It is no longer a secret that organic chickens make for better, healthier eggs and meat. Who wouldn’t want a chicken or two raised organically to provide them with fresh eggs every day? Good news is that raising chickens organically is easier than you may have thought. In this article you’ll find out how to raise and feed chickens completely organically.
Raising Organic Chickens
First off, you’ll need to give your chickens a nice, safe coop for them to live in. Look to farming websites and books for inspiration and to get an idea of how big of a coop you will need, depending on how many chickens you want. Once you have a blueprint, you’ll need to make sure you get any appropriate permits through your city or county, and build it in a location that fits city/county guidelines. Also be aware of any limits on chickens that your homeowner’s association or neighborhood may have in place.
Next, you’ll need to go shopping for the materials. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Plywood (size and how much depends on your actual plan)
- Hardware cloth (to protect the chickens from predators when inside the coop)
- Heavy duty gun stapler (for the building, and for securing the hardware cloth)
- Corrugated plastic sheets (to protect your chickens from the elements)
Once you have your coop up and running, you’ll also need to install a feeder and waterer. Hanging feeders and waterers are usually pretty inexpensive, and will keep the water from getting knocked over or food being dragged into chicken waste.
Feeding Your Chickens
Of course, you’ll also need to know what to feed your chickens to keep them organic. Chickens will naturally go to town on the bugs that they can dig up in your yard, which is good for their diet (but keep them away from your garden if you want it to last). However, depending on your land/number of chickens/the time of year/other factors, this often isn’t nearly enough food for egg-producing chickens.
You’ll need to complement their diets with some organic feed. You can find organic feed in your local ranch store in pellet or crumble form. If you’re raising your chickens from chicks, there is organic feed for them at this young stage. If you would rather make your own organic feed from table scraps, be sure to include organic fruits and vegetables.
NOTE: Avoid incorporating potato peels, pasta, or any raw grains as it will make them very bloated.
If you do not have the room for your chickens to be free-range, it is a good idea to add some grit to their diet to aid in digestion.
To keep your chickens happy and egg-producing, they will also appreciate human interaction. Now, you don’t need to take your chickens for a walk, but being around them and talking to them will contribute to their health. Also, be sure that you choose a breed of chicken that is suitable to your climate and the space that you have for them. If you do decide to start off with chicks as opposed to adults, be sure you get at least two as the young chicks will need companionship.
Raising organic chickens is fun and rewarding for the whole family. Not to mention it is relatively inexpensive to maintain, and will provide you with endless joy, as well as endless eggs!