Im trying to start a small poultry farm. Any advice?
May 17, 2010 1:04pm CST
I'm a stay at home mother at the moment but i would really like to put the land here to use (we've got 6 acres)so i have gotten a small gaggle of ducks and hope to raise them for meat ,eggs ,pets ,and down. i started with ducks mainly because i have heard that they are much easier to raise than chickens and i'm interested in the qualities of duck eggs. i hope to expand into heritage breeds of chicken and turkey and eventually geese but thats all for later for now the ducks promise to be a good start i hope. so i'm wondering if theres anyone out there reading this that has any advice on small scale free range poultry farming or maybe on marketing because i'm great with animals but no so great with people. i'm looking forward to your helpful responses :)
17 May 10
You need a good space and make sure you have the right supplies for chickens. Although a shed will make an ideal chicken coop, it is just the start. Measure the coop to determine how many chickens it can house. Each chicken should be allotted 2 to 3 square feet of space. Putting fence around the property will give the chickens a chance to roam without danger of outside predators like coyotes. Set up nesting boxes for the chickens and line them with straw or shavings. Put additional straw or shavings on the floor of the shed so that chickens who don't want to nest or roost will still have a place to rest. Set up a heater in your shed. Keep your chickens at a temperature of 80 to 90 degrees, and never less than 70 degrees. Maintain good circulation in the shed by keeping the doors and any windows open during the day. This is important not only for the chickens themselves but also for keeping the shed well aired and odor free. Allow chickens to roam outside at this time as long as you have a fenced area for them. Always shut them in again at night. Feed chickens on chicken scratch twice a day. Throw several handfuls onto the ground in the area in which your chickens congregate. Chickens will also eat snails, worms and bugs from the lawn. Provide water for the chickens in heavy, shallow dishes. Change out the water regularly to keep it clean, as chickens will probably walk through it and may even attempt to bathe in it. Clean the chicken coop once a week to keep it clean and as odor free as possible. Gather eggs from the nests ever morning once chickens begin laying.
• United States
17 May 10
thanks so much. i have the ducks in an old horse run in shed that i put a front wall and a door on. i hope to get a fence around the property as soon as possible though my most likely predators are foxes as coyotes are very rare here. but i do have a pair of dogs to discourage most things from coming into the yard for now.