By now, most of us know, running a successful poultry farm is not a walk in the park. There are a few ways to make sure that your chickens are healthy and happy. It requires a lot of precautions and knowledge. Each day we can learn new things that help us improve and grow to where we want to be. You can’t do chicken farming if you don’t have chickens. Your chickens should be healthy, and you have to create a conducive environment to keep them healthy.
Let us ask “How can I make sure my chickens stay healthy and happy at all times?”
To keep your chickens healthy, the first thing you have to do is vaccination. Vaccinations will make or break you as a poultry farmer because infections or viruses can kill a large number of your chickens. It is difficult for chickens to survive illnesses that can be prevented if they were vaccinated when they were three days old. When purchasing young chicks, always inquire if they have been vaccinated. This is important because prevention is easier than a cure. It is also important to follow a strict vaccination schedule since many vaccinations need to be administered regularly.
Your chicken needs water, not just any water but clean water. It is important to serve water in the correct containers. Remember to pay special attention to the age of your chickens, to prevent drowning of the younger chicks. The water has to be changed daily, as when the water is clean, the chickens enjoy drinking it and in turn, stay healthy. Dirty water attracts diseases and parasites, and this could affect your flock negatively. For your chicken to lay well and stay in good health, they need to drink clean water, even in winter.
Giving your chickens the right feed is very essential. Quality chicken feed is often very expensive, but it is important to give your flock good quality feed as chickens are like babies, they need all the nutrients they can get to keep them growing. Proper nutrition will ensure your flock grows healthy and fast and that they lay many eggs regularly. When feeding your flock, put the food in the right feeder, paying careful attention to age again, as young chicks might not eat the food meant for the older flocks, or might not reach into the feeder.
4. Fresh air and a little Freedom
Chickens are curious creatures, which explains why they are always exploring with their feet. It’s good to let them out of their cages once in a while for them to run around freely and explore. It’s a good idea to build a spacious run/coup for them, that surrounds their shelter, one that they can access when they want to, from their shelter.
This can be difficult when you live in an area prone to wildlife that hunts chickens, or if you have lots of chickens, have a run/coup that you can put the chickens in for a few hours a day. Fresh air and freedom are key elements to keeping your chickens healthy and happy.
5. Clean and Suitable Housing
Chickens can be like babies and babies need to sleep in a dry, clean environment. It’s your responsibility as a farmer to make sure your chickens are comfortable and have a suitable shelter. A properly built shelter will keep your chicken safe from wild cats, snakes and other wild animals that might want to eat them. The shelter needs to be well ventilated, and clean and sanitized. Sunlight and shade are equally important because too much sun/light might not be good for your chicken.
6. Pick the Right Type of Chicken and the Right Quantity
As you all know, some breeds are easy to manage but others can be quite a challenge. Before you embark on chicken farming, do your research and understand the different kinds of chickens, the benefits and the challenges of raising that particular breed. With comprehensive research, you will be able to pick the one you feel most confident you will be able to manage.
The research you do will also help you make a decision of how many hens and roosters you want to keep. Too many might mean that your chickens will fight, especially if they are not happy. Fighting can lead to wounds that can cause an infection that can spread and harm your flock.
Remember, no matter what breed you choose, or how many chickens you have in your flock, they need food, water, and suitable shelter all the time. Chickens are a full-time commitment of finances, time and effort.
7. Check on your chickens Regularly
Chickens are interesting creatures, but at the same time, they can be vulnerable to a lot of elements. It is important to check on your chickens daily – for fresh food and water, but also to monitor the health of the flock.
Whether you have a small flock or a large flock, keep an eye on them. This ensures that if there is something wrong, you can react as quickly and responsibly as possible. It will also help you understand your chickens, their laying habits and the general health of the flock.
I hope this will help you to keep your chickens healthy, whether you have two chickens or 4000 chickens. Learn more about chickens here.