Free range eggs – anywhere, anytime in your backyard.
What better way to get fresh eggs than to raise a few hens (female chickens) in your own backyard. Raising chickens is not that difficult and it is very rewarding to produce your own guaranteed free range eggs. You know exactly what conditions they are kept in and you will obviously spoil them as you do all your pets. Picking up eggs every day takes very little time as you will make a simple nesting area in their coop and they usually lay their eggs in these nesting areas. But a little egg hunt is a fun way to start the day too!
- A large area that you can use as their run. They need to forage over a large enough area to get their fill of all the things they like – dirt (to help their digestion), insects, grass, seeds, etc. Sunlight is also essential – it helps them absorb AND produce calcium which is needed for strong healthy eggs.
- A warm and secure chicken coop which is like a little barn. It has spaces for the hens to lay eggs and rest at night, roosting perches (chickens, like all birds, love to climb onto branches), and bedding such as sawdust shavings, straw or any other appropriate bedding.
Water comes in the form of a special waterer, which is basically a bucket with a lid on it and when inverted measures out water that fills a little tray. At intervals during the day, just pick up the whole waterer and empty the old water which has become full of dirt and let new water take its place. Nipple waterers are also quite popular because the water dribbles down the chickens throat directly from the device and never comes into contact with the outside which dirties it. This keeps water fresh and chickens healthy.
- 4. Their feed is usually kept in special feeders that you can buy, or you can make your own. I couldn’t buy special feeders at a time so I improvised and cut off the top sides of plastic jugs I found lying in the kitchen. Properly designed feeders are built in such a way that all chickens can eat at the same time and there is much less wastage of feed.
If you are struggling to find point of lay hens or pullets, there are poultry breeders on the ES Business Directory.
Prices range from R150 – R250 depending on the breed and age.
E-mail email@example.com if you require assistance.