When you begin to raise backyard chickens, you’re bound to make a few mistakes. Nevertheless, for the sake of your flock, you should try your best to avoid these mistakes early on. There are many common mistakes that beginners make when raising backyard chickens, and by being familiar with them, you are more able to avoid them.
If you want your chickens to be happy and healthy, they first need to be comfortable. However, many owners don’t provide their chickens with the adequate space that they need. As a rule of thumb, larger breeds should have 4 square feet per bird, while smaller breeds can get away with 3 square feet per bird. However, we recommend going beyond this, as you will likely grow your flock as time goes by.
The run is too small
So, you have the right sized coop, but do you have the right sized run as well? If you’re not allowing your chickens to free-range, then they will need a run that provides them with plenty of space to stretch out and move around. If it’s too small, chickens will not only feel cramped, but they will also be more likely to fight. At minimum, you should have at least 8 square feet of roaming space per bird for smaller breeds, and 10 square feet per bird for larger breeds.
Not having a plan for older chickens
When you get your first chickens, they will likely be quite young. Yet, as the years go on, your chickens will begin to slow down, and their egg production will drop and then stop all together. You need to have a plan in place for what you do with your older chickens. If you have a small flock, you can keep them as pets, but for larger flocks you’ll likely have to get sell them, give them away, or butcher them to make space for younger hens.
Not taking a roll call each night
Don’t assume that each of your chickens has returned to the coop before you close up shop for the night. Even if all of your chickens have returned each night, there’s always the chance one of them didn’t make out. Count each of your chickens before closing the coop to ensure that your entire flock is safe.
To learn more about how to care for your backyard chickens, contact Chickens for Backyard today