Breeding Chickens 0 19

Breeding chickens

Breeding chickensBreeding chickens has become one of the most lucrative businesses for many farmers. Raising chickens does not require huge capital as compared to other businesses. Breeding 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.

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“Chickens For Sale!”: Where to Buy Chickens 0 16

Chicken in a back yard
Chickens for sale
“Chickens for sale!”… where to buy chickens

Before you look at the sources from where you can buy the chickens, it’s important to understand that they are a number of species of the chickens. Just like any other farm varieties, the various species of chickens are also bred for very specific purpose as well. If you are extremely new to buying chickens and rearing them, the following tips are for you.

Buying chickens from a breeder and online hatchery

Of course, the first place to look for buying chickens would be a chicken breeder. Always buy from a reputable breeder. You can always get the reference for a local chicken breeder from those that own chickens in your area. Check out several breeders and look at their livestock before making a decisoin. Always take note of their livestock and look at the living conditions of the chickens. If you notice that the chickens are looking unhealthy, never buy from that breeder, even if their livestock is cheaper than the rest of the other breeders in that area.

Remember that there are a number of hatcheries that are also operating online. Even then you would first need to know the breed of chicken that you require. Find a hatchery that is reputable. There are several hatcheries that operate and you can always ask for references from the local chicken owners. Look at their websites carefully before making any purchases.

Check out their stock before you purchase the chicks online. Hatcheries won’t ship the chicks in the winter months as it becomes extremely cold for them. For this reason, the deliveries for the spring batch are booked well in advance. To ensure that you get your delivery, make sure to book for the spring batch well in advance.

When you have booked for the chicks online, you won’t get the deliveries personally. The deliveries will be made to your local post office and you’ll have to go and pick them up. Remember that these chicks will be quite thirsty and hungry, so ensure that you pick them up the very same day.

Before you buy the chickens online or from a reputed chicken breeder, here are a few steps that you should take first:

Prepare the living quarters. You will need to get the coop ready that can house the chickens and also house them once they are grown up. The ideal housing should have enough space for them for roosting and also provide protection to them from the outside predators. It’s important that the housing also has easy enough access for cleaning the area. Line the area with plenty of hay, dried leaves and keep enough feed and water for them to be well fed and looked after.

Buy the right kind of chicken feed for the breed that you have bought. Some feed is fortified with extra calcium to ensure that the chicken’s lay good and healthy eggs, while others ensure that the chickens increase their body mass considerably for chickens are meant for slaughtering.

Where Do Chickens Come From? 0 13

Where do chickens come from?
Where do chickens come from?
Where do chickens come from?

There have been various explanations explaining the origin of chickens. Charles Darwin’s studies concluded that the domestic chicken originated from the red jungle fowl. However, a new study from University of Uppsala suggests that Darwin was wrong. The first domesticated chickens originated in India and East Asia around 7000 BC. The first historical reference to chickens may have occurred in Mesopotamia around 2000 BC.

Mapping of genes that give rise to yellow legs in domesticated chicken was researched. This led to the discovery that the genetic heredity of chickens originates from the gray jungle fowl. Studies show that despite the red jungle fowl contributing the most genes to the domesticated chicken, contribution by another species should have been made: the gray jungle fowl.

The genes that contribute to yellow skin are widely spread among millions of domestic chicken around the world. One researcher concluded that the yellow in the legs is brought about by the type of feed. The more yellow the carotenoids are in the chicken food, the more yellow the legs.

The gene responsible for coding an enzyme that breaks down carotenoids is inactive in skin but active in other organs in chickens with yellow legs. Consequently, the yellow carotenoids stay in the skin in these chickens. This is referred to as a regulatory mutation due to the modification of the gene sequence which is intact.

It is still not understood why humans bred chickens with this trait of yellow legs. The same gene can be important when elaborating the flamingo’s pink color, salmon’s reddish meat and birds of prey’s yellow legs. Carotenoids are responsible for these characteristics.

A literal answer to the question of “Where do chickens come from?” as far as commercial production is concerned is a metal shed. Almost all chicken meat consumed comes from a farm. Some of the conditions are very undesirable, and this is why buying free range birds are best for your family’s diet. 94% of chicken production comes from rearing of birds. Continuous filming is done to record important statistics like water intake, food intake, and the weight of the birds.

Egg production and meat production are two different industries. For a while now, farmers have reared broilers for meat and layers for eggs. Eggs are fairly cheap, and free range chicken breasts are fairly affordable, making chickens an important staple in the diet of millions of people.