Backyard chicken farming is fun, somewhat therapeutic, and beneficial in multiple ways. However, it also requires time and commitment, and it's easy to get derailed. The good news is that you can revive your backyard chicken farm and learn how to run it more efficiently. Here is a brief guide on getting your backyard chicken farming back on track.
Choosing the right breed
Different chicken breeds have varying characteristics. It is ideal to have a breed that lays many eggs and is calm. The Golden Comet breed is the most recommendable – the chickens are calm enough to raise in your backyard, and they lay more eggs than most other breeds (up to 300 eggs per year per chicken).
Sheltering your chickens
You will need a coop to shelter your chickens. The coop should be secure and impenetrable to predators such as stray cats and raccoons. The coop should also be warm, properly aerated, and spacious – each chicken should have about two to four square feet.
You will also need a brooder if you are raising the chickens as young chicks – chicks need a lot of heat, and it is recommended to maintain temperatures of about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to inspect your current coop and brooder and restructure them to meet these standards before bringing the chickens in.
Feeding & health
Your chickens need a stable supply of healthy food to grow strong and lay big, nutritious eggs. Chicken feed varies in nutrient content – overall, it is advisable to invest in quality chicken feed and use mineral-rich additives (calcium is especially important). Your chickens' health is also vital – it primarily depends on cleanliness (compound and coop/brooder maintenance), insect control, and vaccination.
Egg harvesting, storage & marketing
The main benefit of backyard chicken farming is the steady supply of eggs. It is important to install nest boxes in the coop to give the chickens a safe place to lay their eggs. Freshly laid eggs can last for about a month when stored at room temperature, while cleaned and refrigerated eggs can last up to six months. You can also consider selling some of the extra eggs, but you must comply with local laws.
This knowledge will help you get your backyard chicken farm back on track. Remember to keep your chickens well-fed and healthy, and feeding them PopWorms!® will take care of both needs!
Raising your own flock of chickens can be a fun and rewarding experience. Having a clean coop that is free from flies helps the overall health of your backyard chicken experience. Here are five ways to keep your chicken coop free from flies.
Air movement will help chickens stay cool in the summer and help to help keep the flies away. Having a dry coop also helps because flies are drawn to moist, wet areas caused by water or chicken droppings. Flies and other insects will have a more difficult time navigating through the breeze, therefore reducing the level of pests in the coop.
Plants and Herbs
Many different plants and herbs are naturally good at keeping pests away. By planting them in or around the coop, you not only help to get rid of pests but also beautify the area. Some great options for planting are below.
This may sound strange, but some bugs are worth having around if they do a good job keeping nuisances away. Black soldier flies are a non-invasive species that can be purchased online (check out our product line of PopWorms! LIVE here!) or sometimes at your local feed store. They will deter the pest flies without causing any harm to you or your chickens.
Flypaper and fly bags are other methods to help reduce the number of flies. With flypaper, you simply hang the sticky paper up in and around the coop. Flies will be attracted to it and become stuck there. Fly bags come with a powder that you mix with water. The contents have a strong odor of decay that flies can't resist. Once they enter the bag, that's the end for them.
Because chickens are sensitive animals, you don't want to use just anything around them. Using a homemade fly solution is a great way to make certain your pets are safe from harsh chemicals. To keep the flies away naturally, try mixing two cups of vinegar, two cups of water, and at least 20 drops of essential oil like basil, peppermint, or thyme. Spray liberally around the coop to deter flies.
Use these tips to help keep your chickens healthy, happy, and pest free is a priority! And-don't forget to treat your backyard babies with PopWorms!