Hello everyone, last week we talked about the benefits of keeping a small home poultry for your family. This week we want to take you through the process of preparing your poultry and getting ready for those little chicks. As you read, bear in mind that you can get someone to brood your chicks for you until they get to a certain stage, then they get delivered to your home. In this post, we are going to assume that you would actually be brooding your chicks yourself.
What You Need
First you need to decide what kind of birds you want to keep and the number. Remember that there are different kinds of domestic birds from layers, to broilers, cockerels, quails, guinea fowls, turkeys, egg laying birds and even ostriches. As you can see, there is a wide variety for you to choose from. Whichever you decide upon, carefully consider the numbers you can handle. Do not bite more than you can chew. There’s no harm in starting small at the beginning and then increasing the number as you gain experience in managing them and according to the demand.
Choosing Your Space
You need some space where you can raise the birds. That is the first consideration before you get started. You could use battery cages or simply keep them on the floor of a room. Whether you constructing a house for your birds or do you already have some space you want to put to use here are some things to keep in mind:
- Make sure there is proper ventilation.
- Ensure that there are no grasses growing too close to the poultry due to reptiles and scorpions or insects that bite.
So now you are ready for your chicks and you have even designated a place where you plan to raise them. Here are the steps you need to follow to ensure that you are fully ready for your chickens:
- Book for your chicks from a reputable farm and get the date the day-old chicks will be delivered to you.
- Clean the room. Use the date of arrival of the chicks to plan and use the time while you are waiting to clean the room/space you plan to raise your birds. You may need to wash the room and remove cobwebs.
- Disinfect the room, a good bleach such as Jik will do. Just mix a small quantity in water and rinse the floor after washing. Splash some on the walls.
- Allow the floor to dry and spread sawdust or wood shavings on it a day or two before the arrival of the chicks. This is to allow the airing of the sawdust or the wood shavings.
- Don’t forget your feeders and drinkers. You must get the right feeders and drinkers ready for the chicks. Flat and round trays (bright coloured one preferably) for feed and small plastic drinkers with bright coloured lids.
- Arrange for warmth. Because Day old chicks come without feathers they need to be kept warm and so the room must have some sort of heat: either from an electric bulb, a kerosene stove or a pan of coal. Whichever is available and convenient to you.
When all these are ready then you are set to get started with a viable poultry from which you will feed your family with health meat. In the next post, we will focus on raising broilers for meat.