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Saturday

Raising Chickens Pros And Cons

There are so many reasons why someone would want or wouldn’t want a chicken in their backyard. There are debates about it and here are some:

Pros

1. Costs incredibly cheap.

When we say cheap, not only does the chicken itself count but also the maintenance of it all. Compared to keeping a dog or a cat for a pet, it is much cheaper to take care of a number of chickens most likely because they are not choosy when it comes to food. You can feed them scraps and table leftovers and they will happily gobble it up. With as little as $2 a day, you can spend on a bunch of layer mash.

2. You can get something from them.

Eggs. Meat. Ornament. Who wouldn’t want it? In terms of eggs, it is seldom that you encounter a chicken that can’t lay eggs. It is a good source of iron, which is good for the brain. You could either sell these eggs or keep them in your fridge. With meat, every part of a chicken can be eaten. Yes, every. In cases of those who don’t want to see their chickens go bye-bye, they raise them as pets and for exhibition purposes.

3. Low maintenance.

Unlike dogs who need everyday grooming and cats who need your undivided attention, chickens need none of those. You don’t have to bring them to your vet every once in a while to take shots and doses of vaccines. All you have to do is feed them and supply clean water every day. Their coops must be cleaned at least once a week or twice every month depending on the number of chickens that you own.

4. Fertilizers for free and an instant pest control agent.

These are the two things that chicken raisers love about owning a chicken. When you allow your chickens to roam around your backyard, it is in their nature to peck on whatever it is that catches their interest and their hunger. Chickens love anything that came from the ground most especially the ones that are moving. They eat insects, bugs, worms and the like. For them, these are special treats. Furthermore, it is in their nature to eradicate their internal wastes anywhere they please. But their poops are considered as natural fertilizers that the ground needs to grow plants and root crops in a healthy state.

Cons

1. They are not the best guard pets to have.

While chickens can coo and make familiar sounds, it is not in their nature to bite or coo on anyone they see who looks suspicious. All they can do is grow, eat, and lay eggs. They are also not the ideal pets you would want to have especially if you need a response like waggling of the tail or a purring sound.

2. Chickens are messy.

Indeed. Plus, their poop smells terrible that it can reach certain areas in your house. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to go through enduring hours of cleaning, chickens aren’t really the pets for you.

3. One for all, all for one.
Well, in terms of getting sick this is a con. Because when one catches flu, everyone gets it too. And if one dies because of that flu, it is expected that every single chicken living with that infected chicken who also got that flu is also going to die after a few days.


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Thursday

Raising Chicken Precautions During Winter And Summer

Even though it seems like chickens are fragile creatures, they have certain characteristics that can let them survive through whatever weather may come. But you have to take note that not all chickens are alike.

While some can withstand winters, others preferred to sun bathe during summer sunshine. It will all depend on the weather that you are having when you decide to purchase the right kind of chicken so as not to waste money and time raising them and just have them end up in a chicken graveyard.

Winter

During wintertime or in cold weather days, never try heating your chickens just because you fear that they might catch a cold or freeze. You may find your flock dead in the morning. F.Y.I., chickens can adapt to extreme cold conditions because their body can change the metabolism as the cold weather approaches.

If you live in a place where winters are more prominent than summer or is literary winter all the time, you might as well take certain actions for your chickens that will not put any of your chicken’s lives in danger.

a. There is a risk that a chicken’s wattle and comb can be affected by frostbite. To avoid this, you can rub some petroleum jelly or any moisturizer every other day.

b. Look out for frozen water supply. You can’t deprive them of water. They will not drink from a frozen water outlet. Chickens can’t take water with impurities. It must always stay fresh and clean. You can take out a water heater so that the water stays in its liquid form. Or if you don’t have one, better bring the waterer inside the house then return it in the morning.

Summer

If you live in places where summer is the only known season, your chickens are prone to be exposed to excessive heat all the time. With this, they might be in risk to dehydration. The only thing that you have to look out for during summer is that their water supply never runs dry. It must always have clean water. Don’t let your chickens roam around without providing them a sort of shade. If there is no run, you can provide ventilation inside the pen.

During heat waves, hens would lay lesser eggs. If this occurs, it is a typical sign that your chicken is stressed because of the excessive heat. Their egg laying tendencies will go back to normal once the heat recedes.

If things get worse, you have to observe the behavior of your chickens. What are manifesting? If you’ve seen that one catches a cold or is acting a bit odd, isolate the chicken instantly to prevent further spread of the disease. Don’t forget to provide water and feed to the isolated animal.

Then, when things are manageable, consult with your vet. Tell him or her how your chicken/s are reacting. Are they having:

a. mites
b. abnormality in the stool (blood, worms and white droppings)
c. sneezing and teary eyes
d. depressed
e. unable to mingle with the flock
f. loss of appetite


Tell your vet what you actually see so that he or she can give you the appropriate answer to your dilemma. These are only bits of areas that you have to ponder upon regarding raising your chickens in winter or summer atmospheres. It’s better to be safe than very sorry.


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Tuesday

Keeping Your Chickens Healthy

There have been thoughts on what to do with your flock daily. Raising chickens can be quite easy but also needs maintenance to keep their environment safe and clean for both your chickens and your own happiness. Some owners hesitate to do such a grueling task. But in reality it is one of the easiest works you can do to give your chickens the welcome they deserve.

In this section, you’ll learn about what to do and what not to do daily.

a. Keep their feed and water containers full at all times. Do not let them run out of these two essentials. They need these two things everyday to live. If you tend to leave your house for a couple of days, be sure to leave sufficient food and water so that your chickens don’t run out of their needs and will not reach the point of picking on each other.

b. Clean their water canister. If their water becomes cloudy or if they sensed that it’s already dirty, they will refuse to drink it and in the long run, they will become dehydrated and eventually conjure illness and die.

c. Every morning, observe for their health status. Look at their physical attitude. Do they look bright, active, and healthy? If they don’t look anything close to normal, then you should call or see the vet to ask for suggestions and answers.

d. If you are the type who loves collecting eggs for breakfast or for selling, the moment they are laid, you can already get them from the coop. Put the eggs inside the fridge to maintain its freshness.

e. From time to time, you will have the chance to visit their coop and look at your chickens. Before you leave, make sure that things are safe inside and outside the pen. If you see rat holes, block it. If everything seems fine, be sure to close the door. As dusk comes, that’ll be the time when all the chickens are in their nest. Not a single chicken in sight. Secure the area so that predators will not have the opportunity to get in.

Unlike other pets, you can leave the chickens for days. You have to keep in mind that they have to be provided with enough food and water supply. If you came back and found eggs, it’s still okay to collect. It still has its freshness.

Here’s a fact that you should know about an egg’s freshness: it will take you at least 12 days from the day that it was laid before it matures and an embryo develops inside.

Another thing that you should know about eggs is that upon collecting them, there will be chances that you’ll see slight smudges of dirt or feces on the egg’s surface. Do not attempt too scrub the dirt off no matter how the urge is killing you. Because one thing about eggs is that they are not ejected to this world without protective barriers.

Bloom is the term that is given to the membrane that is located at the surface of the egg itself. The use of the bloom is to protect the egg from bacteria and microorganisms that may insist on penetrating through the shell. If you scrub this, you take away the protective covering.

But if you are that type of person who wanted things to always be spiffy clean, like that of the obsessive-compulsive type, you can clean the dirty egg provided it will  be under warm water and in a very gentle touch.


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Sunday

Hints For Hatching And Raising Chickens Out Of Eggs

As a poultry raiser, you have to know that from the moment they were lain, eggs must hatch after 21 days of incubation. It’s a good thing if your hen wanted to continue incubating her eggs. But if she doesn’t, there is always an alternative – an incubator.

An incubator should have a temperature of at least 98 – 99 degrees. To measure the humidity inside the incubator, use a hygrometer or a thermometer. Hygrometers can be bought in a price that’s quite practical. You can buy it in any cigar shop or even online. For the first 1-18 days, your humidity can be at least 50% and the remaining days till day 21 must have a maximum of 80%.

You should maintain adequate moisture inside the incubator. To do this, you can use paper cups or a pan containing water. To evenly apply the heat, mark the eggs with an O on one side and an X on the other side. This will determine which side needs to be heated. Do this process at least three to four times a day. If you started heating all X sides, the next time you turn it, all sides will be O. Do not skip until hatching day comes or else the eggs will get deformed from the inside. Sometimes, you get nothing.

The above-mentioned hint is done by some egg hatchers and poultry owners. But others say that to turn or not to turn, hatch rates are always a success.
Hatching Eggs from Incubators

One good thing about incubators is that, in the absence of the mother chicken, they can come in handy. Very handy. Above all, these incubators can be bought in very cheap and practical prices. An incubator is an instrument that gives newly born egg a moist and warm state similar to that of the chicken’s tummy. Options are endless depending on its features including the capacity, and others.

Fertility

The fertility of a hen is unlikely. It is very rare not assuring a hundred percentage accuracy. It varies from a close 56% to an 80% that can also depend on the condition, season and the bird type. Fertile eggs can be at least 75% expected to hatch.

Determining the egg’s fertility can’t be done before the incubation. This can only be detected after 3 days or so by candling. Candling can be done by holding a candle in front of an egg which is typically white-shelled. As you do this, you could see a slight silhouette of the embryo. That will be the time when you can determine if it is fertilized or not. If they don’t look anything close to “normal”, otherwise damaged or cracked, you have to rid of them because they will develop a very unpleasant odor.

If the eggs are uniformly white, the candle will be hard chance. So instead, you have to use a light bulb. Place the light bulb inside a can or a small box. Punch a small hole through the can or box wherein only a small percentage of light is reflected. You can place the egg over the hole where the light slits through.

If you have noticed the cloudiness of the egg or a mass is prominent, assume an embryo has been successfully fertilized. But if the inside of the egg is clear, the egg is unfertilized.

With these slight hints, you can diagnose the end product of an artificially incubated egg and not compromising the outcome of the chicks raised.


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Friday

Gathering The Right Materials Before Building The Pen

Being a starter in the world of raising chickens, one of the important thing you should consider and is also necessary is the fact that you can protect your raised chickens without even being on a shot-gun watch for 24 hours every waking day; that is why you have to build a pen that will last for a very long period of time. Before building, planning and gathering is the very first step.


Location is the first thing to consider. Do you live in a rural or in an urban area? Your answer will depend on the chickens you can keep. Usually in rural communities, the number of livestock you want can be unlimited but when in urban settings, raising chickens can have restrictions regarding its number. Or sometimes, they are totally banned.

Another thing is the kind of chicken that you are planning to raise. If they weigh heavier, this will be an advantage because this kind of status will make it more difficult for them to fly away.  A simple wire and post design pen can be used. But in most instances chickens are more prone to flying away. Especially if they are not used to the place, a fence with a higher walls or wires is more appropriate.

The place where you construct your pen must be safe and sturdy enough to withstand any predator’s mark. It should be constructed in a way that your poultry are not easily snatched not only by scavengers but also by people who are pretty much interested in chicken stew. They must be protected and locked-in, especially at night.

What is a post and wire type of pen? It is by far the simplest kind of design wherein materials like posts, strong wires, fence staples are used. The tools needed to help you complete the job are the ordinary hammer, wire cutters, crowbar and sledgehammer. Gathering these materials are the very first thing you have to do upon planning.

Fence post can’t be bought one at a time but in bundles. If you became worried that the excess lumbers will go to waste once the fence is finished, worry no more. This is because fence posts can be used in incredible purposes like supporting beams for sheds. Chicken wire is usually used. But for safety purposes a stucco wire is stronger and is more recommended for holding building sides.

There are really no actual fence staples, that is why the local staples used for wiring can be used as an alternative. Skimping the staples should not be stressed. You need a lot while construction is ongoing and also additional supplies in cases of emergencies.

The sledgehammer is used to pound the post into the soil. Weight is the first thing that you have to take note of when choosing a sledgehammer. Make sure that it is not too heavy that you can’t lift it up and not too light that you will need to exert all your efforts just to pound your post.

The crowbar is used for digging a hole where the pole will be placed. Lastly, the regular hammer will be useful for those hardheaded staple wires to dig in the posts.

Now that all materials are properly intact, you can plan on the actual building of the pen.


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An Amazing Step-by-step Guide For The Absolute Beginner In Raising And Keeping Chickens, Plus Bonuses, Guarantee To Turn The Novice Into A Chicken Keeping Expert.
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