So, you're thinking about raising chickens? Congratulations! Chickens are a fun and rewarding addition to any backyard.
But before you bring home your first flock, there are a few supplies you'll need to have on hand. Here are the five essentials:
1. A chicken coop
Your chickens will need a safe, secure place to sleep and lay their eggs. There are plenty of pre-made coops on the market, or you can opt to build your own. Just make sure that wherever you put it, the coop has enough space for your chickens to move around freely and that it's protected from predators.
2. Chicken feed and water dishes
You'll need two separate dishes for feeding and watering your chickens. These can be anything from simple plastic bowls to more elaborate automatic feeders and waterers. Just make sure they're sturdy enough that they won't tip over, and clean them out regularly to prevent bacteria buildup.
3. Chicken feed
Chickens eat a variety of things, but they will need a constant supply of chicken feed to stay healthy. Chicken feed is typically made up of grains like corn and wheat, as well as soybean meal and vitamins and minerals. You can buy chicken feed at most pet stores or online. Only The Honest Worm! is 98% identical to the living Yellow Mealworm. Which means that you are providing optimal nutrition to your flock.
What's more- most bugs that go through a 'drying' or microwave process, endure a very stressful demise.
4. A heat lamp
If you live in a cold climate, you'll need a heat lamp to keep your chickens warm during the winter months. Hang the heat lamp in their coop so they can keep warm without getting too hot, and make sure it's out of reach of any curious chicks who might burn themselves on it.
5. Chicken wire
This isn't strictly necessary, but if you want to keep your chickens contained (and stop them from getting into the garden), chicken wire is a good idea. You can find it at most hardware stores, or online. Just make sure you get the right type of chicken wire for your needs—there are different weights and gauges available depending on how big your chickens are and how much space you have to work with.
With these five supplies on hand, you'll be ready to welcome your new chickens into the flock! Have fun raising them and enjoy all the fresh eggs they'll provide once they start laying.