One of the most important things to do while raising chickens is to provide a stable natural environment for them to live in and grow. If you’re currently raising or considering raising chickens, there are several things you can do to make your venture successful.
Whether you’re raising chickens as a commercial venture or to supplement your home pantry, raising healthy birds is a worthwhile investment of time and effort.
Tips to raising healthy poultry
Raising healthy poultry serves many purposes. Happy chickens living in a stress-free environment produce larger eggs, and higher quality meat, when compared to chickens living in overcrowded coops.
Select right breed
Research is a key factor here. Are you getting chickens so that you can have a large supply of eggs? Are you looking for chickens that will produce a large amount of meat, or both? If you’re looking for a large volume of eggs, we recommend the brow birds. They’re relatively calm, can be raised near other animals, and lay between 250 and 300 eggs a year.
For a meat-producing bird, Abor Acre breeds are better because they’re resilient and have good carcasses. They’re designed for the cold, but can thrive in most environments, and they’re disease resistant. They weigh about 2.5 -3kgs in four weeks when if brooding and feeding are done properly.
Our favorite dual-purpose chicken is Noiler. This breed also lays an average of 150 eggs a year, which is pretty incredible.
Protect flock against disease
Adequate vaccinations against diseases such as New Castle, e-coli, Gumboro and others should be done at the recommended ages. Farmers should also control insect and parasite infestations.
Invest in quality feed
Good feeds might be more expensive but they are better and more economical in the long run. Therefore, farmers are advised to “Maintain a good food source. Consider adding calcium and mineral-rich additives such as oyster shell grit or diatomaceous earth to grains.” This, experts say, will not only enrich the diet of the chickens, but added calcium will also help produce strong eggs.
Commonly made mistakes
Although a lot of farmers have been raising poultry for some time, there may be some people who are just getting into raising broilers and hens. Here’s a list of the things we wish we were told when we started raising our flock.
The golden ratio
Depending on the breed the farmers desire to stock, the ratio of hens to roosters is going to vary, but we recommend a 12:1 ratio. So, for every 12 hens, you should have one rooster. If you have too many roosters, then your hens will be mated too often, and they end up missing feathers, having bear backs, and can even be injured.
Forgetting climate control
Depending on where you are, you may have a temperate climate or one that is affected by temperature extremes. Try to include shaded areas for chickens to keep cool in, and if you live in a colder climate, consider installing a heater in the chicken pen so that your flock stays warm.