Introduction: Tips for Chickens
hey, my name is Zak and i have two lovely chickens. They are both female, so no early wake up call for me! Cortney is the totally black one and Bab's is the brown/ginger one.
This Instructable is going to be about how to care for your chickens and what they like to do. Even if you don't have a chicken, its still funny to find out about what they do. The first page will be all you need to no about a chickens environment then i will go on to there behavior.
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Step 1: Enviroment
My chickens are free to roam my garden, this is because when we used to have a little pen for them they either used to fly over the top or dig a hole under the fence. So now we have dog, cat and chickens living in harmony.At first we thought that the cat and the dog would end up eating them, but they seem, to be ok with them. Well i say ok with them, the chickens normally gang up against my dog and end up pecking his nose when he is sniffing around them.
i suggest, if you are thinking of getting some hens, that you keep them them in a sealed off area, like a pen or a run. around my area there are lots of fox's, this is because i live in a forest...well a small village in a forest.Its all a bit over hyped, farms will go on about how they get foxes in the farms eating and just ripping their chickens to pieces, this sometimes happens but i have never had this situation. they don't seem to bother, i have had fox's in my garden just walk past the chickens in the past, so really there is no need to kill it. its just natural.
My hens live in an old shed about half way up the garden at the moment, this is because we are going to be building on the house so its just easier to move them around. if your going to get 1 or 2 hens then the coups are the way to go. They are small,comfortable and is strangely warm. They range from different prices depending on what size you want. You don't want it to be to big or it will get cold and you don't want it to be to small or they will start fighting.
Step 2: Habits
habits, not rabbits but habits. The chicken is known to be as smart as dog's and pig's, so this means they are good at learning, usually how to get in the house. Its that horrible feeling when you go down stairs and you think someone is burgling your house, but it just turns out to be a chicken pecking crumbs off the floor. This is because they have found that jumping on the handle of the door makes the door open.
The other thing they like to do is perch on the kitchen windowsill. Very scary if its dark, just sat there clucking at you as if they want to come inside. It is kind of cute sometimes, especially when they pretend they haven't done anything but really they have been in the bin.
Chickens love to scrat around for worms and other insects they find on the floor, this will wreck you're grass, but it makes the soil really fertilized. ( yep, its true). There are lots of bad points about that though, as fertilizer is feces, so yep, it means you get a lot of chicken poo around your garden. good and bad points, mostly bad but we all do it. its not nice when you trend in it and they do it straight after eating. (i will make the point that there eating all day. thats some big amount of poo).
To keep your beautiful chickens happy and make sure there nails are at a good length, put sweet corn or normal chicken feed in some sawdust and scatter it around they usually scrat. It gives them more of a challenge and it will let them use there claws. if you leave them on wood or concrete (battery farms) there claws will get really long and start to in growing or get infected. You can also add Vaseline to their feet, this will stop them getting dry.
Step 3: Diet and What to Feed Them
There diet is simple, chicken feed and scraps like bread and sweet corn. They will find there own food as well, you will see them digging up worms and eating the spiders,but generally they are ok on there own. They find there own water, but its nice just to put a bowl of water down for them. Great to what them when they drink, they tilt there head back and swallow, its funny when the other one tries to drink it out of her mouth to.Always put enough down, they will fight constantly for food,and never feed one at a time, always feed them at the same times they don't get jealous.
The different types of food also change how much they lay. my chickens haven't laid there egg's in a wile, thats because they tend not to in the winter. They also tend not to lay were you think they would, they usually end up in a bush or in the other shed. They will dig a small hole and sit in it, don't get to close to them when they are laying, they peck, trust me i know.
Step 4: Last Few Words
I am sorry its not that long, i wanted to add about battery farming and there house. but unfortunately i haven't got time, i will add on to it soon. I really, really hope you vote for me, and i hope you consider getting some chickens yourself.
please vote for me!!!