Raising Chickens For Fun And Profit

Many people are interested in learning how to raise hens for their eggs and some people raise them purely for the satisfaction and enjoyment the birds bring. No matter the reason,raising hens can be a very rewarding experience.

If you are new to raising chickens, you should first decide if the eggs will be your first priority. When choosing which birds to raise you will have to decide whether you want hens that lay white or brown eggs. Some people think that brown eggs have a richer taste, but it really comes down to personal preference.

If you want white eggs the Leghorn will probably be your best choice. They are prolific egg producers and can supply you with all the eggs you will need. If brown eggs are your choice, Rhode Island Reds will be an excellent choice. They are also outstanding egg producers.

In order to maintain your flock’s health, all birds should be vaccinated for Marek’s disease, fowl pox, infectious bronchitis, and Newcastle disease.

Will your flock be raised in confinement or be free ranging? Either way the birds will need adequate shelter. You can easily build your own house and many types of small buildings such as storage sheds can be converted to use as shelter for your birds.

The ideal temperature for laying hens is 55-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures below 55 degrees can lead to moisture and ammonia build-up inside the house. Your laying hens should have at least 3 square feet of space. Crowding the birds can lead to cannibalism and will make proper maintenance of good air and litter conditions difficult. Hay or straw make good nest material for laying hens.

Roosts are not mandatory, but many breeders feel the birds are more comfortable if they are provided. You should allow 6-8 inches of space per bird. Roosts can be made from scrap lumber or poles.

You should gather your eggs at least twice a day. Store the eggs in a refrigerator and clean dirty eggs with a fine sandpaper. Be certain to keep the nests and floor of the chicken house clean at all times. Rodents are attracted to the feed in your house, so be aware that a proper pest control program will be required. Always have a clean, fresh supply of water for your flock.

In addition to the benefits of having a continuous supply of fresh eggs, there are other benefits of raising hens as well. Many people are making a nice extra income from selling hatching eggs. There is a strong market for hatching eggs and selling them online has become a good source of income for some breeders. Picking the right breed of birds to raise and establishing yourself as a reputable supplier can be extremely profitable.

In today’s world going green has become a popular topic worldwide. You may just find that raising hens can be an enjoyable way to go green and lead to a very satisfying and enjoyable pastime.

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