If you are thinking of getting hens this spring.

A few things to think about before your hens arrive.

1. Have a plan if you happen to get a rooster. Every time I get new baby chicks that are all supposed to be hens I get a rooster. If you cannot keep a rooster be sure you have a happy place to have your rooster go. Good places to check are other chicken owners, a local farmer. Just a warning, it can be difficult because no one really wants the roosters. I had someone call me once, she had ordered 12 chicks and 6 of them were roosters and she was trying to find homes for them. Roosters fight and cannot usually be in the same coop.

2. Have your coop all prepared before hens arrive.

3. Each hen should have 6 square feet of space.

4. Make sure the coop is completely predator proof - neighborhood dogs, coyotes, hawks, racoons, fox and rats etc. It needs to be very secure.

5. The coop should be well ventilated but not windy or wet.

6. 5 hens can share a nesting box. A henhouse should always have nesting boxes and roosts.

7. Your chickens should have access to sun. They need roughly 14 hours of light to be good layers.

8. Hens need a place to take a dust bath. This is their natural way to keep pests down. Lice make your hens very uncomfortable and unhealthy.

9. Fresh water every day.

10. Feed should include greens, feed, grit and I add coarse corn and black sunflower seed.

11. Perches or roots. Hens need them I use an old thick broom handle.

12. Any questions email me: thehappychickens@gmail.com

If you are getting baby chicks that's a whole other process.


Kerrie Knox said...

So if you do get more than one rooster can you process it for meat? I believe we are just about to face this issue.

Backyard Journal said...

Thank you for this timely post. You are doing a very good job. I have just started a blog about Backyard Homesteading and am learning so much from my fellow bloggers.

maryellen said...

Hey, this is really good advice for getting chickens. I don't have chickens anymore, but have been thinking of starting back up and this was nice inspiration!

SteamyKitchen said...

so glad to have found ya on Twitter - I'm looking into raising chickens and you've got so much helpful info.

Orren Fox said...

Hi Everyone.
Please let me know if there is any other info that would be helpful!


Anonymous said...

What do you suggest to put in the coop for them to take a dust bath?