Keeping Poultry

Housing

The house for your poultry should be dry, warm and well ventilated.  Also it should be spacious enough for the number of chickens that you keep, as a general guide to the size of house needed,  is 1 square foot per avarage size bird and 8" square for bantams.  The house needs to be easily accessible to clean and have perches for the chickens to perch.

 

Feeding

Chickens need a good balanced diet, this is most conveniently provided in the form of pellets, which contain all the essential ingredients in one  food.  I also feed my chickens, garden and kitchen waste (but NEVER meat) and occasionally give them marmite on bread to give their energy levels a boost...Chickens also need a constant supply of fresh clean water.

 

Handling

The best way to catch your chicken is to quickly grab their feet from under them,  but do NOT chase your chickens as this will only cause them to panic...

Once you have your chicken try to get it into a position in which to carry it whilst supporting its body.  With one hand under the chicken it is relatively easy to keep your chicken quiet and do any health checks you need to do..

 

A healthy chicken

The chicken should be perky, lean and active, with eyes that are beady and bright.  The scales on the leg should be smooth and the vent should be moist and white. The comb will be bright red when the chicken is in lay.  Also there should be no discharge from the eyes and  nose.

 

Broody chickens

From time to time your chicken may go broody.  A broody hen will simply sit in the nesting box and refuse to budge and become quite aggressive.

However unless your chicken has been near a cockerel, the eggs will not be fertile.  You can either leave her, which will last 3 weeks (incubation time of eggs) or you can lift her off the eggs and within a couple of days she will lose the urge to sit on the eggs...