Guide to Raising Chickens, Ducks and Geese

Learn everything about raising chickens, ducks and geese from incubating eggs to building a homemade waterer.

| June 2012

Chickens on Ladder

A chicken coop needs a human door and a foot square chicken door that can be shut from the outside. You can close the little door at night for protection but you’ll have to get up early to open it.

Courtesy Skyhorse Publishing

From building a yurt to maintaining a thriving winter garden, The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading (Skyhorse Publishing, 2011) by Nicole Faires is all you need to live off the land. With diagrams, charts, photographs, original illustrations and comprehensive, detailed instructions that anyone can follow with relatively few supplies, this massive full-color book answers all of your self-sufficiency questions. In this excerpt from Chapter 4, “Horses and Other Animals,” learn all about raising chickens, ducks and geese. 

Chickens, Ducks, and Geese

"People who count their chickens before they are hatched, act very wisely, because chickens run about so absurdly that it is impossible to count them accurately."
— Oscar Wilde 

The chicken coop: 

Litter: At the bottom of the coop it is good to provide a moisture-absorbing cover such as wood shavings. It should be at least 4 inches deep, loose and dry. The coop should have proper ventilation and few water spills. Instead of cleaning it out once a week, you can pile it up until it is 2 feet deep.

Cleanliness: All houses and equipment should be disinfected before any new chickens arrive. Remove wet litter, Clean honeycomb and honey moldy or wet feed, dirty water, or clean out nests when droppings get in. Once a year the house should also be cleaned and painted with lime whitewash.

Water: Chickens should have fresh water every day, and it should be always available.

Young birds: Keep the young birds away from the old birds because they can catch diseases the old birds are immune to.

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