Q: Can I raise backyard poultry at home?
A: Of course you can!
I believe there should be a chicken in every backyard! Chickens are really quite easy to look after, and with a little food and water, they will return the favor by providing you with heaps of entertainment, become part of your pet menagerie, and of course give you lots of yummy eggs!
Q: How many chickens can I keep?
A: We recommend that you keep at least 3 chickens together in a flock as a minimum as they are flocking animals, and are not happy unless they have a couple of friends. So long as you have a reasonable patch of grass, dirt and garden, you can certainly raise some chickens in your own backyard. Be considerate of your neighbors, and check if it is okay with them first, make sure your fences are good enough to keep your flock inside and predators outside, and lastly, make sure you get girl chickens, because a boy chicken could be a different story!
Q: Can I keep different types of chickens together?
A: Yes – you can certainly combine different breeds of chickens in your flock of backyard poultry, and once they are accustomed to getting along together, you should have no problems with arguments or bad behavior. The flock of chickens will treat each other like cousins, and they will all get along just fine.
Q: Will different chickens fight with each other?
A: Sometimes your chickens can have a bit of an argument, or try to bully a strange or new bird in the flock. There is a way to make sure this doesn’t cause a problem, but once they have made friends, you should have no problems raising happy and healthy chickens in your backyard.
Q: How do I introduce a new chicken to the flock?
A: If you already have a flock of backyard poultry and you want to get more chickens, you need to try a little trick before putting them all together. Place the new chicken or chickens in a separate cage or chicken run nearby to the hen house with the other chickens for a few days, and gradually place them closer and closer together so that they can socialize with each other, but not directly mix. As the become more and more accustomed to each other, say after a week of adjustment, what you do is wait until night time when they have all roosted for the night, take the new chickens and place them inside the main roost of the hen house with the other chickens, and they will all spend the night together quite happily. When they wake up in the morning, they won’t even know that the switch has been done, and they should carry on as if nothing has happened!
Q: Can I mix little bantam chickens with larger poultry?
A: Yes you can – no matter what breeds of chickens you want to keep in your backyard, they can all be trained to get along together. Chickens are like people and they all have different personalities, some will try to dominate, some will hang at the back and avoid trouble, some will be docile, some will be a bit flighty, but they will all become part of one big family of backyard chickens, and can all live happily together in the same hen house.
Q: When can I move Baby chickens outside?
A: If you have raised baby chickens, then after about 5 or 6 weeks, they will be starting to get large enough to move into larger accommodation. If you intend to move them outside or into a larger hen house, make sure it is not suddenly freezing cold out there, but so long as the weather is spring or early summer, they should have no problem adjusting to a more permanent home in their backyard chicken house!
If you are interested in raising chickens for beginners, Click Here to find out the best way to look after your chickens!
Q: Do chickens need to go outside?
A: Yes, chicken love to go outside and scratch around in the dirt and dust. Chickens use the dust to have a dust bath, and they throw dirt and dust all over their feathers to help get rid of lice and other pests, and to keep their feathers clean. In fact, they need a little time each day to peck around and find some wild food, and they will do you a favor also in eating all the bugs and insects around your garden.
Q: Do backyard poultry need a roost?
A: Your chickens will need a roost for sleeping at night time, and all this needs to be is a suitable stick or 2 inch pole suspended somewhere in a high, protected spot in the chicken coop hen house, so that the chickens can find a good safe perch for the evening which is away from the wind and cold weather, and safe from predators like dogs and foxes.
Q: Do chickens need a nesting box?
A: Whilst not absolutely necessary, it is a good idea to have your backyard chickens have separate locations within the hen house for feeding, roosting, and a nesting box to lay eggs. They will naturally find the place that they prefer to lay eggs, but a suitably sized nesting box will keep them happy, and give them a private place away from the rest of the backyard poultry.
Q: Do chickens need a hen house?
A: Yes chickens prefer to have a safe hen house where they know to return to for food and water, and of course, as the evening draws near, they will all return as regular as clockwork to find their beds and a nice safe roost for the evening. But a chicken house doesn’t have to be a huge construction, if you only have a small flock of backyard poultry, they will be very happy in a neat and compact chicken coop. If you don’t want to have a fixed hen house, you can even buy or build a chicken tractor that you can move around your backyard, and your chickens will be very happy!