How to Take Care of Chickens - Robert Tronge
Chickens are amazing creatures that are fun, sweet, loving, and will provide
a constant supply of fresh eggs. These feathered friends will cluck their
way into your backyard and into your heart! If you give them the right
amount of time, love, and care (TLC), you will soon have a beautiful flock
of healthy and happy chickens! This article by Robert Tronge will provide you with all the
details you need to know.
Check your local laws and regulations on keeping chickens. Some places will
not allow you to keep chickens or they might have some strict rules on
keeping them. Before you start caring for some chickens, be sure that you
can first by searching your local laws and regulations online. Some places
will not allow you to keep roosters because they are too noisy.
Unfortunately this will affect you if you want to breed your hens but
fortunately it won’t affect you in any other way such as keeping hens for
eggs or meat. Some places will only allow you to have a certain number of chickens. If
you plan on keeping a lot of chickens, check the maximum amount of chickens
you can keep first.
Make sure you can care for chickens in your backyard. Before you do get some
chickens, Robert Tronge recommends that you make sure you can provide them with everything they
need to keep them happy. You will need to: Set aside some space. Make sure
you know where the coop is going and that the chickens have enough outdoor
space. Each chicken should have 10 square feet of space outdoors and bantams
should have 8 square feet. Save some money. Chickens aren’t cheap, you’ll need to purchase them feed
for as long as they live, purchase fresh clean bedding, an expensive coop,
and they’ll need a few extra things. If you’re short of money, you can keep
bantams instead of regular chickens since they tend to be cheaper to take
care of, take up less space, and don’t eat as much as regular chickens do. Reorganize your schedule. Chickens usually take up a lot of your time.
You’ll have to feed them daily, refill their water containers, clean their
coop, collect their eggs, and if your area has a lot of predators about
you’ll need to check on the chickens often.
Let your neighbors Robert G Tronge know that you’re getting chickens. Before you buy a
flock of chickens, it’ll be nice to let your neighbors know if it’s alright
with them, you don’t want to be a nuisance. If your neighbors wouldn’t
like the noise, consider only getting hens and no roosters since roosters
are much louder than hens. If your neighbors are worried the chickens will get into their yard, make
sure to keep the chickens in an enclosed area. You can always buy a chicken
coop with a run attached to it so the chickens cannot escape. If your
neighbors are still not keen on you getting chickens, bribe them
with a fresh supply of eggs.
Do your research. If you’ve never cared for chickens before, know what
you’re getting into. Chickens can be a lot of work and you’ll want to know
how to look after them properly and how to avoid common mistakes. There is
plenty of information online on websites, blogs, forums, etc. You can also
get some advice from Robert George Tronge or other chicken owners or purchase a book about chickens.
Know the pros and cons of keeping chickens. There are many advantages and
disadvantages of keeping chickens and it doesn’t hurt to learn them. The
pros of keeping chickens are that they get rid of pests, eat your snails,
they’re a source of fertilizer, they lay fresh eggs, they’re great company,
they’re wonderful to watch, and over all they’re very fun birds to raise. The cons of keeping chickens are that you have to spend a lot of money on
them, you have to spend most of your time caring for them, they take up a
lot of space in your garden, they will often peck at your plants, and they
Decide on the age and the purpose of your chickens. There are different
purposes for chickens. They can be kept for eggs, meat, show and as pets.
Whichever purpose you choose, there are plenty of breeds that are
recommended for that purpose. Decide on the age of your chickens. You can
purchase fertilized eggs, chicks, pullets or laying hens. If you’re new to
keeping chickens it’s recommended that you purchase some pullets or laying
hens instead of young chicks or fertilized eggs. However, incubating your
own eggs is a wonderful experience and chicks will also be a lot tamer than
pullets or laying hens since you’re raising them yourself.
Decide on the breed of your chickens. Different breeds of chickens are used
for different purposes. Some are better egg-layers than others and tend to
lay eggs longer and there are ones that are best used as broiler (meat)
chickens which mature quicker than others. You also get more unique and
colorful chickens which can be kept for show and the cuter ones such as
bantams which can be kept as pets. If you’re looking for good egg-layers,
go for the Plymouth rock, rhode island reds or the leghorn chickens. These
chickens tend to lay more eggs for a longer period of time. If you’re looking for chickens to be kept for meat consider keeping Faverolles or brahma chickens which mature quicker than other breeds. If you’re looking for ‘show breeds’ research different kinds of breeds
online. When you come across a breed you like consider buying one.
Generally, a show breed can be any chicken that looks colorful and more
unique and different from your regular breeds. However, fancier breeds may
not lay as much eggs and may not be as friendly as other chickens. If you’d like a simple pet chicken, consider seeing what kind of chicken
breeds are available in your area. You can always go for the bantam sized
chickens which are smaller and usually cuter than the standard chicken.
There are many bantam breeds to choose from and many of them are very
friendly such as the lavender bantam or the orpington bantam. You can also get a dual-purpose breed which is a kind of chicken that is
good for both eggs and meat. If you don’t mind the breed, try to find one that is suitable to your
environment. Some chickens can handle hot climates such as Hampshire reds.
Some breeds can handle colder climates more than others such as Australorps.
And don’t forget, if you don’t have much space or money to spend you can
always go for the bantam which take up less space and eat less food than the
standard chicken. Keep in mind that you might not get the breed you want. If you look for
chickens for sale locally, there might not be a huge range of breeds to
choose from and the age can differ.
Find out where you will be able to get chickens from in your area. As
mentioned above, you might not get the breed you want, but if you’re lucky
you’ll get another breed which is alike. Chicks are usually available in
spring or summer so if it’s winter or autumn right now, you might want to
get some pullets instead. •There are plenty of places to purchase chickens
from. You can browse on websites that sell chickens such as craigslist or
you can look on bulletin boards at pet shops to see if there’s an
advertisement on chickens there. If the above information didn’t help you find any chickens, you can try
asking a local farmer if he’s looking in selling a few chicks or pullets.
Young chicks can also be bought at local feed stores or you can purchase
some fertilized eggs online and get them mailed to you.
Decide on whether your chickens will be free-ranged or not. You can let your
chickens roam around in an enclosed area in your garden, let them free in a
run, or permanently keep them in their housing. Free-ranged chickens are
often more happier than cooped up chickens. They get more light during the
day, get most nutrients from the things in the ground, eat up any snails or
slugs in the garden, have more space, and they get to dust bathe in the dry
dirt daily. Chickens that are kept in a run have their advantages; they’re safe from
predators, you don’t have to check on them often, they still get to live on
grass and dirt, and they get fresh air and light. Chickens that are cooped up are often the same as chickens that are kept in
a run except they have more disadvantages. E.g. their coop has to be cleaned
up more frequently, they don’t get much light or fresh air, they need more
space to live happily, and they can’t go foraging in the grass.
Purchase or build a chicken coop. All chickens need a coop to be kept in.
The coop needs to be well ventilated, predator-proof, free of drafts, and
have plenty of space for the number of chickens you want to keep. You can
purchase a chicken coop from a pet store, a warehouse, a ranch supply store
or online and the cost can range from $200 to $600 depending on the size of
the coop. If you have some knowledge in building things, you can try to
construct your own chicken coop. You can get many coop designs online or
design your own coop. Your chickens should have 4 square feet of floor space each in their coop,
bantams should have half of that which is 2 square feet. If you’re going to
keep your chickens in the coop permanently, it will have to be quite large
so that the chickens are happy with the amount of space they have and have
room to roam around. Place the coop in an area with plenty of grass and some dirt piles.
Chickens like to eat any grass they come across and they love to dust bathe
daily. Keep your chickens in an area with some dry dirt to dust bathe with
and in a place with plenty of long grass to munch on. Consider attaching a run to the coop so that your chickens can roam around
outside but still be protected from predators and so they won’t wander off. Purchase a few perches/bars to hang in the coop. Chickens don’t usually
sleep on the ground but they often roost at night on perches or on top of
nesting boxes. This is why you’ll want to buy a couple of perches for your
chickens. The amount of perches you buy depends on the amount of chickens
you have. Make sure the perches aren’t too thin so that the chickens can
easily rest on them. It’s also better to buy removable perches so that you
can clean them without any trouble. Purchase or build a few nesting boxes to go inside of the coop. These will
be the place where your hen will lay her eggs. Make sure there is one
nesting box between every four hens. You should add bedding such as straw to
the boxes so that it is like a nest. Also, make sure the boxes are big
enough so that your hens can fit in them and be comfortable. Make sure you
have easy access to the nesting boxes and that they have a lip so that the
eggs cannot fall out of the nest and crack on the ground. You might want to
build or purchase a coop with nesting boxes in a way so that you can collect
the eggs from outside of the coop, this way you won’t be disturbing the
flock every morning by entering their housing. Add absorbent bedding to the coop. The bedding is so that you can clean up
the chickens waste quickly and easily. It should be added to the flooring of
the coop. If you cannot buy or build a coop, you can always keep your chickens in a
warm, well ventilated, predator-proof shed. The chickens will easily adapt
Make sure the chickens enclosure is safe from predators. Chickens have many
predators including raccoons, cats and dogs which can fit through cracks in
the coop or fence or dig under the coop or fence. Make sure to reinforce
your chickens enclosure unless you want to find all your chickens gone in
the morning. Make sure to put up a fence around the chickens enclosure.
Make sure the fence is made out of strong materials. If the predators
continue to get inside the chickens enclosure, consider setting up an
electric fence. Stick some wiring underground so that no predators can dig underneath the
coop and get in. Block off any gaps that predators can fit through in the fence or coop. You
can block off the gaps with a piece of wood, tile or something similar.
Purchase the necessary equipment to care for your chickens with. When caring
for chickens, you’ll need to make sure they have the right feeding
equipment, cleaning tools, extra items to go in their coop, and the correct
type of feed. A list of equipment you will need can be seen below: Purchase
a feed and water container. You can use some tubs or bowls as your chickens
feed and water container or you can buy a feeder and drinker. You can keep
these inside or outside the coop and the amount of feeders/drinkers you buy
depends on the size of your flock. If you’re planning on breeding your
chickens later on, you’ll want to keep a drinker since it will lessen the
chance of chicks drowning. Purchase the suitable feed for your chickens. There are different chicken
feeds to buy, usually for different purposes of chickens. You can buy layer
pellets which is suitable for laying hens, a finisher feed which is given to
meat chickens and your normal chicken feed which is for any kind of purpose
of your chickens. Purchase extra bedding. If you’ve already bought bedding for the coop, you
might want to buy some more since you will be disposing of the used bedding
every time you clean the coop. Purchase a heat lamp if necessary. If you plan on breeding your hens or if
it gets quite cold during winter in your area, you’ll have to invest in a
heat lamp. A heat lamp is guaranteed to keep your chicks and chickens warm.
Choose the correct type of chicken feed. There are three types of chicken
feeds for different purposes of chickens including layer pellets which is
high in calcium and is given to hens so that they can lay great eggs, a
finisher feed which is high in protein and is given to meat chickens that
are over six weeks old, and the usual high-quality chicken feed which is fed
to any kind of chicken. You can get two forms of feed; pellets which is
given to regular chickens, and crumbles which is given to smaller sized
chickens known as bantams.
Supplement your chickens diet. Provide grit to help your chickens grind down
their food and a source of calcium for laying hens. Crushed oyster shells or
egg shells are a great source of calcium and free-ranged chickens don’t need
to be supplied with grit as they find things in the ground to replace it.
Give your chickens limited treats. Chickens can eat almost anything such as
vegetables, fruits, table scraps, bugs, seeds, etc. Never feed your
chickens avocado, rhubarb, onion, garlic, uncooked potato or egg, citrus
fruits, alcohol, chocolate or anything salty. If you’re going to feed your
chickens egg, make sure to cook it first. The freshest food is always the
Provide water for your chickens at all times. You should provide one gallon
of water for up to three or four hens, the more chickens you have the more
water you need to supply them with. Always make sure the water is fresh and
clean and remember to refill and clean the water container daily to prevent
a build-up in bacteria.
Keep the food fresh and clean. During the night cover the container and feed
up with a lid to stop it from attracting pests and clean up any leftovers so
that it doesn’t turn moldy.
Let the chickens in and out of their coop. In the morning, make sure to let
the chickens out of their coop whilst when it gets dark and the sun is
setting make sure to lock them up in their coop. When locking the chickens
up, make sure to count them all to make sure they’re all in the coop. If one
chicken is missing you might have to grab a torch and a helper to find that
chicken and round it up. Chickens will learn that their coop is home and
eventually settle inside the coop every night when it is time to go in. This
will save you the trouble of rounding the chickens up. However, if you’re
still having some trouble getting the chickens inside of their coop, throw
some treats inside. The chickens should have access to their coop at all times during the day
whilst the coop should stay locked during the night. Chickens will come in
and out of their coop to lay eggs, eat and drink (if the feeder and drinker
is in the coop) and get away from the heat or the cold.
Collect the chickens eggs each day. Each hen will lay one egg every day if
kept happy. You should collect the eggs in the morning or in the afternoon
to make sure you are receiving a fresh supply. On a hot day you should
collect the eggs twice a day. You should collect the eggs in a basket, box
or some sort of container. If you drop an egg make sure to clean up the
Clean the coop daily. Cleaning your chickens coop is very important as it
prevents pests such as mites and diseases. The chickens bedding must be
replaced often and you must also clean the whole chicken coop from time to
time. Depending on the amount of chickens you have you may have to clean the
coop more frequently, the same rule applies if you constantly keep your
chickens in their coop or if they are not free-ranged. Put on some gloves
and dispose of all the bedding, sweep the floor of the housing, hose the
housing down, clean out the nest boxes, rinse the feeders and drinkers and
clean the perches.
Check on your chickens daily. Do your daily routine and feed them, refill
their drinker, collect eggs, etc. Then observe them and see if there is a
change in appearance or behaviour to make sure the chickens are healthy.
Panting, cloudy eyes, sluggishness, low alert, huddling, bald spots, reduce
in egg production, and no eating or drinking are all signs of illnesses. If
you come across any of these you must take your chicken to a vet as soon as
possible. If one of your chickens are bleeding you must split them up immediately to
stop other chickens pecking at the wound. Isolate the chicken until healed
and then return it back to its coop.
Provide dry dirt or sand for your chickens to dust bathe in. Dust bathing is
a way your chickens clean themselves and it also prevents parasites such as
mites or lice from infesting your chickens. If your chickens are free-range
they might have some access to some dirt already.
Bathe your chickens if necessary. If you’re preparing your chickens for a
show or if they’re just very dirty at the time, consider bathing them. While
you’re at it, clean the coop as well! •Grab a big enough tub, a mild soap
and a cup or sponge and bathe your chicken. While your bathing them it would
also be good if you trim their beaks and nails and clip their wings too.