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Setting up a comfortable home for chickens in your backyard is easier than you may think. Satisfying their needs requires only a coop, a run, nesting boxes, food, and water. You can build the structures yourself, but you may prefer to have a professionally designed creation that stylishly enhances your yard. Scientists are discovering that chickens are intelligent and trainable, and you can enjoy a close-up view of nature as you interact with them. Savoring fresh eggs every day is a tasty reward for sharing your home.
Checking for Permission
Your locality may have restrictions on keeping chickens in your backyard, and finding out about them at the outset can help you avoid expense as well as a disappointment. Checking with your neighbors about their potential objections is the best approach. Roosters are unnecessary when you have an egg laying flock, and excluding them significantly reduces the noise level.
Choosing a Home
Chickens need protection from predators both day and night, and choosing a fashionable home or coop can provide it while enhancing your yard. Professionally designed models may resemble famous architectural structures or a country cabin with a picket fence. Rustic or elegant, an entirely built chicken coop contains the interior décor that appeals to the birds. Chickens like to sit on a roost while they sleep, and its height matters to them. Nesting boxes that are distant from the rods that serve as roosts prevent the birds from sleeping there and encourage the use of nests for egg laying.
The size of your flock determines the space that you need for their home, and starting with five birds assures you of a steady supply of eggs. They are social creatures, and choosing three birds is adequate if you want to start small. Professionally designed coops contain the appropriate amount of space for the flock that you choose. You can bypass construction time and get started sooner if you choose a coop that is already built.
Providing Running Room
A run may be a simple wire enclosure that protects the birds from predators during the day, or it may be an elaborate movable structure. You can let your chickens provide fertilizer for a new garden by using a run that you can move from place to place. The birds get to scavage for bugs and worms each time that you move it.
Keeping Food and Water Handy
Professionally designed feeders and waterers make sure that your chickens have an unending supply. Both are important for your birds' health, but water is actually more essential. Attractive and functional designs make them work perfectly without daily monitoring, and you can place them where they are free of falling debris or manure.
Training with Treats
To confirm that the scientists' opinions that chickens can be taught, you can conduct experiments as well. Coming to you is a trick that they can do without much training if you have a treat ready. Chickens are particularly fond of mealworms, and you can carry the dried variety in your pocket. Soon you can advance to teaching them to eat out of your hand, follow you to the coop at eventide, or even perform complex tricks.
Enjoying Fresh Eggs
After your hens are about 20 weeks old, you can expect to get an egg from each one almost every day. You may have enough to share with your neighbors as a reward for approving your plan to raise chickens in your backyard.
Don't forget to buy your fluffy layers to go with your new flock!