So, you are thinking of some new pet chickens?
There is an amazing variety of chickens available in Australia, with over 50 recognised breeds. Once you add in standard or bantam, and hundreds of colour combinations the choices are endless.
Generally speaking, chickens are categorised into two size groups: Standard (‘normal’ or ‘large’) and bantam (smaller). Bantam chickens can be ½ to 1/3 the size of standard chickens. We make no specific ‘across the board’ recommendation as to whether chicken keepers in general should have only bantams or standards in your backyard. There are a lot of factors which influence your chosen breed(s) including egg size preference, backyard size, whether you are experienced in keeping chickens, how many eggs you want per week, how old your kids are (if you have kids) and if you want them to free range in your garden. Whatever your preferences are, we believe there is a chicken for everyone.
A lot of people who are new to chicken keeping initially ask about ‘ISA Brown’ chickens – to help decide whether they are the right chicken for your situation (or if a pure breed chicken is more along what would suit you) please read the information available on our website. There is a link to “Are Isa Browns for You” on our Helpful Information page
What are the benefits of keeping chickens?
For those who have been keeping chickens for a long time, it’s hard to express all of the joy and wonder chickens bring to their lives. With this in mind, some of the key pleasures of keeping chickens includes delicious eggs, creating a more sustainable environment, as well as being a source peace and serenity in your life.
Some people may not know that free range chicken eggs are not only tastier, but they are actually better for you when compared to store-bought varieties. Keeping chickens is the perfect way to have a fresh supply of delicious and nutritious eggs at your fingertips – whether you prefer your eggs to be poached, fried or scrambled you’ll never be short of these protein packed ingredients if you decide that keeping chickens is right for you.
Keeping chickens is one of the easiest ways to live more sustainably – they help eliminate scraps, produce an all natural fertiliser, assist with composting, and not to mention- all those eggs! Keeping chickens is one the easiest and most rewarding ways to start living green.
Peace and serenity
Many people find that keeping chickens is an easy way to make them feel more connected with nature, which brings them a sense of peace, serenity and harmony, each time they look out into their backyard and see their flock free-ranging.
How much do they cost?
There are many factors that go into the pricing of a chicken, irrespective of location worldwide… many of which aren’t considered when people new to the poultry world look at an advertised price.
Without going into a mindboggling financial breakdown which would include mind numbing mathematical equations, they can be summarised by the following contributing factors:
· Establishing quality breeding stock
· Infrastructure (coops, sheds etc
· Ongoing food and health supplements (when needed)
· Vet bills, vaccinations and medications (if you believe in that course of action)
· Land rental
· Incubator and brooder equipment
· Cost of electricity 24/7 for minimum 9 weeks
And lastly, poultry breeders have to factor in the cost of hatching and raising cockerals into their costs. At a minimum, breeders have to factor in that at least 50% of their hatched chicks will be roosters, of which there is no viable market demand. If the pendulum swings the other way, and we get more pullets, it is a blessed rarity.
What will I need? The Basics:
*You will need to ensure your new chickens have a strong clean coop and clean bedding. Size will depend on how many you are thinking of keeping.
*A feeder and a drinker
*Food (depending on type and age of birds)
*Shellgrit and Shellgrit Feeder (laying birds)
* come and have a chat with us about what you will need - we are happy to advise. There are different foods, drinkers and feeders for different situations. We would love to help you set up your new coop!
What will I need to do each day when keeping chickens?
keeping chickens is a relatively easy job, so long as you establish a strong routine. Here are some of the things you’ll need to do for your flock each day…
- Ensure that they have plenty of food and water.
- Spot check the coop to make sure it is clean and sanitary. If the coop looks too dirty for chickens, make sure you change the bedding as well as cleaning out the feeder and waterer if need be.
- Empty the nesting box of any eggs your flock has left for you – otherwise they might eat the eggs themselves.
If you are letting your girls free-range, be sure leave the door of the coop open so they can come and go as they please. If you are unsure if you want your flock to free-range, come and have a chat with us about the pros and cons.
- Count your chickens at the end of each night before they go back in the coop to ensure that everybody is safe and well.
From time to time other jobs will come up, like giving your coop a thorough clean, bathing your chickens or maybe attending to any mite and lice infestations. however for the most part, day to day life with chickens is pretty relaxed.
Your birds will need to be wormed every three months and also a preventative used to keep lice and mites at bay in your coops - come and have a chat to us about these things.
What is the cost of keeping chickens?
After the initial start-up costs keeping chickens is actually one of the most affordable pets available. On average, chickens might only range from approximately $25 per month, with the addition of animal bedding, such as sawdust which will cost less than $10 per month. Of course these figures go up and down depending on how many birds are in your flock, however ultimately these great little pets are reasonably inexpensive to care for. This does not even include the money you’ll be saving on eggs and fertiliser – not to forget all the peace and joy they will bring to your life. For more about the cost of keeping chickens simply
For any animal lover, keeping chickens is a tranquil and relaxing experience that you can savour for many years, maybe even your entire life. Though there are a few things you need to get on top of in the early stages, caring for these fine feathered friends can be a blissful and rewarding experience to be relished every day.
Have some more questions?
We are happy to ask all the questions you may have about your new found hobby! call in and see us and we will be happy to run through all the questions you may have