It is only common sense that dictates to raise chickens one must have chicken supplies. For those who may be new to raising chickens at home, the sheer number of chicken supplies that are on the market can seem overwhelming. The truth is you only need a few, inexpensive items to get started. Let’s take a look at some of them.
All chickens, even those that are free range, need a chicken coop. The coop is used as a place for the birds to sleep and rest, and it gives them shelter in bad weather or extremely hot or cold weather. Chicken coops can be bought pre-made or you can order plans and build your own. They are fairly easy to construct, and are also fairly inexpensive.
Your coop will need to off the ground if at all possible. This keeps bugs and snakes out. You should also make sure that you have a roost for the birds to sit on. This is where they sleep and you should have about 3 feet of roost per bird. And lastly, your coop should have some kind of ramp for the birds to use to get in and out without having to jump.
The next important item for your chicken supply list is water. Chickens must have clean, fresh water everyday. You can purchase very inexpensive water stations and place them around your exterior coop area. The more chickens you have, the more stations you will need.
Feeding stations are also important. These can be bought or built, but do try to have enough of them so that the birds will not fight over food. This is very important if you have smaller chicks in your flock that might be forced away from the food by the larger birds.
Incubators, brooder boxes and heat lamps are needed if you plan to hatch your own eggs. All of these items can be purchased online or at many farmer’s co-op’s. When buying incubators, spend the extra couple of dollars and get one that has an automatic egg turner. This will save you a lot of hand-turning when it comes to hatch the eggs.
Brooder boxes are where you place the newly born chicks. You can build your own out of cardboard or buy one for just a few dollars. You will need to make some type of bedding in the bottom of the box. This can be done with either old newspapers or with straw.
The heat lamp is used above the box to keep the chicks warm. There are many models available for chicken hatching purposes, and it is a good idea (for safety reasons) to get one that is designed for this particular purpose. Choose one that fits your budget and that is easy to maintain.
If you live in an area where other animals pose a threat to your flock, you will need to put up some form of fence around the coop and run. You can use chicken wire, of course, and this works for most areas of the country. However, make sure the wire mesh is small enough to keep smaller animals out of the coop.
If your area has hawks, you will need to provide overhead protection as well. Again, chicken wire can be used for this purpose.
These are the basic chicken supplies that you need in order to get started. You can always add more as time and budget allow, but for those just starting out, this is really all you need. The vast majority or chicken supplies you need can be found online. Just do a simple search for each item and you will be on your way to raising chickens like the pros.