Think Spring Hens
If you are thinking of getting hens this spring, here are a few things to think about before your hens arrive.
1. Have a plan if you happen to get a rooster. Every time I get new baby chicks that are all supposed to be hens, I get a rooster. If you cannot keep a rooster, be sure you have a happy place to have your rooster go. Good places to check are other chicken owners or a local farmer. Just a warning, it can be difficult because no one really wants the roosters. I had someone call me once, she had ordered 12 chicks and 6 of them were roosters and she was trying to find homes for them. Roosters fight and cannot usually be in the same coop.
2. Have your coop all prepared before hens arrive.
3. Each hen should have 6 square feet of space.
4. Make sure the coop is completely predator proof – neighborhood dogs, coyotes, hawks, racoons, fox and rats etc. It needs to be very secure.
5. The coop should be well ventilated but not windy or wet.
6. 5 hens can share a nesting box. A henhouse should always have nesting boxes and roosts.
7. Your chickens should have access to sun. They need roughly 14 hours of light to be good layers.
8. Hens need a place to take a dust bath. This is their natural way to keep pests down. Lice make your hens very uncomfortable and unhealthy.
9. Fresh water every day.
10. Feed should include greens, feed, grit and I add coarse corn and black sunflower seed.
11. Perches or roosts. Hens need them. I use an old thick broom handle.
If you are getting baby chicks that’s a whole other process. Check out the great info from my friends at MyPetChicken.com.
This article originally appeared on HappyChickens.com. It is re-posted here with permission from the author.
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