When keeping urban chickens, there are a few basics that they will need.Here are some tips and ideas for your urban flock.
Your girls will need a safe secure place to board. If you have cats you need to make sure that their coop has no place where a cat can get in. Dogs can be trained to live quite well alongside them, but not if they are hunting dogs.
They will also need a pole to roost on at night. We have two tires filled with straw for them to lay in. We clean their coop and replace their straw weekly which gets added to the compost pile. The manure is a great accelerator for the composting process.
Pet supply companies sell bulk chicken mix but our girls also enjoy the following:
*Crushed egg shells (important for their digestion)
*Warm oatmeal porridge
*Once a week one scrambled egg
*A cup full of snails collected from neighbours gardens (weird huh?)
*Weeds from the veggie patch
*Worms from my compost heap
*Fresh water every day is imperative. We have a water feeder that fills as they drink which saves lots of schlep.
They need time to roam and do what chickens are designed to do â€“ scratch and sand bath. It is best to have them on a sand surface in a coop than concrete, but do make sure they have time out in the garden.
In winter make sure they are dry and warm. Cape winters are wild and wet, so we created a black builderâ€™s plastic cover for them to keep them warm and dry.
In exchange for caring for your girls properly, you will get the best extra large free range eggs ever. Once you have seen what a fresh egg looks like you will realise how stale the eggs are from the shop. We often get double yolks too, which is such a surprise for my children each time!