Gardening is really a excellent first key to be self sufficient. After the garden, a consistent source of meat is the next reasonable step. Soy beans are a fantastic source of protein, but chickens can be on the menu too. Chickens provide choices which make them perfect for the backyard. Maybe you only want chickens for meat or for eggs. You have a choice. This article will give you a brief overview if you are thinking of keeping chickens.

Chickens are a member of the genus Gallus. Gallus is Latin for "rooster." Chickens are actually fun to tend to. Chickens provide great food for the family with their eggs and meat. There are lots of varieties of chickens. This gives people the opportunity to select their favorites. Keeping chickens can be an educational opportunity.

The expense of keeping chickens may vary significantly. All chickens must be housed in something. Housing is required. But, extremely lavish housing just isn't needed. Fencing in the chickens is essential because they can get into your garden and flower beds. Your preferred breed may be hard to find in your area which could increase their expenses. All of those costs can vary drastically.

There are many types of individuals who are sensitive to live chickens. Family members should be examined to find out if they're allergic. Learning early is important. The easiest method to check is to visit several chickens. You can see chickens at fairs, poultry shows, and zoos. Look for others in your area whom sell or keep chickens. Give them a call and visit. If one makes sure you and your family is not allergic, you will save so much money.

You should also be familiar with the downsides to keeping chickens. Chickens can produce a great deal of droppings. The droppings can smell and attract flies if you do not manage them. An additional bad thing is the scratching chickens do. Ensure you don't have them anywhere near seedlings and fragile plantings. It is best to provide them with their own area. The dust made by this scratching may cause an issue when they are kept in an outbuilding where equipment is stored.

Your neighbors need to play a significant part of your planning where you should keep your chickens. Hens make sounds, but not like roosters. Roosters make a lot of noises. Roosters crow at dawn. But, additionally they crow at night and when they need to warn the flock. If this is an issue, think about keeping hen-only chickens. Hen only flocks are fine. One of many tasks of a rooster is to fertilize the eggs. Roosters allow you to hatch chicks. Without one, you will have to settle for eggs and meat.

There's a great variety of chicken breeds. Before you pick one, you should know what your chickens will provide to you. Don't stress. This decision doesn't need to be a difficult decision. Your flock can provide meat, eggs, or both, but you should know prior to starting your flock. You will find egg breeds and meat breeds. You could consider a hybrid breed. But beware, hybrids usually are not especially great at either. Another choice is to maintain two flocks. One flock for eggs and one flock for meat. Isn't it great to have options?

All hens will lay eggs. Even so, numerous breeds lay more and superior eggs than others. Fantastic hens can lay greater than 20 dozen per year. The very best producers are known as egg or layer breeds. The best producers or layers are smaller sized and produce white-shelled eggs. There are several excellent brown-shelled layers as well. In reality, many people consider brown layers to be simpler and calmer which makes them great to keep. Minorca, Ancona, and Leghorn are examples of great layers.

Meat breeds usually are not as small as egg breeds. Egg breeds spend all their time creating eggs. Meat classes help identify when you should butcher your chickens. The classes are: Broiler, Cornish Hen, Roaster. The Cornish Hen will be the youngest of the three. Roasters are the oldest. Make sure you keep in mind the feeding costs associated with the time it requires the chicken to get at its butchering weight. The cost per pound grows as the feeding costs rise. Keeping chickens involves planning even before you begin. Fantastic meat breeds feature Australorp, Orpington, and Cornish.

Hybrid breeds usually are not great at laying or producing meat. However, you can find some excellent cross breeds. Hybrid breeds don't lay as many eggs. Also, you will need to wait longer for them to be large enough to butcher. Make sure you watch your feeding costs. Having your own chicks is usually not a choice for hybrids. You'll have to be a regular customer with a hatchery. The very best examples of this breed are New Hampshire, Plymouth Rock, and Wyandottes.

Young chickens or pullets start laying around 20 weeks old. Hens lay one egg every four days and are small. 30 week old hens will begin laying regular size eggs every three days. The poor performers of the group should become prospects for slaughter. This will ensure your group is operating efficiently and costs are kept within bounds.

Keep close track of the body weight for the meet breeds and remember the meat class you happen to be using. When butchering time arrives, you will need to get ready for butchering. You will find fantastic resources for doing this, but mostly practice will make you an expert. Also, you may find a local butcher if you're not enthusiastic about undertaking this activity. In either case, you'll have one of the better meals you have ever had.