Raising Chickens for the First Time – Common Mistakes & How to do Better

raising chickens for the first time
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We all make mistakes on a daily basis, which is not good, but still very real.
Mistakes are there to be made, but the consequences can be very bad. It usually depends on how a big mistake it was indeed. We usually learn from the mistakes we made and move on, but when it comes to raising chickens, big mistakes shouldn’t happen, because in many cases they are deadly.

This time we dedicated this article on a few common mistakes that new chicken keepers make, in order to prevent further issues and damage.

The mistakes we listed below will hopefully help the new chicken owners who start raising chickens for the first time.

More experienced chicken keepers are expected to have overcome all this by now.

Ten mistakes chicken can’t live through

1. Not having a first aid kit

Having a first aid kit in advance is of an enormous importance for you. Bear this in mind because you never know where is the trouble? You should be always well prepared, so when problems happen, you can react.

Trust on this. You don’t like unexpected health problems in your flock, at Sunday nights when you can’t look for a vet help.

2. Not keeping an eye on the predators

Since predators can bring very hard damage to the owner, they shouldn’t be underestimated. Take as many preventative measures as you can and ensure that your flock is safe and well protected from the predators –> https://www.typesofchicken.com/top-10-chicken-predators-and-how-to-protect-your-flock/

You need to take different measures for different predators, because they are all different thus attack differently.

As one measure won’t work against all predators, make sure that you identify well the predator first, and then find out the best solution to keep them far from your coop.

After you identify the predator you can make traps, set a chicken fence, fix all the openings etc.

3. Free ranging the chickens without protection

Always try to find the safest way of free ranging the chickens daily. If you haven’t trained your pet dog for this purpose, or maybe you don’t have a dog, then you can get a guard dog that is bred to guard poultry.

4. Introducing new flock members too quickly

One of the biggest mistakes that new chicken keepers tend doing is surely when introducing new flock members for a short period of time.

Adaptation is very important here. It is a whole process that requires a lot of time and effort from the keeper. Nothing good comes easy though.

The new members should be segregated first, and then mixed in the flock one by one and at certain period of time, not at once. The old members need time to get used to the changes as well. Trust on this in order to avoid the possible problems of bullying the new comers.

Additionally, the stress of moving chickens from one location to another may be very stressful too. Since the stress can lower their immune system, you must be very cautious when planning to do this.

Don’t forget: Size and temperament should also be considered when introducing new members to the flock.

5. Keeping pesticides near the coop

As you shouldn’t leave any pet food near the coop, especially not covered or locked, especially at nights, you mustn’t leave any pesticides near as well. The food around may attract the predators easy, so it is not recommended to keep it that way.

As any pesticides and chemicals can endanger your flock, they shouldn’t be found near.

Considering the fact that some of your chickens can ingest certain chemicals, you should avoid using them as a poison for the predators.

6. Using a lamp to heat the chickens

Heating chickens during the winter period is completely unnecessary.

Therefore, don’t use a lamp to heat your chickens, because it can sometimes be really dangerous. If installed incorrectly, it can start a fire.

Chickens don’t need heat lamps. This is true.

One more interesting point here:

Chickens huddle together to keep themselves warm.

7. Buying chicken waterer that is too small

Buying too small waterer can be a very big problem. On the contrary, you should always try to choose the waterer wisely. Since chickens must have fresh water at all times, the size of the waterer is very important, so that all have easy access to the same. Beside other things, clean and fresh water enable your flock to grow properly.

8. Too small or too big coop

First, plan the size of your coop. It shouldn’t be either too big or small. The chickens must have enough space to feel comfortable.

The coop shouldn’t be overcrowded or empty. The size of the coop depends on the number of chickens you are planning to raise.

9. Not counting the chickens at lock up

You should always know the right number of the chickens in your flock. It is easy, isn’t it? It shouldn’t change if everything is fine, but….we suggest that you count your hens every night before locking them up. The missing chickens may suggest possible predators near the coop. There is the trouble. Remember, it always comes unexpected, so be ready to deal with it.

It is always better to prevent, than to cure.

10. Not having sunshine and shade in the coop

When chicken keepers don’t leave both sunshine and shade in the coop, they seem to face with difficulties. When you build a coop, you should always pay attention to these two factors.

Lack of these factors can affect chickens health badly. On the contrary, chickens need both to lay eggs properly and just to be healthy. So, they can go to whatever side they want. They can lay in the shade and cool down, or they can sunbathe and do dust bath as well.

We honestly hope that you find this article useful. Bear in mind all the tips above, and avoid making mistakes that can be deadly.

 As we told at the very beginning mistakes do happen. It is true, but at least you can always try to avoid the 10 (ten) worst when raising chickens for the first time.

 It is like a challenge for you. Isn’t it?

Finally, don’t forget to share your personal experience with us. Tell us about the mistakes you’ve probably made as beginners.


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