There are a few items that new chicken keepers must make a priority to get before they get their chickens. It is best if you want to make sure that you’ve covered all bases and won’t run into any trouble when you introduce your chickens to their new home. Keeping these points in mind will help you transition from chicken free to chicken keeper quite smoothly.
1. Research Your Breed
Different breeds have different qualities that make them special so depending on your lifestyle, some breeds may be better suited to meet your needs than others. This means that if your main goal is eggs, then breeds like the Isa Brown and Rhode Island Reds are your go-to birds, but if you want a sweet cuddly pet, then Silkies may be the chicken for you.
Different breeds also have different space requirements so you will have to consider how many chickens you want and how much space they will need to be happy, healthy chooks. Some breeds also require fencing since they are quite good at flying. Knowing your breed is crucial to creating the best environment for your hens.
2. Get A Spacious Safe Coop
A decent coop is non-negotiable when it comes to the health and happiness of your chickens. It might come as a surprise to you just how many elements a good coop needs to be functional.
Nesting boxes, trays and perches are just some of the essentials a coop needs. If you don’t have a safe free-range area, you will need to get a run for your coop. Runs are good at keeping your chickens safe while still giving them time outside of the coop.
3. Inform Your Neighbours
If you live in a residential area it is only polite to inform your neighbours that you’ll be getting a few hens and maybe a rooster. Some people despise the noise chickens make so, you will have to take into account how everyone around you feels about your idea.
It is also important to know if your neighbours have any cats or dogs that can be a danger to your flock. Regardless, you can always share your fresh eggs with them as a thank you for allowing you to follow your chicken dream.
4. Check Your Local Regulations Regarding Keeping Chickens
Laws around keeping chickens vary according to area and state. YOu will need to make sure that your local regulations allow chickens. Rules can include:
- A limited number of chickens in a certain space
- No roosters
- Feed must be kept in pest-proof containers
There are a lot more possible rules so make sure to check. Most backyard chicken keepers won’t intentionally break the rules, but it is always better to double-check since rules can change.
5. Get A Chicken First Aid Kit
Having a chicken first aid kit handy from the day your hens arrive can solve many issues. Chickens are silly creatures and may hurt themselves while being stressed because of the move. Being well prepared is always better than dealing with a major crisis without any handy tools.
6. Find Out Where The Nearest Poultry Vet Is Located
You will be glad if you have all your emergency contacts handy when something bad happens. Make sure to list all emergency numbers in case some chickens get hurt, they need evacuating due to a severe storm or if there are some nasty predators prowling that need safe removal.
Being well prepared makes the move much easier for you and your new flock. You will feel more relaxed knowing that your flock has the best possible start in life. Just make sure your knowledge is up to scratch as well so you can avoid any dramas and react correctly to any problems and health issues that may arise.