So, you want to keep chickens? You’re reading all you can to learn what you need to know to get started, you have bought all the books and are scouring the internet, hoping to absorb the most important information. That’s a great start! Some things are less painful and expensive to learn from others’ experiences, so in the hope of sparing some growing pains for those about to embark on their chicken-keeping adventures, I have asked my Facebook fans what they wish they had known before they began. Here are some of their replies, in their own words.
Two words: do it.
Check your local codes to make sure you can even have chickens to begin with, how many you are allowed to have, and if you can have roosters.
Get a bigger coop than you think you want/need. (about chicken math)
Don’t plan on just getting a few… it’s a addiction. (chicken addicts)
Do your homework…it is a living commitment.
Have what they need before they arrive. (the basics)
Install dropping boards that pull out, super easy to clean. (about droppings boards)
Sometimes sexing isn’t accurate. Have a plan in case one turns out to be a rooster. (re-homing roosters)
Your habitat will never be complete! (virtual coop tour)
Buy from a breeder and not an auction. (due to threat of disease)
Install removable perches to be able to clean underneath them.
Make sure you have an area that you can put an injured or sick bird. (chicken first aid kit & infirmary set-up)
Protect them as much as you can from the elements.
Do it right the first time and don’t cut corners.
Finish building the coop and run BEFORE you buy the chicks.
Put curtains on nest boxes. (about nest box curtains)
Research the different breedsas some do better with laying, climate, broodiness, temperament.
Coop placement is important. (shade in summer, dry location in rainy weather)
Put sand in the run to keep it from getting muddy. (using sand in the coop & run)
Having a sand floor makes it so much easier to clean-the poop pretty much disintegrates and if it doesn’t, just rake it up and use it for fertilizer.
Be prepared to have the mulch in your landscaped beds scattered.
Visit people who have chickens and see how they raise them.
Cover the run and make it bigger than you think you need.
How much I would love them and how much they would change my life. Wish I had had chickens years ago! (you might be a chicken addict if…)