One of the pickiest poultry are chickens. Breeding, keeping, caring for them and feeding them do not require special skills. However, you must know a few nuances, otherwise the birds will not produce the expected number of eggs and may die quickly.
Which breed to choose?
For home breeding, birds of the common and egg-laying types are best suited. It is extremely unprofitable to grow meat breeds on an individual farm. As for the breeding of egg-type chickens, their maintenance does not require a lot of finance. They also mature quickly for gestation, although they are light in weight.
Russian white hens are among the brightest representatives of egg-laying breeds. Often they are crossed with leghorns. They have a thick neck, a large head with a leaf-shaped crest, and an elongated body. This breed is capable of producing about 200 medium-sized eggs annually. Another popular representative of the species is the common leghorn. They are distinguished by high mobility, a thin neck and hammered plumage. Leghorns a year cangive up to 300 eggs. Their weight is slightly less than that of Russians.Sometimes raising chickens at home is not about getting a lot of eggs. Many people keep birds for the so-called common use. In such cases, both the weight of the chicken and its egg production over a certain period of time matter. Common breeds include Adler silverworts, red whitetails, Poltava clayeyes, but the most common are plymouthrocks. They can produce up to 3 kg of pure meat and lay up to 180 eggs per year.
The first two months in chickens, the formation of the skeleton and muscular system, the supporting apparatus. Therefore, breeding chickens at home for this period should be conditional on maintaining the uniformity of the flock (separation by size). It is important that towards the end of the 10th week the birds of all groups are trimmed in weight. By the middle of the 4th month, the chicken should have about 1.6 kg. In the following weeks (up to the 22nd), the birds need to gain 15-25 g per day so that there is no obesity or rickets.
Puberty in chickens starts from the 4th month. At this point, groups of birds can already be connected, but do it gradually so that they can easily adapt to each other. Chickens are able to bear eggs from the 17th week. However, the optimal age for this is 5 months.Specialists say that good lighting is necessary for the accelerated maturation of birds. Therefore, breeding chickens at home requires good luminescence.It has been proven that for the full development of birds, it is necessary that at least 10-12 hours the room be illuminated from all sides. Only in this way will the chicken ovaries ripen on time (before the 22nd week).
To keep a large number of birds, you will need an appropriate aviary or chicken coop. In this case, it is recommended to breed chickens in the garden or in the country. The law does not limit the number of pets, but it is worth considering that such a framework may be prescribed in the rules of some gardening partnerships. Most often, up to 40 chickens are allowed.
You can breed birds all year round in your backyard, but for this you need to insulate the chicken coop. Ideal for keeping in the winter are broiler chickens, which quickly adapt to the cold due to their plumage and some physiological features. Many summer residents breed chickens only from spring to autumn, and with the onset of frost they slaughter them or take them home.Small meat and egg breeds are best suited for breeding on the site, as they lead a more active lifestyle and quickly adapt to changing weather conditions.
When breeding poultry on a personal plot, the first thing to think about is the construction and equipment of a room where they could bear eggs, hide from bad weather and sleep. The main requirements for any chicken coop are dryness and light. It is also important that there are no drafts in the room, asyoung chickens are especially prone to colds.
Cultivation of chickens in the household is costly. First, it is worth equipping the room where they would live. A normal chicken coop should have a shed roof, block or wood walls, and an insulated ceiling. It is important that the windows are located at a height of 0.3 m from the floor and correspond to the dimensions - 25 by 30 cm. The doors should be insulated, the slots are closed with platbands. Holes for birds should not be too large - a square with dimensions of 30 by 30 cm. Keeping and breeding chickens indoors also requires constant lighting, especially in cloudy weather.As for the paddock, it should be spacious and have high fence. The area of the enclosure is taken at the rate of 0.7 sq.m per head. The soil in the paddock should be level with a slight slope down which water flows during rainfall. Also, in the chicken coop and aviary, you need to install special perches - smooth poles (about 6 cm wide) at the rate of 0.25 m per head. Nests should be located in dark corners.
The egg production of birds directly depends on their diet. The daily menu of chickens should include flour mixtures, and grains, and vegetable feed, and mineral supplements.To get enough vitamins and protein, birds should eat up to 180 grams of food per day. The daily ration of one chicken is calculated as follows: 50 g of grain, 50 g of flour mixture, 50 g of succulent feed, 10 g of protein, 10 g of hay flour, 5 g of shells, 1 g of fish oil, 0.5 g of s alt.It is allowed to give 3 g of baker's yeast per head. In addition, fresh herbs and vegetables play an important role in the chicken diet.
Usually, poultry is fed 3-4 times a day: in the morning - grain, at lunch - a wet mash, in the evening - a dry mixture, at night - cereals.Daily water intake per head - 300 ml.
Fat for slaughter
This procedure is recommended to be done with the onset of autumn. Feeding birds should be kept separate from laying birds. Boiled potatoes and all sorts of table waste are added to their constant diet.For a quick result, you can make a mash in fatty meat broth. During complementary feeding, the bird should eat 3 times a day (every 6 hours). Raising domestic chickens for slaughter requires a little patience. After 3 weeks, the birds will be ready for cutting. The day before slaughter, they are given only s alted water.
To prevent infection of poultry, keep pens and chicken coops constantly clean. Proper nutrition plays a huge role in disease prevention.
Often breeding chickens at home also implies their treatment. To achieve the desired effect, it is necessary to find the cause of the disease in a timely manner and separate infected birds from he althy ones.You can notice the poor condition of a chicken by its behavior: lethargy, lack of appetite, lowered wings, eyes closed with a film, drowsiness. The presence of infection is also indicated by a temperature of 43degrees and above.