Before you get chickens, think carefully about the responsibility you are taking on. Consider whether you will have any serious problems with your neighbors if you start keeping chickens. Chickens can cluck vigorously when they start laying an egg. But what supplies for chickens do you need?
Chickens are less demanding than most other pets, but they do need clean water and food every day. If you want to go away for a few days, you should make sure that a reliable person takes over your care task.
You also shouldn’t consider a neat garden very important, as chickens won’t fit in there because they just like to scavenge. When one of your chickens gets sick, you have to go to the vet and you have to be able to pay for it. Remember that the chickens depend entirely on you for their well-being.
Rescued laying hens can live to be about four to five years old. This way you can still give them a nice life as a chicken in your garden for a few more years. If you have considered everything carefully and have decided to get chickens, know that chickens are very sociable and intelligent animals that you can have a lot of fun with.
Chickens and other pets
Cats and chickens often go well together once they get used to each other. But in many dogs, the hunting instinct comes out when they see a chicken. So never just put them together! If there is enough space and the animals can get out of each other’s way, chickens can get along well with rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks, geese, goats, sheep, horses and pigs.
Top 10 supplies for chickens:
A coop that can be well sealed against predators with perches and laying nests. To combat blood lice effectively, it is important that the coop has smooth inner walls and that the cracks and seams are well sealed. On our site there is a construction drawing for such a cage. The coop should not be in a place where the sun has free play all day. Chickens cannot stand heat very well. This is one of the most important supplies for chickens.
Draughts are also disastrous, so build the coop in a sheltered place and insulate it well. It is also important for the health of the chickens that the coop is well ventilated. Tip: Take a look at the building plan of our chicken coop or look on Marktplaats under chicken coop. There you can often buy a good and sturdy second-hand chicken coop for little money.
A large run
Also needed if you let the chickens run free in your yard, so you can safely confine them for the night. And to get used to them the first week. A run is also practical if there is curfew due to bird flu. A run can also be useful to separate a sick chicken from the other chickens. The sizes of runs for sale are normally far too small. It is much cheaper and more convenient to make one yourself with chicken wire (or marten wire if necessary) and posts.
Make sure the run is high enough that you can walk in it and cover it with wire mesh or a tightly stretched net so that the chickens are also protected from birds of prey. With the help of corrugated iron, you can cover part of the run so that the chickens have plenty of dry scratching space even when it rains. Half-burying paving stones along the sides of the run prevents a fox from easily digging into the run. If you have stone martens in your area, use special marten netting. Read more about how to make your run predator-proof under Predators.
High fences and perches
A good and high fenced garden so the chickens cannot fly out of the garden or get caught by stray dogs of neighbors etc.
Good perches that round off at the top. A thick branch is also good.
Drinking trough and water
Provide plenty of fresh water every day. If it is freezing the chickens should be offered water several times a day. You can also buy heating elements for the drinking trough to prevent freezing. This is the most important of supplies for chickens.
Straw for in the laying nests
Chickens need straw to make their nest. This will invite them to lay their eggs in the nesting box.
Free-range poultry pellets (e.g. Havens) as the main feed available throughout the day and mixed grain as a supplement and treat (sprinkle a few handfuls of grain per day and use as a lure, for example, to lure them back into the run). At certain garden and animal centers such as Ranzijn and Welkoop, for example, free-range poultry grain and mixed grain for poultry in 20 or 25 kilogram bags of various brands can be purchased very inexpensively. Read more about the best chicken feed.
Sealed feed barrel
Sealed feed barrel or garbage can to put the feed in to keep mice away.
Grit with stomach gravel.
Birds in the wild are always picking up small pebbles to grind the feed in the gizzard, which facilitates digestion. Chickens do not always have the space to find the necessary pebbles, so giving stomach grit is the appropriate solution. Grit, on the other hand, has an additional function: namely, to provide calcium, necessary for the production of the eggshell. Grits are important supplies for chickens.
Suitable are: fruits, such as berries, blackberries, grapes, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, apple and pear. Vegetables, such as lettuce, endive, cauliflower leaf, broccoli, carrots, carrot leaves, onion foliage, wild garlic and chives. Herbs, such as plantain, dandelion leaf, young stinging nettle, grass (never give mowed grass due to risk of coop clogging, chickens should be able to pick from grass themselves), bird’s wallow and shepherd’s purse.
Chickens like almost anything. To supplement chicken feed, feel free to spoil them with tasty snacks. They are especially fond of macaroni, spaghetti, noodles and rice. Be careful with this and don’t give them too much or too often, as it can get stuck in the crop. Another delicacy is jarred corn and raisins. What they like best is a raw or boiled egg. Your pets will enjoy these supplies for chickens.