Farming comes in various forms. There is crop farming and animal farming. You can choose to do both depending on the amount of land, time, and of course your desire to do so. When you do something that you passionately love, chances are that you will succeed. Knowing what you want and setting goals to get there are important. For many raising chickens is an easy farm animal to manage and fun to boot. I decide to raise chickens on Amaral Farms primarily for their eggs as our family eats a lot of them. However the joy of raising them is also important for us.
I raised my chickens from the time the chicks were a day old. Many we have hatched ourselves. The main things that I looked into before getting started to ensure that the chicks grow into healthy chickens were housing, caring for chickens, and free range considerations. My chickens spend from sunrise till sunset running around our property which not only allows them to spend time getting fresh air but finding their own food. When raising chicks from a day old or hatching yourself, a brooder is very important. Some people buy them and other build a brooder themselves. We have chosen to use items we already had around, for our last brooder we used a child’s playpen we no longer need. They say a heat lamp is very important but in the summer heat in Florida it is only needed overnight. We use pine chips as litter for the flooring. I changed the litter regularly to ensure the chicks are in a clean environment to keep them free from diseases. Chicks are prone to diseases and proper sanitation helps in ensuring the chicks remain healthy, so changing it every couple days is recommended.
When the chicks were a month old, we moved them to the outdoors where we have a chicken tractor for them to stay in. There they stay till usually about 3 months old, then we let them out with everyone else. There is a bit of fighting and getting chased away but they are eventually accepted into the flock. Many along the way will go missing from predator attacks or die of sickness. Can’t really stop all the possible troubles a chick faces till adulthood but we are always learning some ways to protect them on their way. Raising chickens has been a fun and rewarding experience for us and would suggest it to anyone.