5 Tips on keeping chicken in the garden


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"Some go to great trouble with the dear poultry: partly because of the eggs laid by these birds, secondly because one can eat a roast every now and then." Wilhelm Busch summed up the practical aspects of keeping chickens, but even the mere sight of the animals is already pleasing: as they scrabble for food in the yard and meadow, they suddenly freeze, aiming at a grain with their head tilted, then jerking it all over pick. Today many children only know this picture from the petting zoo. In this case, chickens can, if some conditions are met, even in their own garden hold. Here they deliver healthy and delicious organic eggs from our own production.

brooding chicken

And every day an egg? Even the most industrious chickens can not do that. Most breeds can expect about 150 to 200 eggs a year. In summer the laying performance is higher than in winter

How big does the garden have to be?

If the chickens do not have a fenced spout, but can move freely in the garden, you need at least 30 square meters per animal. Otherwise, the chickens quickly transform the garden into a brown area by pawing. Otherwise, the animals do the garden well: they scrape moss out of the lawn, kill out pests such as snails, grubs and caterpillars and drop here and there a dose of fertilizer. The chicken manure that accumulates in the barn, however, is so nutrient-rich that it should not be applied directly as a fertilizer. The roots can burn on it. Compose it better in advance.

Chickens on ground

Chickens mainly stay on the ground. They can fly, but make little use of their wings. How long they can keep fluttering in the air depends on the race. The wild hen uses its wings to seek a safe sleep tree at night. Domestic chickens that live out of doors also prefer a tree or other elevated places to sleep

How time-consuming is the care?

Chickens need daily fresh water and in addition to the food they find themselves in the garden, additional concentrated feed. This is important not only for the production of eggs, but also for the well-being of the animals. Every few days, the manure board under the perch in the night quarters should be cleaned, occasionally also potions, trough and stable.

Chicken eggs in nest

Golden yellow yolk, intense flavor: Anyone who has tried eggs from happy chickens will hardly want to buy cheap goods from the supermarket. The eggs of animals with grassland spout also contain a high proportion of vitamins and carotenes. The best storage location is the refrigerator, even if eggs are stored for about 18 days at room temperature. As long as they are protected by natural enzymes that prevent the proliferation of Salmonella. Do not wash the eggs, it will destroy the natural protective layer. Many find the taste of the eggs to be best when they are a few days old, then they are easier to peel. Eggs should be used up within four weeks. Incidentally, the color of the shell depends on the breed of chicken, not on the color of the plumage

May everyone keep chickens in the garden?

Here, there is no universal rule, it depends on, among other things, in which environment you live. Find out from your community. It is important that the neighbors do not feel disturbed. In a small group of chickens, possible sources of interference such as noise or the severe smell of chicken manure are limited. Trouble usually makes the crows of the rooster. But since the chickens lay eggs without a cock, you can easily do without them.

hatched chick

two chicks on meadow

Only when the clutch is complete (about 8 to 15 eggs), the hen naturally begins to brood. The chicks hatch after three weeks and can leave the nest immediately. They look for themselves - under the guidance of the mother hen - their food itself. Most hens have lost their breeding impulse however, since they hatched themselves in incubators. With old livestock breeds and bantams you still have a good chance of breeding animals

Which breed is suitable?

In Europe, about 180 breeds of chicken are bred, many of them are numerous color effects such as white, black or spiced. The most widespread today are the so-called hybrid chickens, which are crosses of different breeds. They are uncomplicated, diligently lay eggs and are ideal for the beginner. With some experience you can also switch to racehorses, such as one of the cute miniature chicken breeds. The individual chicken breeds are very different in appearance, laying behavior and temperament. Ask a poultry farmer which breed best suits your needs.Contributing to the conservation of genetic diversity, if you keep one of the old, endangered livestock breeds, which are often only regionally distributed. With them the chance of brutal hens and own young chickens is great. And the hatching of the chicks is not just an unforgettable experience for children.

Dwarf New Hampshire chickens

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Popular garden chickens

5 Tips on keeping chicken in the garden: tips

Dwarf New Hampshire belongs to the bantam hens. They are lively and can become very friendly over time

5 Tips on keeping chicken in the garden: tips

Significantly larger are races such as the Westfälische Totleger, in which the hen brings up to two kilograms on the scales. The old, threatened livestock breed got its name, because also old hens still bring good laying achievements

5 Tips on keeping chicken in the garden: garden

Wyandotte are among the most popular domestic chicken (medium-heavy breed), they are friendly and are characterized by good laying performance

Dwarf New Hampshire chickens

Westphalian deadlayer

Wyandotte domestic chickens

What do you need for keeping the chicken?

red chicken house

Mobile chicken houses are particularly practical and can be placed in various locations in the garden

If you want to keep chickens, you should not buy less than three or four animals. The pictured stable is designed for two to six chickens, offers the animals in the winter accommodation and is equipped with everything necessary such as perch, laying nest and Kotbrett. The stables are movable and can easily be moved together with a mobile fence. So you can alternately use different areas of the garden as an outlet. The total available space should not be less than 180 square meters. For a fixed enclosure, allow the chickens at least 15 square meters per animal. More species-appropriate is in the country during the day the free run and at night the chicken coop.

Video Board: Chicken Keeping for Beginners | UK Rules and Regulations.

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