Top Ten Tips for Backyard Poultry Keepers

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL - From the Ancona to the English Dorking, backyard flock owners love their birds, whatever the breed. We've published a range of features this year to help you look after your poultry - and here's my top ten!
calendar icon 24 December 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

1. Why Keep Backyard Chickens?

Need some persuasion to start out with hobby farming? There are many great reasons to keep backyard poultry, including fresh eggs and meat, the pleasure of displaying your birds at a show, self-reliance - or just friendship!

2. Simple Poultry Housing Tips for the New Poultry Owner

This article from Kansas State University outlines the key aspects to consider when setting up your first backyard poultry house, such as heating and ventilation, predators, and how it looks to the neighbours.

3. New Chicks: What to Do Once They Arrive

A chick will never get over a bad start in life, so make sure your chicks get the right care as they settle in with these tips from Purina Animal Nutrition.

4. Nutrition for the Backyard Flock

Make sure your birds get all the nutrients they need. Good access to fresh water is essential - if a hen runs out of water for even a few hours, egg production may be reduced. But carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins are also necessary in a bird's diet.

5. Tips for Starting a Successful Backyard Laying Season

This article provides housing and nutrition tips to make sure your hens stay happy and healthy - and hopefully hit their laying targets! Key tips are to make sure hens have cosy nesting sites, and adjust the diet to aid egg production.

6. Management Guide for the Backyard Flock

Research and planning are essential to running a small poultry flock. Find out more about management considerations like bedding material, feeds and how to select birds for meat production in this guide from the University of Georgia.

7. Backyard Poultry Biosecurity

These tips from the US Department of Agriculture are essential to keep your flock disease-free and happy. It's also key to keep an eye out for disease in your birds to protect surrounding commercial poultry operators and wild birds.

8. Marek's Disease in Small Flocks

The good news about Marek’s Disease is that it is rare in small flocks, but make sure you keep it out using vaccination, and by good hygiene practices.

9. How to Keep Your Backyard Flock Cool and Comfortable in Summer

The summertime essentials are similar for both humans and backyard flocks: stay hydrated, protect yourself from the heat and maintain a complete and balanced diet.

10. Why Traditional Poultry Breeds?

Traditional breeds are an important part of an integrated and sustainable farm. Each pure breed’s characteristics suit it to a climate and certain production goals. Christine Heinrichs discusses the joys of the many different poultry breeds.

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