Chickens

 
Why Raise Chickens in your backyard?

·        Eggs that are fresh, great tasting & nutritious

·        Chemical free pest control

·        Free fertilizer

·        Bug and Weed Control

·        Fun & friendly pets with personality (yes, you read that right)

 

Chicken Care After First 60 Days, General Chicken Care:
·        Chicken coops - Rule of thumb is about 2-3 square feet per chicken inside the henhouse and 4-5 sq/ft per chicken in an outside run.  Nesting boxes and roosts are also needed for your coop.

·    Flooring - Pine shavings work best.   

·        Food & water - Most people go with chicken layer feed / pellets.

·        Treats - Vegetables, bread, bugs, chicken scratch (cracked corn, milo, wheat)


Chickens Need Care

The need to be sure that you are able to devote the time it takes to provide them a good life, as should be done for any other animal.  This means allowing them the opportunity to forage in a natural setting (i.e., not always confined), allowing them the opportunity to take dust baths, keeping their living quarters clean, cleaning waterers daily, providing access to shade and fresh, cool drinking water in summer, etc.


Dealing with Predators

The need to prepare yourself to deal with predators in a non-lethal fashion and you can do this by building a coop that is predator safe and selecting and training chickens that are safer from predators. See predatorfriendly.org for more information on having a coop that is predator and chicken friendly.

Best Breeds for New England

Winter hardy breeds: ameraucana, chantecler, wyandotte, brahma, dominique, hamburg, and rose comb brown leghorn.  Most are pretty widely available and lay well.  None have single combs which are prone to frost-bite.  All have feathering that will keep them warm (as opposed to silkies, for example, that have poorly insulating feathering), and none have fancy head feathering that would block their vision and ability to see oncoming predators (like Polish).  All are available in colors that will provide some camouflage (white is not good if they will be free ranging - too easy for predators to see them.)
 
Many families in Bolton are raising chickens in their backyards.  Here is a great website for learning about raising chickens in your own backyard:  www.backyardchickens.com/
 

 

 

 

 

 

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