Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Chickens -


Throughout the long term, I had numerous neighborhood individuals knock on my entryway or come dependent upon me to find out if I was 'the chicken man'…

In the wake of making sense of that indeed, I kept many chickens, they would agree that that they were likewise contemplating getting a couple of hens at home and had a few inquiries for me… so in the long run, I delivered a couple of composed sheets to provide for individuals, and this was the manner by which my fledgling's manual for keeping chickens was begun before poultrykeeper!

Chickens are sufficiently simple to keep, make useful pets, and most will ordinarily furnish you with a consistent stock of new eggs so it's no big surprise keeping a couple of chickens in the back garden has become so well known as of late. Likewise with purchasing any new pet, the rookie frequently has a few inquiries to pose in advance. This guide plans to cover the fundamentals of chicken keeping to assist you with choosing if chickens are for you, and assuming they are, it guides you in the correct bearing toward get everything rolling with your most memorable lawn run.

To Begin at the Beginning!

I don't wish to put you off in any capacity yet recollect, assuming you live in the UK, you have a legitimate commitment under the Creature Government assistance Act 2006 which expresses that you commit an offense in the event that you don't make strides as are sensible in every one of the conditions to guarantee the necessities of a creature for which you are mindful are met to the degree expected by great practice.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006

Thus, before you start, you should know that chickens need a few consideration and consideration consistently, very much like a canine or a feline would. Prior to getting a few hens interestingly, you ought to consider to the principal responsibilities you should make to forestall any government assistance issues:
Do you have the opportunity?
As need might arise to visit chickens two times every day, typically once in the first part of the day to open their coop, actually look at their prosperity and top up food and water, and again around evening time to close their coop so they are secure from evening hunters. The chicken coop will require week by week or fortnightly cleaning.

Who will care for your chickens assuming you disappear?
You can't leave chickens when you are away from home for the time being. You should had an arrangement for caring for your chickens while you are away.

Could you at any point give them secure lodging?
The chicken coop and run should be secure, not exclusively to keep your chickens in yet additionally to keep hunters out. The principal hunter for chickens in the UK is the fox and the raccoon in the US, both are for the most part evening hunters. There are large quantities of metropolitan foxes in our towns nowadays.

Is your nursery/lawn secure?
Assuming you plan to allow your chickens to free roaming, is your nursery or back yard secure? As well as protecting them from a homeless canine or fox that is going through during the day, you are not permitted to allow chickens to meander off your property. Neighbors don't see the value in chickens scratching up their blossom beds and leaving droppings on their nursery way!

Are there any standards keeping me from keeping chickens?
In the UK there are some of the time house deeds or pledges on leased convenience however as a general rule, there are not very many limitations on keeping hens. Assuming you feel somewhat doubtful, Regulations on Keeping Chickens covers this theme in more detail.
In the US, you should initially guarantee that your area's drafting permits chickens to be kept. Limitations between regions likewise differ significantly and may have further limitations or prerequisites for a license.
At the point when I had a little back garden, my chickens were let on a mission to unfenced when I was at home.
These inquiries are the fundamental first contemplations to guarantee you can meet the guidelines and especially the government assistance requirements of your hens. These frequently get neglected by gleaming articles about keeping chickens!

In outline, chickens are generally low upkeep yet you will in any case have to furnish them with the right climate to live in and carve out sufficient opportunity in your everyday daily schedule for them to keep them blissful and sound.

Chickens can live up to 15 years or more (albeit 5-8 years is more normal) so it's a sensibly huge responsibility. Obviously, you can rehome chickens, however remember that more seasoned hens are more challenging to sell on the grounds that the amount and nature of eggs they lay diminishes with age.

Accepting you have the opportunity and responsibility, there are numerous ways of keeping hens safely, cheerful and sound, regardless of whether you have the littlest of back gardens.

So you might want to keep chickens in the back plant? Peruse on and we'll plunge into the subtleties!

The chicken house

A chicken coop is likely the most costly thing you will purchase, and there are various plans available, some I would purchase and numerous I wouldn't, so we should begin by taking a gander at what your chickens really need from their chicken house.

Patio chickens need appropriate haven to shield them from the components and to give security from hunters. A major piece of this security comes from their home.

Chickens can endure frigid temperatures, and like wild birds, will trap air between their plumes to protect themselves from the virus. Most varieties are strong and have no issues traversing the UK winters, giving they have satisfactory sanctuary from wind and downpour.

A chicken house can give your chickens the sanctuary they need during terrible climate; notwithstanding, I view they will frequently like as outside during the daytime, (even in the most awful climate) assuming that there is another haven choice accessible!
A portion of my chickens take cover under and inside the coop on a wet winters day.

I have consistently raised my chicken houses off the ground at every possible opportunity. My hens frequently really like to take cover under, as opposed to go into their home.
At the furthest edge of the range is heat. Chickens can't adapt to high temperatures quite well. They can adapt to cold temperatures better, so it is fundamental for assist them with keeping cool on hot days.

Like canines, chickens can't perspire. They will gasp and hydrate (which makes them pass wet droppings, it's nothing to stress over, they are essentially losing heat).

You may likewise see chickens resting with their wings spread away from their body. It's not difficult to think a chicken has passed on when they are fanned out this way, yet they will bounce onto their feet in the event that you head toward them.

Raising the chicken house off the ground is again useful in light of the fact that it can likewise give an area of shade to your hens.

Vents remove stale air and ammonia

Albeit the chicken house your buy or assemble should shield your hens from terrible climate and drafts, it should likewise have sufficient ventilation. Chicken droppings are a combination of solids and urates and emit smelling salts. A development can hurt their respiratory framework.

An undeniable level vent permits warm, rising air and smelling salts to get away. A movable side vent on the coop is useful in light of the fact that you can control air course in various weather patterns.

Finding the right chicken house

With regards to picking the right chicken house, there is a decision of wood or plastic, and on account of wood, construct it yourself or get one.

It is normally an instance of 'the end product tends to reflect its price' with wood. In any case, I have had the option to push a few modest chicken houses along for 6 to 7 years with a normal layer of wood preserver and routine upkeep (supplanting locks that rusted and material felt)
While purchasing a wooden chicken house, investigate the thickness/nature of the wood utilized on a coop. The better quality the wood, the more it will endure, yet the more the wood will cost in any case - real stuff for the real world!

Chicken houses can be delightful or extremely fundamental. For instance, you could construct your chicken coop out of reused bed wood; it doesn't make any difference giving it does the planned work, which ought to be to give dry, without draft (however all around ventilated) convenience.

My most memorable Do-It-Yourself coop had a few imperfections. The pop-opening was too little and the glass window wasn't great, I gained from my missteps!
Wood ought to preferably be pressure treated with the goal that it doesn't spoil in the primary year, and nails, screws and fittings ought to be in every way stirred to stop them rusting.

Preserving your coop

.At the point when I purchase a chicken coop, the principal thing I do is paint or protect it to allow it the most ideal opportunity of a long life. On the off chance that you treat a coop, make sure to make sure that the item is creature cordial and pass on it to dry out totally prior to permitting your birds into it. On the off chance that you are uncertain, call the client assistance number (typically tracked down on the rear of the tin) and ask them for counsel.

Essential features

Fundamental highlights of the house are home boxes, ventilation (in a perfect world movable) and roosts preposterous to perch, yet you ought to likewise consider that it is so natural to gather eggs and that it is so natural to clean.

Spending a smidgen all the more now to get a house with a droppings board and a huge access entryway will save you long stretches of battling over the long haul.

In the event that you really want more data on lodging your chickens, ourhas much more subtleties.

My Favourite Chicken Houses

My Number one Chicken Houses
I have a few distinct coops and obviously I have a few top choices. Nowadays I additionally think about the natural effect of my buys. On the off chance that you are searching for a house, these are a portion of my number one providers and what I have some familiarity with their ecological certifications.

1. Wooden Coops

Customary, very much fabricated wooden coops from the UK. The Lenham is one of my top choices.

Offer a few perfect coops that are made to an extremely exclusive expectation. They are worked with a heart in the core of Dorset!

Indeed, Amazon have everything. I like the quick conveyance and no-bother returns in the event that something isn't exactly correct. They have a decent scope of modest chicken houses, as well as a couple of other better models on their commercial center however remember the ecological expense of modest coops which are constructed and imported from China and won't keep going up to a more excellent coop.

2. Plastic Coops:

are made in the UK from eco-accommodating, sturdy reused plastic. Furthermore, they have a long term guarantee and you can get them through Amazon, so as well as simple returns in the event that you're disturbed, there is quick conveyance!

simple to clean and hold their worth well. They are beautiful and extraordinary in both current or cabin gardens. The drawback is they are not produced using reused plastic and made in China, not great for the climate are as well. However, they really do keep going quite a while.

Bedding materials

You can spread dust-separated wood shavings, straw (in the event that it isn't excessively dusty), cleaved cardboard,or then again one of the other accessible sheet material materials.

I composed a different article on here

So how would you dispose of all that filthy sheet material?

You can materials. Straw and cardboard fertilizer far quicker and gets onto my vegetable fix speedier!

Further reading about chicken houses:

An inside and out take a gander at the highlights and chicken houses accessible to house your young ladies.

Whether you choose get one or assemble your own or simply need to know the number of nestboxes your coop ought to have.

Securing your birds at nightfall is a high need to stay away from a visit from Mr Fox. The ChickenGuard has got you covered!

The chicken run

To keep sound, chickens need to get natural air and daylight.

Like there are numerous chicken house plans to browse, a wide range of chicken runs are likewise accessible. You can partition the run into two various types:

A little covered run that you join to the coop. For the most part, these come from a similar provider as your chicken coop, so hope to check whether you can get it with your coop.
A fenced-off region. Which furnishes them with more space to meander. A congested region at the lower part of the nursery is great!

A chicken run could be the entire of your back garden, or similarly a small fenced region or pen. Anything you settle on, it is generally fitting to have the biggest region you can oversee so your hens can get however much unfenced as could reasonably be expected and security from

In the event that you purchase a little covered run, make sure that it is reasonable to keep your chickens in assuming there is alockdown. This implies wild birds can't enter through any openings, and it is covered or can be covered. A covering over a wire run will frequently do.

You could have to keep your hens in a little rushed to protect them from hunters, yet I would urge you to let them out when you're at home or in the nursery for quite a while to scrounge.
  A small fenced off area in a small garden, courtesy of Anne Perdeaux

             A portable run like this one from Omlet means you can move your birds regularly onto fresh ground.
                A rough patch of ground at the bottom of the garden is the ideal location to 
                                                                build a chicken run!

Mud (glorious?) mud.

Dissimilar to Hippos, chickens detest floundering in mud. Little runs before long become sloppy and foul during wet climate, and your chickens will immediately become hopelesslikewise flourish, so it's anything but a solid climate for them.

The solution for a little to medium-sized chicken run is to construct a base and fill it with a substrate material that can be supplanted or washed through without any problem.

Hardwood chips are a number one and keep going for quite a while when kept dry. Sand is additionally famous. Dispersing some blended corn into this day to day will offer them a lot of chances to search.

Try not to utilize bark chippings. Albeit these are less expensive, they can go rotten and cause arespiratory sickness called furthermore, is essential for their prosperity, so I could do without to see chicken runs with wire floors that forestall scratching.

Hardwood chips are helpful for sloppy regions, like entryways, passages to chicken houses and other "high traffic" regions. They are sturdy and will keep going for quite a while, and you can continuously add another layer in the event that the mud begins to come through.

Security from predators

Your chicken run should be secure - keeping hunters out while keeping the chickens in.

The principal hunter to prepare for in the UK is the Fox, and in the US, most likely the Racoon. Both of these creatures are nighttime so will do the vast majority of their hunting around evening time.

Foxes can be an issue during the daytime, particularly when there are less long stretches of dimness throughout the late spring months and they are taking care of youthful.

On the off chance that conceivable, cover wire netting no less than 20cm into the ground to prevent hunters from digging under the wall and cover the top of the run.

Bigger runs can have electrified barrier wires added on separators where foxes are a specific issue.

Three 'strands' of electric wire, tape or rope can be circled this way and that - the first at low-level stops foxes digging under, the second is at fox nose level and, along with the upper one, prevents the fox from moving over.

There is more data here on fencing chicken runs with the various choices for little patio runs.

This article on electric poultry netting talks about the utilization of charged plastic poultry netting that can be raised rapidly and moved around effectively in bigger spaces.

Tip: Free-Range Hens

Hens love to free roaming yet they likewise should be protected and remain inside the limits of your property. On the off chance that there are foxes around during the daytime, keep your hens in a run or behind an electrified barrier. You can let them out when you are there, they will get back to their home to perch at sunset.

Locking up at night

One of the main things to protect your chickens is to secure them when it gets dull.

The uplifting news is once your chickens realize where to rest, they will cause problems in the future at nightfall. This implies you could let them out of their race to rummage in the nursery, and they will return to their home at sleep time.

On the off chance that you really want them in sooner, shaking and tossing corn in their run is better compared to attempting to crowd them. Dissimilar to ducks, chickens don't group effectively; they will go off arbitrarily and not normally where you need them!

It is great to have a companion or neighbor to assist you with your chickens in the event that you are disappearing from home.

One device that I totally couldn't be without is my programmed chicken entryway that secures the chickens around evening time and lets them out in the first part of the day, guarding them. This implies they are protected in the event that I don't return home in time for dim.

Overhead cover

Trees or bushes can likewise shield chickens from awful climate and deal dappled conceal throughout the late spring, so they are useful in bigger chicken nooks.

Chickens are a prey animal categories and will be careful about anything soaring over, particularly in huge expanses. Our trained chickens are relatives of the Wilderness Fowl who live in little gatherings with a lot of ground and tree cover to stow away
            Trees are useful to provide shade on hot days and shelter from overhead predators and bad weather.

Further reading about chicken runs:

How much space do chickens require? - It's astonishing the way that you can squeeze chickens into even the littlest nurseries!
The hunters segment has additional data about a few vermin and hunters. In the UK, the fundamental hunter is the fox, and in the US, the Racoon. Both of these will by and large chase around evening time so securing your birds at sunset is a high need!
Rundown of Noxious Plants for Chickens - A rundown of common nursery and hedgerow plants and food sources that are harmful to chickens.
Chickens and Occasions - Heaps of thoughts for how to manage your chickens when you go on vacation.

Feeding your chickens

All chickens and poultry need the right sustenance to develop, stay sound and lay a decent inventory of eggs. In ancient times, many individuals took care of their chickens on the family scraps and let them scrounge until the end of their eating regimen. This was before figured out proportions were accessible and typically brought about them not getting the right equilibrium of supplements. Current half and halves, specifically, have a lot higher supplement prerequisites to have the option to create the immense number of eggs they do.
Allow me to make sense of how it functions.

Chickens will eat to satisfy their energy necessities (and eat really during colder climate to keep themselves warm), so in the event that there is a decision between their layers pellets or a few delicious pieces, they will top off on the pieces first which don't give adequate supplements. For instance, scraps won't normally contain satisfactory protein. Eggs and quills require a ton of protein, so on the off chance that their eating routine needs protein, could you at any point think about what they cut back on first?

You got it, eggs!

Chickens benefited from scraps may, from the outset, look sufficiently solid, yet in the event that there is deficient protein, minerals, nutrients and calcium in their eating routine, they won't ever do as well as they ought to and never lay too as they could, given a legitimate eating regimen.

Layers pellets
Luckily, a few feeds have been planned to contain the right equilibrium of supplements, nutrients, and minerals. In the event that you need solid birds and a decent amount of eggs, taking care of one of these figured out feeds is prudent.

I give layers pellets in a container and hold treats to something like 10% of their eating routine to guarantee they get sufficient sustenance.

Mixed corn

Blended corn contains fundamentally wheat and broke maize. Wheat is low in protein, and maize is high in energy (important as a colder time of year hotter before bed). A typical slip-up is taking care of blended corn off the cuff in a container. It ought to be kept as a treat. As a guideline, something like a modest bunch for each bird each day.

Kitchen scraps

Since the BSE episode, the taking care of family scraps in the UK and Europe is actually unlawful, yet you can in any case give your hens greens from the nursery or distribution (giving you don't bring them into the kitchen first).

Normal plants/food varieties that are harms for chickens are avocados, potato plant leaves and rhubarb.


Obviously, chickens don't have teeth, so they need rock coarseness to crush their food down in a hard, strong organ called a gizzard. Birds that can meander could find the vital coarseness they need, in any case, there is no assurance there is adequate birds are housed in yards or semi-seriously, it is critical to remember a different compartment of blended coarseness for request that they can process their food. Blended poultry coarseness is promptly accessible on the web or from every single horticultural provider, yet you want to ensure that it contains a high extent of hard stone coarseness; unadulterated clam shell is too smooth when given all alone and could cause compaction in the stomach related framework.


We should not neglect water! New water is fundamental for chickens, particularly during hotter climate. Assuming you recall, chickens can't perspire; they gasp and hydrate to chill off.A few different water holders are accessible, reasonable for youthful chicks to a huge group of hens. Water holders (additionally called consumers) need to keep the water spotless and liberated from droppings. They shouldn't tip over effectively and ought to be simple for you to clear out day to day or possibly every other day.

Some have legs to take them off the floor. You should put compartments on a level surface. An evened out clearing section can be useful for this. Many have a handle, and utilizing a solid hanging bin chain with a snare toward the end, you can hang them up, which is valuable when there is definitely not a level surface.

Consumers ought to store sufficient water to endure the entire day with some extra limit with regards to hot days, and when in doubt of thumb, I permit a liter limit for every chicken in addition to a liter extra.

They ought to constantly have new water accessible, so it's fundamental to have an adequate number of consumers accessible preposterous at the lower part of the food chain to get to one without being harassed. This might mean giving no less than two water holders at various finishes of the chicken run for certain herds.

Click here to see a scope of plastic water holders on Amazon.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple juice vinegar is helpful for chickens. It is acidic, so can't be given in electrifies water holders without them eroding. Plastic compartments are the most famous and the most economical. One more benefit of plastic consumers is that you can perceive how much water is left, yet be cautious during chilly climate since they can part assuming you thump them when the water is frozen.

I composed a different article about the advantages of apple juice vinegar for chickens which I have been utilizing for a considerable length of time.

Choosing your chickens

Presently comes the hardest part-choosing the sort of chickens you need to keep!
Crossover chickens are for the most part better for amateurs. They are normally inoculated, lay better compared to unadulterated varieties, are cordial and aren't excessively unconventional.

On the off chance that you can't make your psyche up, then Anne composed a great article: What are the Best Laying Hens, Crossovers or Unadulterated Varieties? which I'm certain will assist you with choosing.
In the event that you are considering getting some unadulterated variety chickens, glance through our Chicken Varieties segment yet remember you might need to travel and book a few uncommon varieties ahead of time.

Attempt to ponder why you need your chickens. Do eggs take need? Do you need an interesting variety? Will you need to raise from your hens? You needn't bother with a cockerel for chickens to lay eggs, and male birds can make a great deal of clamor, as well, upsetting neighbors as well as you in the early hours of the morning - so you'll presumably need to begin with a couple of hens first.

Ponder what size of birds you can oblige in the space accessible - Enormous fowl or bantams. Except if you have a genuinely huge set-up, it is prudent not to blend different measured birds to dislike harassing.

It is likewise best to purchase each of your chickens in one go from one reproducer where they have been held together in the event that you would be able; this guarantees they all manage everything well, and they will get comfortable quicker. Presenting new birds is seldom lovely as they restore the dominance hierarchy.

In particular - have a great time picking your hens; I figure you will think that they are staggeringly fulfilling and I bet you'll begin with a couple and afterward need some more!

Chicken Breeds Pages

The Keeping Chickens part of this site contains a lot more articles, including some focused on novices. I can likewise suggest you read the great Novices Manual for Keeping Chickens site, which contains supportive data on keeping chickens and a convenient rundown of things to keep in stock as another chicken manager. Anne Perdeaux has been a standard writer on this site, composing many articles for novices. On the off chance that you would like a book to peruse, you should seriously mull over her book!

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