Chicken supplies are the foundation to raising a happy flock. These are some of the basic requirements that make it possible to keep chickens.
Just like us, chickens have their needs too. The same way you need a fully furnished house with utensils, chairs a bed and so on, your flock need their own things too.
In this article, I am going to take you through some of the supplies for chickens you need. This will help you as a beginner to raise healthy and happy chickens.
You are at liberty to add or subtract those things you may need or not need.
11 Best Chicken Supplies You Need As a Beginner
Chickens need shelter and a place to call home. This will keep them safe from nocturnal predators like possums and raccoons.
It is inside the coop where your hens will lay their eggs in the nesting boxes. They will set and even hatch those fluffy chicks for you.
Put enough roosts for your girls because chickens prefer to sleep perched. The chicken coop roof should be made of good material like iron sheets not to lick and make the birds chill in cold weather.
The doors should be big enough to let them in freely without congestion. In addition to this, make sure it is well ventilated to allow free circulation of clean air.
Do not locate the coop on a place where flooding can occur. Furthermore, do not locate it near dog hoses or near the vehicle parking because strange loud dog barks and engine noise can easily scare chickens.
Food is very basic to chickens just as it is to you. They require a well- balanced course to get nutrients for healthy growth and development.
Rotten or moldy chicken feeds should be avoided by all means. They can lead to ill health or even death when ingested.
For the baby chicks, they require a chick starter feed because it is rich in protein. These little critters need high amounts of protein at the rate of 22-24%.
Do not forget that chicks are in their rapid development stage and have more muscles, tissues and other body organs to develop calling for more protein.
Laying hens need a calcium rich diet but low in protein. Calcium will help them produce eggs with strong and healthy eggshells.
There are several types of feeds available on various online stores like amazon. Organic chicken feeds are the best because they have few chemicals in them.
Water is very important in the health of your birds. It will keep them well hydrated and help them cool off on a hot summer day.
However, it is not possible to water chicken without waterers. They are very useful chicken supplies that will keep chicken drinking water clean and fresh from bedding and poop.
During winter, every drop of water will solidify and turn into ice. Chickens can easily die of dehydration or crop impaction because most of the foods they eat are dry.
Perhaps you are wondering how long can chickens go without water. Well, not more than 48 hours and in hot climates, denying them water for 24 hours can lead to death.
You will need waterers depending on the number of chickens you have. Less than six chickens will need one plastic waterer while more than six chickens will need several of them depending on the number of birds.
Chicken feeders are other essential poultry supplies that you need to have. They will help keep the feeds clean and fresh minimizing wastage and loss.
Automatic feeders will help keep rodents, wild birds and other vermin out from stealing your chicken feeds.
They will work well even when placed out during the rainy season. When buying chicken feeders, it is good to consider the number and size of your birds.
Chickens love tasty treats and gifts. Treats are good because they help supplement their diets with extra nutrients.
Some chicken treats like food scraps and leftovers help minimize food wastage. However treats do not have all the nutrients chickens need and should be fed in moderation.
They can be used to entice chickens to come back to the coop and roost on time. Some like cabbage can be hanged for the birds to peck at and break boredom.
When idle, chickens will turn into bullying, feather picking and fighting.
Coop heaters are important chicken supplies during winter. They will help keep the birds warm and prevent them from chilling.
Chicken coop heaters are available in different sizes and designs depending on what you want. They will help keep chicks warm because they cannot control their own body temperature.
However, some heaters are dangerous and can cause coop fires by igniting beddings and other materials in the chicken coop.
In addition to this, most of these accessories for chickens can only be operated using electric power. This will pose a challenge to those living in areas that are not connected to electricity.
These chicken tools will be helpful to those farmers planning to raise meat chickens. They will help pluck the feathers from a carcass making work easier.
They are available in different sizes depending on the number of chickens to be butchered. Chicken pluckers have rubber fingers that will help clean off the feathers.
These chicken supplies work well when you have a poultry scalder that will help loosen the feathers by the help of hot water.
Some poultry pluckers will help pluck chickens and other birds like ducks, geese turkeys and pheasants. They will help reduce the time used to pluck using hands as well as reduce the labor cost.
Baby chicks are not able to control their body temperature from hatching until when they are 6-8 weeks old and fully feathered.
From the incubator, baby chicks should be taken in the chicken brooder. Here, they are supplemented with heat using infra-red bulbs and heating plates.
They are also fed, watered and vaccinated where necessary. You can tell the brooder temperature by looking at their behavior.
When hurdled together under the heat source, they are cold and need more heat. If they are cold, they can easily chill and die.
If they are away from the heat source and at the corners, there is too much heat for them. This will bake them or lead to dehydration.
It is advisable to have a thermometer inside your chick brooder.
Chicken egg incubators
Egg incubators are very essential chicken supplies. They will help hatch those eggs for you if you do not have a broody hen.
Chicken egg incubators will hatch many chicks at a go compared to hens. Some types have automatic features where they will turn the eggs and control the moisture levels.
However, they are a bit expensive although there are smaller ones that are cheap. They can be used to hatch eggs of other poultry like quails, silver pheasants, African geese and Magpie ducks.
Hawk netting is a good method to control chicken predators like hawks and other birds of prey. They are available in different sizes depending on what you want.
These chickens netting area made of high quality plastic material that will last long. They have a rope to help secure them firmly and keep hens safe.
They will prevent roosters flying and getting into your vegetable garden or in your neighbor’s compound.
Automatic coop door
An automatic coop door is a good tool when raising chickens for home. It will close and open to let chickens ion and out even when you are away.
However, some chickens may delay to get out and will be locked in the coop. A predator may sneak in and get locked together with your birds.
These doors are well made such that no predators will break in. Opening and closing time can easily be adjusted to suit your schedule.
When raising chickens, supplies are very necessary. They make the work easier and make the hens happy and healthy.
There are more than the above listed chicken supplies. However I have only gone through some which are very important.
You can choose to buy some which are very necessary at the beginning. Later on, you can add one at a time according to the where and how you want to use it.
Do you have chicken supplies? Let us know on the comment section.