If you're looking for a different pet to a dog and cat, but want the love and bond, then you might consider keeping a pet chicken. If you have some suitable outdoor space then you can easily keep a few chickens.
Chickens are reasonably low maintenance in comparison to other forms of livestock. One of the luxuries of owning chickens is the access to a continuous flow of freshly laid eggs and if well cared for, lots of love in return.
As with any pet, it is very important that you do your research beforehand on what's involved in keeping chickens. Understanding their diet, habitat and how to best care for them.
This article covers helpful guidance on how to keep your chickens healthy and happy. Read on to find out more.
Natural habitat and keeping your livestock
It is important that you keep your pet's cage clean to help keep your pet bird(s) healthy and happy. A dirty cage can lead towards health related problems with your bird. They should never be allowed to live in a dirty cage that's filled with their own feces and urine. Setting up a weekly routine of cleaning will help you stay organised and keep your bird happy.
The containers usually used for providing water for your chickens is very large and will usually last several days between top-ups. This can be dangerous if you forget to refill daily, as they require fresh drinking water. Not providing clean water and allowing for it to become stagnant is unhealthy for your chickens.
You will need to empty the water container, clean it properly and replace it at least every other day, or every day is even better and ensures that your chickens are never without clean, fresh water in a place that they know where to find it.
Provide safe housing
Your chickens should be provided safe housing that is fox-proofed. It is also a good idea that you shut your chickens away at night time to keep them safe away from predators, such as foxes.
Allowing your chickens to wander throughout the day is the safest way of ensuring their safety. Providing them with a garden and a range of things to do will help give your flock a better healthier, happy life which will have a positive impact on their health.
Understanding your flock
To enable you to better understand your flock and spot any potential issues; it is important to bond with them and understand them in their natural habitat. This is vitally important for chickens, as a few chickens together will all look the same. People that know their flock and the individual personalities of the chickens, will be able to tell them apart and care for them better.
Understanding your flock will help you better understand what is normal for them and if they're acting differently to normal. It is also important as you will need to monitor their weight and appearance and look for any abnormalities.
Many people like the idea of having chickens in order to get eggs, and this is definitely one of the main bonuses of having your own flock! However, not all hens lay, and the yield from bird to bird can be highly variable, depending on their age, health condition, and their living situation.
Getting to know what is normal for each bird when it comes to their laying habits such as how often they lay, where they are able to lay, and if they ever have any problems, can help you to keep the eggs coming and also give you a heads up on any problems in the making with your flock.
Keep an eye on your chicks
Finally, like any animal, it is important to check your chickens over from time to time to look for potential signs of a problem with their health. The best approach is to schedule a checkup once a week can help you deal with any problems early on, and keep your flock happy, healthy and well.