Thinking about raising chickens in your yard? This helpful list of What You Need to Raise Chickens includes essential items to buy before getting started.
I never thought we would be a family to raise chickens. Little did I know how therapeutic and rewarding it would be. Every time we watch our chickens do what chickens do, our faces light up and there is a little extra joy in our day. We started out with four little chicks and have never looked back. If you're ready to take the plunge here is a list of What You Need to Raise Chickens.
What You Need to Raise Chickens
Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally– This book is an excellent resource regardless if you are raising backyard chickens for eggs or companionship. They care about the quality of life of their chickens. Fresh Eggs Daily is an authoritative, accessible guide to coops, nesting boxes, runs, feed, and natural health care with time-tested remedies. The author promotes the benefits of keeping chickens happy and well-occupied, and in optimal health, free of chemicals and antibiotics. She emphasizes the therapeutic value of herbs and natural supplements to maintaining a healthy environment for your chickens.
If you are starting out by raising baby chicks, there are a few extra supplies that will be needed.
Clamp Lamp– You can use just about anything as a brooder, we have even used an old toy box lined with pine shavings that we changed daily. What isn't negotiable is keeping the chicks warm. So be sure to grab a heat lamp. This particular light Clamps to any cage or tank. There are also kinds that hang. Good to 100 watts, 6-foot power cord.
Organic Starter Crumbles– Chicks have different nutrient requirement than laying hens. Get a good starter crumble. This starter crumble is organic and non-gmo.
Chick Feeder and Water– This is a great set it is perfect for keeping the chicks from getting into their food and water. This set has a .3 gallon feeder and .25 gallon waterer, it includes a food scoop and a treat dispensing toy.
Before the chicks become full blown chickens and laying eggs you'll need a coop for them to sleep safely, a place for them to lay their eggs, and different food.
Chicken Coop– Chickens need a coop to protect them while they sleep at night, to keep them warm, and for a cozy spot to lay their eggs. This farmhouse style coop is a great example of what is needed. It includes a display top, run area, egg case, run area, and ramp. There is also a metal pull out drawer for easy cleaning.
Poultry Drinker– I was very surprised at just how much water chickens drink. If you don't have the right waterer, you may find yourself refilling their water 3 times a day. This easy to fill and clean drinker is 5 quarts and should last the day depending on the size of your flock.
Poultry Feeder– This poultry feeder holds 7 pounds of food and is designed to fill fast and keep the chickens from scratching their food out.
Layer Feed– When your hen is old enough, she will need to change to a layer feed. There is a different nutrient requirement for layers. This all natural crumble contains no animal proteins or fats, No antibiotics.
Coop Bedding– Each chicken has her own preference for nesting, but this bedding is needed to help the clean up process. The chickens like to scratch it and it helps to absorb moisture. These pine shavings are heat dried to prevent mold spores, E. Coli, and Salmonella. These shavings are low-moisture, all-natural and compostable.
Predator Guard– Every little bit helps right. I bought this predator guard just as an added deterrent. This little gadget has two little lights that mimic another predator's eyes. This should create fear that a predator is near and keep wild nocturnal animals away. There are many predators to be aware of like dogs, cats, wild critters including the hawk family in our back yard.
There are other items to consider purchasing when deciding to raise chickens, but this is an excellent place to start.