Looking After your Backyard Chickens
Feeding Your Chickens
- Your chickens need lots of clean, fresh water.
- To get the most delicious, nutritious eggs, your chickens will need laying mash (grain), and egg grit. There are many varieties inc Organic so call if you need advice.
- Each chicken will eat approx 120g to 150g of mash a day. Overfeeding your chickens can make them go off the lay or can allow them to become picky with their grains. Cheeky things! Feed as you would a working dog. A little bit mean with the supply to get excellent results.
- The medium egg shell grit assists with egg shell production and acts as teeth in their gut to grind up food.
- Your girls will eat most of your left over food scraps (pretty much everything except crushed egg shells, protein and citrus.)
- They also love digging for bugs and eating weeds from the garden.
City Chicks chickens are self-sufficient little pets. As long as they have fresh water every day and a dry, clean coop to sleep in, they should be happy living in your backyard.
- Keep coop clean - to stop rodents and parasites from being attracted to your coop, it needs to be cleaned out thoroughly once a week using lime, a lice treatment and supar cane mulch.
- Food storage - Your laying mash and egg grit should be stored in vermin-proof containers. We recommend a secure container with a screw lid which can be ordered through our Online Shop.
- Chickens like to dust bath, where they flap, roll and sit in a dusty patch. It gets rid of lice and other bugs naturally. If you don't have a dusty patch in your yard, try a large clay planter dish filled with fine dirt and sand.
- Let your backyard chickens out of their coop for at least 3 hours each day to scratch and dust bath. Afternoons are a good time to do this as they will return to their roost in the coop upon dusk. If you let them out of the coop for the whole day, they may explore too much and scrape away seedlings and mulch from your garden beds. It can be a bit like having scrub turkeys in your yard!
- Chickens don't like being chased or grabbed by the tail. If you need to catch one, approach slowly and you will notice the chicken will crouch almost anticipating you picking her up. Gently pick her up using both hands and place her under one arm. If she is being stubborn or has been chased, she will probably not wish to be picked up so will run one step in front of you. How frustrating!
- Place your coop in a shady spot during the summer days.
- Don't over feed scraps to your chickens as this can attract vermin. Feed only the amount they eat within a period of a few minutes and throw the rest into your compost bin.
Most City Chicks chickens have been vaccinated against disease in accordance with the recommended requirements of the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries. They're healthy girls who are ready for laying lots of eggs in your very own backyard coop. If not vaccinated, then we check your girls thoroughly for any issues.
What Treatments Do They Need?
- Parasite, lice and flea treatments generally every 3 months depending on the product used, even if you think your chickens are bug-free. The product options for these treatments can be ordered through our Online Shop or bought together as a Care Pack covering all internal and external parasites.
- A safe place for the chickens to retreat to. If they're feeling stressed, they need a cool, dark place to recover in.
- Very occasionally, a chicken will die from stress or illness.