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A chicken coop brings a lot of life to the brewery. But how can you best care for chickens? Find out more about a chicken's needs, the difference in feed and how to protect poultry from predators.
The food for your chickens should consist of the correct green food, seeds, grains, worms and insects. And all of this must be given in proportion. It is therefore best to choose a composite feed; laying meal or laying pellet. When choosing laying food, take into account the type of laying you want:
In addition to a compound feed, you give your chickens supplements to promote their health. Use them, for example, to stimulate growth, to support digestion or to extend the laying period. In case of illness, extra vitamins and minerals can also be part of the treatment.
In nature, chickens regularly pick up small stones. This aids their digestion because the pebbles grind the food in the stomach. Chickens often find too few stones in the run to meet that need. By regularly giving your chickens pebble grit you compensate for this.
It is best to give chickens an indoor and outdoor enclosure. Sufficient fresh outside air is important for the health of your animals. And a dry and draft-free chicken coop protects their health during the night hours. In this night loft they will also withdraw in storms and rain. During the day they like to scratch around outside in their run or in the garden.
Provide dry bedding in the chicken coop that you can easily replace. Straw or wood fiber are best for this. Your chickens will also use the straw to make nests. With nesting boxes in the night loft you give them separate places to lay their eggs. In addition, place wooden perches that are adapted to the thickness of the chicken legs.
With quality feed silos and water bowls you make feeding easier. Moreover, you have a better view of what is eaten every day. And do you really want to make your chickens happy? Then provide a dust bath outside.
How much space your chickens need depends on their breed, among other things. This largely determines their size. The run is at least 1 to 1.5 square meters per animal. You need at least 1 square meter per 4 chickens in the night pen.
Wolves, martens and large birds of prey are natural enemies of chickens. Provide a good fence that you dig in a bit. This prevents predators from digging a tunnel to the hen house. On top of the run, place a piece of mesh of about 12 inches (30 cm) facing up. You can also close the sleeping area at night and there are light traps available that can keep predators at bay. Cover the run on top with fine mesh so that the chickens cannot be caught by birds of prey.
Determining the pecking order is a recurring phenomenon in chickens. With that they determine the ranking among themselves, and that is usually not easy. Check your animals regularly for injuries and ensure proper wound care.
It may be clear what role the rooster plays in the fertilization of hens, but it has more functions. Without a rooster, the females are often much more restless. A male congener offers them a clear hierarchy and structure. On the other hand, a rooster crows and sometimes defends its hens aggressively. Taking care of your chickens can then become more difficult.