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My First Chicken!

My First Chicken

Owning a Chicken

Chickens! A great addition to any family with the added benefit of fresh eggs!

Chicken check list
Download a printable checklist

Important: Check with your Council!

All councils in Australia have guidelines & regulations about the restrictions and limitations of keeping chickens in residential and rural areas. Ensure that you check with your local council the minimum requirements they set for housing chickens. You may not need a permit, but you may be required to notify them of your flock!

Chicks or adult Chickens, ex-battery or breeder specific hen’s? (there are so many choices!)

Make sure your research what type of hen you wish to keep as some require different environments and specific needs. Your most common breed’s for egg laying are the Rhode Island Red’s, ISA Brown, Hi-sex Brown and the Hyline Brown, but there are so many different breeds available, it just depends on what you are looking for.

Housing

It is important to provide your flock with protection against varying weather conditions and direct sunlight. The house must be ventilated; however, it must also provide shelter from draughts and very hot winds. Protection from foxes, cats, dogs and other predators is essential so make sure you are prepared!

To determine the appropriate size of a hen house, allow approximately 0.37 square metres (4 sq.ft.) of floor space per bird.

Feeding & dietary requirements

Laying hens are omnivores, meaning it is in their nature to consume meat and vegetable material. In the wild this would consist of insects, worms, carcasses, seeds and other plant material. Layers will not survive on vegetable scraps alone. To achieve good health, well-being and egg production, the laying hen must receive a balanced diet.

Hens use small insoluble stones to grind feed in their gizzard. They require grit when being fed coarse grains such as wheat or other feedstuffs where grinding is necessary for digestion. Grit is generally described as small insoluble stones or larger pieces of shell grit of approximately 3mm (1/8'') in diameter.

A great treat every now and then is live crickets or mealworms as they are both high in protein and help with your egg production. Mealworms are a great choice, as each mealworm is nearly 50% protein

Internal & External Parasites

Damp conditions promote the build up of internal parasites in a flock. Control dampness by attending to leaky drinkers or taps and avoid spillage when water is supplied by hand. Ensure that open areas are well drained and that rainwater cannot enter housing. Remove damp litter or soil and replace with clean, new material and fill in depressions.

Attention should also be paid to cleaning and sanitising nest boxes, drinkers and feeders and any maintenance required undertaken before placement of the birds.