Breeding chickens has become one of the most lucrative businesses for many farmers. Raising backyard chickens does not require huge capital as compared to other businesses. Breeding chickens entails a process of raising small chicks until they mature up and start laying eggs.
The first step will entail preparing a house for your chickens. Depending on the number of chickens you have, you need to erect a house where these chickens can rest and hide from potential risk like predators. A well spacious room will allow you to collect the eggs as well as maintaining high levels of cleanliness. Also, you need to equip the house with feeders and water points.
You need to select roosters and hens which will lay eggs. This can be outsourced from breeding firms. Ensure that these chickens do not have any deformities on their bodies. It is recommended that one rooster for every ten hens can greatly enhance high production rates of eggs.
As there are many different breeds of chicken, learn about them before you actually purchase the chicken. Primarily chicken can be segregated into 3 broad categories: pure breeds, egg-laying hybrids, and mixed hybrids. Each has their own special quality. For example, the egg-laying hybrids are bred for the specific reason of laying eggs and have small bodies and not enough mass for them to be slaughtered for their meat.
Feeding the chickens is one of the critical factors when breeding. Proper feedings will facilitate production of high-quality eggs which can hatch chicks. Immediately the hens will start laying eggs. This is followed by marking the dates your eggs are hatched to plan for brooding. Egg marking can be done using pencils and not mark pens to avoid closing air spaces in eggs which allow air circulation.
Since there are two methods of brooding, you can choose the one which suits you better. You can use incubator in case many chicks are required or naturally allow the hen to brood the eggs. The regular time for brooding is only 21 days. The best time to brood hens is in springs since the chicks will mature at autumn.
Take the chicks to the brooder one week after hatching. You should allow the hen to stay with the chicks for one week to teach them on how to feed. During this period, ensure the chicks are supplied with plenty of water as well as chick mash. Vaccination against coccidiosis and Newcastle disease should be done to boost their immune system. Chicks grow strong when they are allowed to exercise and bask on sunlight to obtain vitamin D.
It’s recommended to introduce changes gradually to chicks in order to avoid causing stress to them. After six months the chicks usually reaches maturity, and they need to be released to mix with other flocks. To sustain their health, you should ensure that you provide adequate food as well as water. Vaccination and injection against diseases should be done regularly for mature chickens as well.