Hens are awesome! They produce nutritious foods for us. They are wonderful pets too. Everyday we enjoy delicious breakfast and your laying hens have a great contribution to it. It’s really very fun and enjoyable to watch the activities of hens and many hens have delightful personalities. You don’t need to add one or numerous roosters in your flock for producing delicious, wholesome eggs. Roosters are needed in your flock only if you plan on hatching eggs or producing chicks. But for producing eggs for your daily consumption, you need only laying hens. Having a flock on your own backyard doesn’t require a lot of time or investment. But it will give you unlimited pleasure and fresh, wholesome eggs. You might thinking, how to keep a few hens on your backyard for producing fresh and organic eggs. Don’t worry much about it. It’s really very simple and you can do it with your other regular household tasks. I am describing here the methods and steps about how to keep a few hens for fresh eggs.
First of all, try to determine the ordinances of your city or country for owning and raising a few chickens on your backyard. There are gender and size limitations for backyard flocks is some cities and countries around the globe. You can learn more about this by contacting with your city or country zoning commission. In some places, you may need to have a licence for raising birds on your backyard. So find out if there any restrictions for raising few hens on your backyard or not.
Type of Birds
Decide which one you are going to start raising, chicks or adult hens. Generally in case of chicks, it takes about 20 weeks for growing up and start laying eggs. And younger hens produce more eggs then the older hens. Egg production get reduced after a certain laying period. Naturally, a chicken can survive for upto 8 years. But they don’t lay same amount of eggs throughout their life. You can easily purchase older hens from the market. But it’s not a good idea to raise them, especially for egg producing purposes. Most of them are low and even unproductive chickens. So it’s better to buy fresh chicks from your nearest hatcheries, even though it’s take some time and extra cost for laying eggs.
There are various types of laying hens available throughout the world. Visit your nearest hatcheries and lean about the egg production of various breeds from their official catalog. You can also search for various websites that are providing this type of services. Then decide wisely, which breed you are going to raise. If you are strictly looking for highly egg productive hens, then purchasing highly egg productive chicken breed will be effective for you. Leghorns and Rhode Island Reds are such highly egg productive chicken breeds. You can also consider some hybrid hens such as Golden sex-link, Red Star, Black sex-link etc. If you want to produce various colored eggs, then you can choose the Aracauna, Ameracauna and some other Easter Egger breeds. This type of chicken breed produce blue or green colored eggs. Barnevelder, Welsummer and Marans are also good egg laying breeds. They produce chocolate-brown colored eggs. Along with these breeds, there are many egg producing breeds too. You can also raise your local breeds for egg producing purpose, if there are any. However, choose proper breeds for your flock according to your desired production type. Best egg laying chickens for beginners.
Brooder is very important for raising chicks, especially if you raise chicks younger than 6 weeks old. You can easily setup a brooder by using a brooder lamp. Chickens need supplemental light and heat till they reach their 6 weeks of age. Keep some feeder and water pot there and feed the chick starter feed and fresh water. Usually chicks require 95° Fahrenheit temperature during their first week. Reduce the temperature at the rate of 5° Fahrenheit each week until the heat is 70°. After this period, you can move your chicks to the coop permanently.
Build a coop or purchase one for your hens. While purchasing or building the coop, keep in mind that, every adult chicken will need at least 4 square feet of floor space inside the coop. For example, if you build a coop with 8 feet length and 5 feet width then you can raise about 10 birds in the coop. Although this density also depends on the breeds that you are going to raise. Keep some nesting boxes inside the coop and make roosting places for your hens. See ideal space for laying hens.
Feeding high quality and nutritious food help to maximize egg production. You can feed your laying hens commercially prepared layer feed. This type of commercial layer feed is especially prepared for laying hens. Also provide them some greens daily. And obviously provide them adequate amount of clean and fresh water according to their demand. See what to feed laying hens.
For regular and maximum egg production, you must have to take good care of your laying hens. Always observe your hens. Feed them sufficient amount of nutritious feed. Add supplemental vitamins and minerals to their regular feed if required. Hens don’t like dirty water. So ensure clean and fresh water for them. Clean the house and nesting boxes on a regular basis. Collect eggs twice a day.
However, raising few chickens on your backyard for producing fresh eggs is really easy. You can also visit your neighbor to have some idea about how they are raising some hens for egg production.