens or eggs.
On the other hand, it is also important to ensure the safety of the chickens as they can become prey to many exotic animals such as coyotes, dogs, owls, and many more. Chickens serve as an easy-to-catch meal for these animals who are easily found in the surroundings of residential areas.
Be careful of overcrowding
Most people believe in keeping chickens of different ages, which is not bad at all but you have to make sure that if you are keeping mixed ages in the flock, then there is ample space for the chickens to breathe and roam around freely.
Overcrowding usually leads to the development of certain diseases so be careful that you are not cramming the space with chickens.
Chickens are a resourceful addition to the poultry and serve boundless benefits but, if you really want to reap these benefits to the fullest, you will have to take care of the things mentioned above. Do this, and you will have a wholesome experience of raising chickens.