If you’re new to raising chickens on your own property, you’re far from alone. According to the USDA, almost 1% of all American households reported owning backyard fowl, with 4% more hoping to start within five years.
Raising your own chickens, whether for eggs or meat, can be a rewarding experience. Many people prefer doing so in order to provide a better quality of life, leading to more nutritious eggs and meat in the long run. This works best, of course, if you’re opting for an organic chicken coop!
Whether you’re raising chickens in your backyard or setting up your own small chicken farm, here are a few quick tips to help you raise your chickens organically.
Aim for a Balanced Diet
Just as humans benefit from a balanced, healthy diet, so will your chickens!
The first thing to consider for an organic chicken coop is your feed choice. Though some people opt to provide medicated feed for their chickens in the hopes of raising healthy, disease-free animals, this isn’t the most organic approach. For a truly organic chicken coop, it pays to opt for organic food instead.
Opponents of this strategy have a pretty solid argument, however: without medicated feed, young chicks may contract coccidia, which can be deadly. Luckily, proper care and prevention tactics can help you avoid this outcome.
Keep a Clean Coop
When you’re aiming to keep your chickens healthy for the long term, you’ll need to invest some time and effort into keeping the coop clean. With several chickens living in the same coop, you’ll find that dirt, debris, and excrement can build up over time. This can lead to illness and disease, both of which can not only harm your chickens but require the use of costly and non-organic medicines or chemicals for treatment.
As you construct your coop, make sure you’re placing it in an area with natural drainage, and don’t forget to ensure that you have easy access to the entire structure for cleaning.
Avoid Harmful Herbicides and Pesticides
It’s important to give your chickens access to the outdoors, but in doing so, you’ll want to make sure the surrounding area is chemical-free. Be sure to use only natural herbicides and pesticides to keep your chickens healthy.
Consider Medications and Vaccinations
When opting to vaccinate your chicks against possible diseases, check to make sure the vaccination itself is USDA-approved for organic farms.
Where possible, your goal should always be to combat illnesses through natural prevention tactics and remedies. Most illnesses in chickens are preventable, but it’s inevitable that you’ll find yourself with a sick bird every now and then. It’s considered unethical to deny non-organic medicine to a sick animal for the sake of keeping the animal “organic,” so don’t forget that you may need to accept a small breach in your organic care from time to time.
Invest in Your Organic Chicken Coop
Although maintaining an organic chicken coop can feel like a challenge at times, the results are well worth the effort. Organic chickens tend to be healthier and happier than their commercially raised brethren, and watching them grow safely from chick to chicken can be very rewarding. Start working toward a more natural chicken coop today!
Looking for more helpful guides like this one? Check out our other tips for additional insights!