Maybe you did your research, or maybe you are doing it now. Keeping chickens is a fairly easy task. There is nothing like experience to really give you a push! Don’t be afraid to start. Just make sure you have everything they need beforehand, and you check out these 5 mistakes new chicken keepers make. Check out my post on How to Care for Chickens.
I get several emails a week from people who just got chickens or goats! I am always excited to see people following their dreams of homesteading. I also get the sad emails of the aftermath of a predator attack. These mistakes can be avoided by being prepared before you get chickens!
Mistakes New Chicken Keepers Make
- Not checking the local zoning ordinances – You can dream about chickens all you want, but before you buy that beautiful chicken coop, make sure it’s legal to have chickens in your backyard!
- Unprepared for predator attacks – There are day and night predators. Is your coop prepared to keep out predators at night? Do you have any defenses for the daytime? Some people use Geese, others use Great Pyrenees or other livestock guardian dogs. The other thing you need to do is prepare yourself. Prepare for the loss of life, prepare to see wounds, blood, guts even. It hurts to see your favorite chicken slaughtered by a predator. Even if you plan to eat them later! The best way to prepare is to tell yourself that some will die. Remind yourself of this. Some people refrain from naming chickens, especially meat birds.
- Not researching and being ready for sick or wounded birds – What if a bird is hurt? What do you have to help your sick or wounded birds? The Chicken Chick has a great post on this, and she shows what she uses for different ailments. I love Fresh Eggs Daily’s post because she has put together an all natural first aid kit for chickens!
- Starting with chicks – You may pay more for an adult hen, but there are many supplies little chicks need like chick feeder, waterer, starter feed, brooder, lamp, and all the time it will take for them to grow into adults. Starting with adult hens can get you eggs a lot sooner, and you will be able to gain the experience needed for taking care of them. You can always try chicks later on, and by then you will have a regular supply of fresh eggs already coming in.
- Small living quarters (Because chicken math, that’s why) – After you get chickens, your neighbor suddenly has a friend who has chickens and is looking to get rid of them. Then, another person and then maybe another. Yep, they want to give you free chickens. How could you possibly say no? Also, months after having chickens you will start seeing other chicken breeds that you want. You might just fall in love with a silkie like I have, or my husband really wants a leghorn. I have about 20 other breeds I would love to have on top of that.
Raising chickens is probably a lot easier than you think. Try to avoid these five mistakes now that you know about them! And… my number one suggestion? Get the supplies you need, and get chickens. START, just… start.
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