Keeping chickens is becoming more and more popular in the UK, with normal households choosing to keep them as pets or for eggs, or even to produce their own meat. Those who are thinking of keeping chickens should be aware that there are laws around both keeping chickens and selling eggs, and that rearing your own poultry will take a lot of time, effort and equipment.
Chicken keepers should check with their local council for any restrictions that may be in place, and ensure that they have enough space for the chickens to roam, eat, lay and sleep. Chicken housing must be waterproof, safe from predators, ventilated but draught free and with perches and sleeping areas. There is a wide range of housing options available for chickens, depending on the number of chickens you keep and your needs.
If keeping chickens, you will also need to buy one or more feeders and one or more drinkers, depending on how many chickens you are keeping. A feed bin that is safe from both predators and pests is essential, along with a feed scoop, bedding and nest boxes. You will also need to ensure that you have the relevant feed supplements and medical supplies, such as anti-lice, mite and flea powder, poultry tonic and garlic powder.
There are various types of feed available for chickens, including both mash and pellets. Any feed should be checked to ensure that it contains the right mix of nutrients, and fresh drinking water should always be available. You can also feed your chickens treats, such as fruit, green leafy vegetables and live mealworms to keep them happy and healthy.