If you are considering purchasing cute little fuzzy chicks during chick days, remember one thing. Those chicks grow out of the cute stage and become chickens. Proper hen care is essential to ensure that your backyard beauties grow, thrive and produce eggs for you as nature intended.
Let’s debunk some myths about basic hen care. Hens can’t run free-range in your backyard. They need more than table scraps to survive. They do require vitamins and minerals, and they do actually like “bathing” in the dirt. You won’t get a dozen eggs out of one chicken each week.
Why Hen Care Matters
A hen is just like any other living, breathing animal. It is dependent on you, or someone, for its basic needs. Those needs include food, water, shelter and companionship. A hen is a protein factory. The eggs they produce are filled with healthy nutrients, including protein.
Hen care is essential if you want your chickens to continue to provide you and your family or friends with a healthy source of protein. Just two large eggs provide 13 grams of protein. Eggs are one of the few foods that provide all nine essential amino acids.
However, hens need time to produce those tiny protein packages. It takes a chicken about 24 to 26 hours to produce just one egg. Light stimulates egg production. That is why you might notice some of your hens don’t lay as regularly in the darker, drab months like winter.
Let’s explore these tips for proper hen care.
Shelter Protects from Weather, Predators
Shelter provides your hens protection from both Mother Nature and predators. You should make sure to have a secure coop where your hens can stay inside at night, putting them in at dusk. Be sure to provide them with a fenced area to roam around and peck in during the day that adjoins the coop.
The coop should have plenty of nesting boxes–one per every 3 chickens–and a place up high for roosting. To help ensure predators stay away from your birds, consider building your coop elevated from the ground.
Another consideration for your coop is to determine if you will include electricity in it or not. Remember, in winter, when it gets dark earlier and is dreary during the day, hens don’t produce as many eggs as they do when they are getting 14 hours of light. Even artificial light will help encourage their egg-laying habits, so consider putting lights and potentially a heat source in your coop.
Cleaning the Coop Leads to Improved Hen Health
To help maintain good health for your hens, they need a clean environment to live in. It is essential to clean their coop and outdoor run at least once a week. Be sure to remove all manure and waste material from the coop. Broken eggs and shell remnants should also be removed as they can attract predators.
A clean coop will help eliminate diseases and any health challenges that chickens might have.
Nutrition is Vital
Just like humans, hens need all the vitamins and minerals to maintain a healthy lifestyle. An important part of providing them with good nutrition is ensuring that you clean their feed and water containers out daily. They need fresh, clean water each and every day.
BioZyme Inc. has created a line of products purposefully crafted to support the well-being of birds, Backyard Boost®. See how you can include each of the three Backyard Boost products into your daily routine.
Backyard Boost® Daily Essentials
If your hens are going to produce protein-packed, nutrient-dense eggs, they are going to have to have a diet that contains the nutrients they need for a healthy diet. Introducing Backyard Boost® Daily Essentials, pelleted protein supplement for poultry designed to maximize digestibility and egg production. Daily Essentials contains AO-Biotics® Amaferm®, a research-proven prebiotic to enhance digestibility. It also contains AO-Biotics® EQE, a postbiotic research proven to enhance egg quality. This supplement also provides nutrients needed for overall well-being.
Backyard Boost® Defense
During stressful times, Backyard Boost® Defense can become your hens’ best friend. This liquid supplement for poultry is designed to support digestion and a healthy immune response. The “green liquid” includes Amaferm and nutrients needed in times of stress. Its formula helps promote water intake and hydration.
Backyard Boost® Busy Balls
Hen care includes mental care, so we have developed Backyard Boost Busy Balls, a prebiotic treat to bounce your birds’ boredom. These treat balls contain Amaferm to provide digestive support for overall well-being. The ball shape helps alleviate boredom, which often leads to undesirable behaviors like pecking and fighting in chickens.
Boost your Hen Care Today!
Want to know more about hen care? Explore our Chicken Care Cycle today.