Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens: Have Farm-Fresh Eggs at the Ready
The consumers’ demand for organic food is growing from day to day, so now, it’s estimated that more than 6 out of every 10 Australian households buy organic foods. And those who have larger backyards and gardens even tend to grow their own, so it isn’t strange that a lot of people make investments in hens and chicken coops in order to feel the real taste of organic eggs.
The taste, quality and nutrition profile cannot be compared to one of the store-bought eggs. Usually, organic eggs have less cholesterol and less saturated fat. On the other hand, they have more omega-3 fatty acids, increased content of vitamins A, E and D and more beta carotene.
Their nutritional value is way better than the one of store-bought eggs, so it isn’t strange that a lot of people raise their own chickens to enjoy these benefits throughout the year. But aside from eggs, you’ll be also able to enjoy the numerous benefits of eating organic meat.
Things You Need to Raise Chickens
First things first, in order to raise chickens you will need a chicken coop the purchase of which should be made based on your free space. Generally speaking, one chicken needs around 0,372 square metres of free space inside the coop and about 0,743 square metres when running.
Giving this space to chickens is essential as it helps with avoiding overcrowding which tends to result in chickens starting to pick their feathers. This explains the fact why your free space is closely related to how many chickens can you raise at once. Ideally, you should look for a large chicken coop to be able to raise more chickens which will result in more eggs.
Luckily, nowadays you have the chance to find quality and comfortable large chicken coops for sale that won’t compromise style. Depending on the size and type of free space you have, you can choose from the extensive range of amazing coops that differ mainly in shape and size. For instance, if you do have a larger space but it’s somehow tricky and narrow, you can always opt for a larger but narrower coop. And vice versa, if having lots of free space, you can select from the wider and larger types of chicken coops.
Matching the chicken coop with the surrounding is also possible, especially if you opt for a steel design. Usually, they are available in different colours, but even if you can’t find the desired one, you can always repaint it by yourself. The last thing you should give serious thought to is the coop’s roof and the mesh type. Depending on your personal taste and preferences, you can opt for wider or narrower mesh panels, where the wider ones are considered to offer greater visibility. Usually, these mesh panels are made of steel which makes them sturdier and easier to clean.
Is It Cheaper to Buy or Build a Chicken Coop?
A lot of people consider the idea of building their own coop but they end up regretting it because it’s mainly time-consuming. Additionally, wood is the mainly used material for DIY chicken coop projects and unfortunately isn’t the most proper one since it’s the kind of material that’s prone to rot and pests. To stay in its best possible shape, you’ll have to treat and maintain your wooden coop on a regular basis. What’s more, nowadays, you can choose from the large selection of steel chicken coops that are pocket-friendly and most importantly resistant to the elements.
It’s true that chickens love eating worms, insects and slugs, however, they also need to eat tips and seeds of several weeds and grasses like buckwheat, clover, Kentucky bluegrass, dandelions, etc. An important thing you should know is that birds raised for meat and poultry raised for eggs should consume different food. For instance, small farm and backyard chickens raised for eggs should eat food scraps from the farm household. Meat birds are considered voracious eaters and they are in need of food high in protein to reach the needed weight.
In What Way Can Chickens Benefit Your Gardening?
If you’re into gardening as well, once the gardening season is finished, you can let your chickens out of the large chicken coops for sale and into the gardening space to let them do whatever they want. Usually, they’ll uproot any stems and stalks of weeds, and eat any damaged or overripe vegetables. They’ll also eat any insect that crosses their way and will start scratching the ground which will result in a better soil process.
That way, they’ll clean up the soil and process it, and you can use their poo as a natural fertiliser later on. All it takes is collecting it with the right garden supplies, pile it up and use bedding materials to make a natural fertiliser.