Raising chickens for eggs is really fun, here’s my three tips for being successful with your backyard chickens:
Number one is building a good coop. Chicken coops were invented for a good reason and that reason is to keep your chickens safe, healthy and alive. It is worth every effort to build a good, well designed chicken coop. It can make your chicken experience or break it.
Make sure your coop is plenty big and don’t over crowd. Overcrowding is the beginning of lots of trouble.
Your coop has two parts. One is the henhouse, and two is the chicken run. The henhouse is where they sleep at night on their perch. It is also where they lay their eggs in the nest boxes. The henhouse has to be wind and rain proof. It also has to be in dark shade. All these things matter a lot so your chickens will be happy and healthy and stress free which equals lots of eggs.
The second part of the coop is the chicken run. The run is made of wire and is where the chickens can get out and get some fresh air and sunshine. The chicken run has to be in the sun. Chickens need both dark shade and sunshine so think about where the best spot in your yard is for the coop. Make sure you build the wire run big and sturdy so no predictors can dig under the sides. Maybe even bury the wire part way. You can through some feed in the run so they can scratch and pick around out there. The chickens love both their henhouse and the run and love going back and forth all day.
Number two is the food. The food you feed matters because it takes a healthy diet to lay a lot of eggs. You have to make sure they are getting enough of what they need. Believe it or not Chickens eat quite a bit, so there is a nack to feeding enough and the right stuff without wasting the feed, which is wasting money. Also feeding the right diet so they lay eggs consistently. Otherwise you are wasting your money feeding chickens for nothing.
I feed my chickens crimped oats, whole corn, alfalfa and some kind of non-medicated laying pellets. In the winter months and for older hens I add in some animal protein. Cat kibble, tuna, sardines, mealworms just to give you an idea. Always make sure they have ground oyster shells as grit.
Number three is choosing the breed. There are so many different breeds to consider. Most people that have back yard chickens will want fresh eggs and love them as pets so here are three nice, friendly breeds that are also good for fresh eggs:
1. The Buff Orpington is a beautiful gold, fluffy chicken that is friendly and tends to be broody, so maybe you can watch her hatch some cute baby chicks (if you have a rooster) they lay brown eggs.
2. The Barred Rock has nice black and white checked feathers. They are a cold hardy breed so if you Live in a cold climate this might be the breed for you. They lay brown eggs.
3. The Black Australorp.
They have black feathers that have a green and purple tint when the sun hits them. They are a super gentle and sweet chicken. I have a soft spot for Black Australorps and think they are a good choice for first timers and people with kids. They lay brown eggs.