Introduction: Growing Chicken in the Backyard
We have constructed a chicken coop on a small patch in our garden and got few chicken from the market. There are four hens and two roosters. All of them are very healthy except one hen which is very weak.
After three months, the three hens started laying eggs and then brooding separately. One of the group hatched the eggs and I got little baby chicks.
This is my first time in growing chicken and I am sharing my experience here
Step 1: Arrangement for Laying Eggs
- When the hens are ready to lay eggs, they searched for suitable place to lay eggs and made some peculiar sound. For 2 to 3 days they were roaming without sitting at any one place
- We got two smaller flat baskets with us and bought another two large Bamboo baskets.
- Old cloths have been laid in the small baskets and the large ones are placed over them in a slanting manner to give way for the hen to enter
Step 2: Hens Laying Eggs
- The hens which were ready to lay eggs found the suitable place and entered inside the baskets. We closed the large baskets after they entered
- While laying eggs also they made a different sound and we know from that sound that the particular hen has laid the egg.
- After laying eggs they stood up and trying to find a way to get out of the basket.
Step 3: Collecting Eggs
- We opened the baskets for the hens to leave
- Then collected the eggs and marked the date on which the hens laid that egg
- We collected and kept the eggs over rice in a basket
Step 4: Brooding
- After laying about ten eggs, the hens started to sit on the last egg they laid
- At this time we made some arrangement for brooding and brought all eggs to the hens. I have also experimented with the arrangements to see which one suits them better
- In the first one we spread some old clothing on the flat basket and placed the eggs on them
- The second one is a round basket with sand below and old clothing above it
- The third one is a rectangular tray with old newspaper /clothing at bottom and sand on top
- All three hens were comfortable in their place and started brooding
- We have also placed food and water for the brooding chickens near by.
- Some times the hens leave their eggs and went outside searching for food in the garden and returned back to their place afterwards
Step 5: It Is Hatching Time
- On a fine morning when I went near the chicken coop, I noticed lot of broken eggs surrounding the hen in the basket
- On examination I found lot of small chicks and few unhatched eggs in the basket
- The hen was protecting the eggs and chicks inside her wings
- I left them as they are in the basket
Step 6: Cleaning on the Next Day
- The basket was full of broken egg shells and surrounded by ants
- So I have removed the hen, chicks and eggs from the basket,cleaned it and replaced again
- I have also marked the area surrounding the basket with ant-repelling chalk
- Little water mixed with sugar has been placed nearby for the chicks to drink
- The chicks have been finding it difficult to get out from the flat basket. So we removed the basket and kept the remaining eggs on the ground over the clothing
- The chicks started roaming around with their mothers,eating food from the tray and drinking sugared water from the small tray
- I have left them inside the coop as they are.The mother hen will take care of all its chicks
- We are expecting other two groups to hatch next week. From just six chicken, now we have a large family of them. Our chicken coop is large enough to accommodate around one hundred chicken. So there is no problem for space
I am quite new to breeding chicken and this is my first experience. I will highly appreciate advice from members who are well experienced in growing chicken