When you talk about raising chickens for eggs, for fun, or even for meat production, you must include the topic of chicken feeders and waterers. No matter what the reason is behind your raising the birds they are going to need to eat, so you are going to have to have chicken feeders and waterers to accomplish this.
If you get your birds when they are just chicks you will want to go to the feed and supply store and get chicken feeders and drinkers that accommodate the small fowl. These little ones can easily drown so the device built to water them is a shallow dish that has a holding bottle that will screw onto the dish. The baby bird cannot get in the dish and drown because it simply is not deep enough for that to happen. The birds need this type of watering system until they are starting to get good feathers.
If you are considering having an automatic water dispensing system, you need to introduce this system to the birds while they are young. These systems provide good, clean fresh water at all times. This is of critical importance to anyone raising chickens or any other birds. The birds require a large amount of water every day, and they are bad about getting their water dishes dirty. With an automatic system you do not have to worry that they need to be watered, and you do not have to clean the mud, and poop out of the water dish.
When your birds are very small the chickens feed that you buy will be called bitty starter. This feed is crushed into small enough pieces that the little ones can eat it without choking on it. The bitty starter has all the chicken nutrition requirements in it so that the animals grow correctly. You do not have to supplement the chick starter with anything else. Once your birds are at least one year old you will add crushed oyster shell either to their feed, or scattered in their yard. The crushed oyster shell helps to provide them with the extra calcium they require for their egg shells to be hard. Without this oyster shell the hells on the eggs they lay will break so easily that they will often break when you pick them up. You never want to give crushed oyster shell to birds that are not old enough to lay eggs yet.
You can provide your birds with automatic chicken feeders, or you can throw their food out in the yard and allow them to scratch around and pick their food up. Automatic feeders will provide your animals with cleaner food, but you must remember that a bird like this needs grit in order for them to be able to process their food correctly. You can buy the crushed oyster shell and spread it around for them to peck at, and then place their feed in an automatic feeder. If you design a method for providing food and water even when you are not there you will have more free time to enjoy other things.
The style of chicken’s feeders you choose to use will depend a great deal on the amount of time, and the amount of money you want to spend on your new birds. You can get quite extravagant with your design, or you can keep the entire pen rather simple in design.
During the day your birds will wander around their yard, pecking at feed, looking for insects, taking dust baths, and just being normal chickens. At night they will go into their house to roost. These birds will roost at the same time every day, and you can even install an automatic door for the chicken coop that will close after the birds are in their house. These doors that shut the animals in their house will be beneficial in keeping your birds safe from predators during the night. It is much more difficult for a fox, or raccoon to get into the house you build, than it is for them to manipulate the wire fencing around the yard.
Raising these birds can be fun, and will provide you with wonderful fresh eggs, that you know are chemical free. The animals are actually very easy to care for, and with just a small amount of planning on your part, their care will take you only a few minutes every day. There are some great online merchants that can provide ou with some of the supplies you want to have your animals cage set up for your convenience, and their safety.
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