Chicken Raising Tips from New Terra Farm

Chicken raising can be rewarding if you follow the right steps to reduce losses.

These tips will help you keep your chickens healthy and happy.

  • Keep your chicks warm and dry. For the first several weeks keep the birds in a warm, draft-proof enclosure. We use broody boxes like in the picture below. A heat lamp keeps the birds warm and the screened opening makes sure they don't overheat. The boxes keep out rodents, too.
Chicken raising broody boxOur home-built heated broody box
  • Keep your big birds sheltered but not too hot. Once the chickens come out of the broody box, keep them in a place that provides shade and shelter. 

  • Hot weather can kill large meat chickens if they don't have access to shade. We raise our poultry on pasture; our portable coop has a canopy for shade.

  • Keep your chickens well fed. Use a good quality chick starter for the first 5-6 weeks then switch to grower. Don't overfeed; this can lead to problems as the birds may gain weight faster than their internal organs and skeletal structure can keep up. 

  • We have had success feeding the birds twice a day, with enough food to keep them eating for 15 minutes or so.

  • Keep your chickens safe. You need to protect your chickens from foxes, raccoons, weasels and even domestic dogs. They need to be in a secure enclosure like a fenced yard, and preferably locked up at night in a coop.

  • We use electric mesh fencing surrounding our portable coop; it keeps the birds in, the bad guys out, and is easily portable when you want to move the chickens to new ground.
  • We built a number of portable coops and use a LOT of electric mesh fencing
  • Keep alert. Another advantage of twice-a-day feeding is that you see the birds often. Keep alert for lethargic birds, or birds that don't seem to walk or move well. 

  • Watch for symptoms like 'pasty butt' and deal with them promptly. Quick care can often save a chicken that might otherwise not make it.

  • We've made feeding your birdies easier with our Simplified Chicken Feeding Guide.

    Over the years we have evolved an simple way to feed chicks, layers and meat birds. Our birds do very well with this method.

    Download your Simplified Chicken Feeding Guide here.

    Chicken raising - more . . .

    If you are ready NOW to raise chickens on your small property either to put food in your freezer or some money in your wallet, you might want to check out my book How to Raise Meat Chickens.

    A LOT of information, plus plans for my movable coop and the new Hoop Coop.

    PS: for an even better deal, How to Raise Meat Chickens is included and you save 60% when you upgrade to my Complete Start Farming Pack

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