Chickens. By Delia, Grace & Viana. Main question. How are chickens sustainable?. Sub-questions. What are the main steps for raising a chicken? What are the basic requirements needed to farm a chicken? What problems may occur when farming a chicken?
Chickens By Delia, Grace & Viana
Main question How are chickens sustainable?
Sub-questions • What are the main steps for raising a chicken? • What are the basic requirements needed to farm a chicken? • What problems may occur when farming a chicken? • What are the benefits of having chickens? • How do you house the chickens for meat and egg production? • What is the difference between meat-bred chickens and egg-bred chickens?
Introduction • One of the main things you will need to know is how to raise your chickens so they are easy to care for and are in a healthy state.
Raising baby chicks • First you have to buy a baby chick. • When chicks are newly born they can be put in an incubator for around 24 hours. • The baby chick’s feathers will not protect them from the cold so you will need to keep them warm. • They should probably stay indoors for around 5 weeks. • The first place the baby chicks live is called the brooder. • This could just be a cardboard box. • The bottom of the box should be cover with something soft like newspaper. • This liner should be changed every couple of days so it is clean and dry. • Chicks will need a lot of water so the water will need to be checked frequently. • The first things the baby chicks will eat are ‘crumbles’. • The chick’s beaks will need to be trimmed when they are very young. • They need to be trimmed because if they aren’t the chicks will begin to peck each other which could cause problems. • Along with their beaks the chicks wings will also need to be clipped this is so that the chicks don’t fly away. • The clipping of chick’s wings doesn’t hurt them because you will only need to clip some feathers.
Raising adult chickens • Chickens usually live in a chicken coop where they lay and roost. • They also need a chicken run to get exercise. • Their coop needs to be dry and clean. • There also needs to be a place to hold food this has to be clean and dry and have a tight lid. • Most chickens will search for their own food but you can throw in some oyster shells for calcium and grit for their beaks to work properly. • Adult chickens can live in a cold environment if they have a coop to live in. • All chickens have a threat of being eaten by a predator; small chickens have a greater risk. • Ways to prevent this are by making fences around where your chickens are kept. • Chicken behaviour is largely to do with what breed they are and their gender or size, but all breeds will be more placid (calm) if they are handed at birth.
Conclusion • Through this investigation it is clear that chickens are quite easy to care for although they can sometimes be a bit aggressive. • They are low maintenance and they wouldn’t take to a lot of time to care for.
Introduction • The owner of the chickens must learn how to farm and care for them when they are baby chicks and fully grown birds. • To start a chicken farm you need to have an appropriate budget. • This budget will cover the costs of starting the farm for example: building or buying chicken coops, water systems, weekly budget and buying the chicks. • First you need to have a piece of land that is specifically sized for the amount of birds and their size. • The chickens need to have a house called a coop. • You can make a coop or you can buy it online or from a dealer. • We’ve worked out that for 20 families we would need about 3 chickens per family, so that would give you on average 2 eggs a day (because most families won’t eat eggs everyday). • You will only need 2 roosters in your farm and you must keep them separate from the hens or else your eggs will be fertilised.
Land • For 1 chicken you need at least 10sq feet of land, so if the families had about 60 chickens (overall) they would need 600 square feet of land. • The land must have specific netting fenced around the land. • This netting is called chicken mesh and it is used so that the chickens are enclosed and are safe from predators. • The land must have grass for the chickens to eat and find food in.
Coops • The coops need to be a specific size. • There needs to be 4sq feet per chicken. • The coop must be opened all the time (including winter) so the chicken can have fresh air to be healthy. • If the coop is not opened then the chickens will get diseases and will be stressed which causes them not to eat. • The coop needs to be opened so the chickens can get out and exercise. • You will also need to clean out the coop at least 4 times a week so the chickens are in a healthy environment.
Vet and laws/regulations • The chickens will also need to be checked by a vet to ensure that they are healthy. • When you are going to start a backyard chicken farm you need to make sure that you are obeying the law, so you will need to check the regulations for poultry farms.
Conclusion • Through this information it is easy to see that the 20 families would need a lot of land, equipment and time but if everyone cooperated everything would work out. From this information I agree with it and everything makes sense.
Introduction • Although chickens are a fairly easy animal to care for there are some issues that may arise when owning and/or breeding chickens.
Some issues you can have with chicks are: • Curled toe/s this is when the chick’s toes begin to curl sometimes this is genetic and something’s it just begins to happen; to help this condition you can splint the toes and that will straighten them. • Another disease is called ‘egg break disease’ this is when the chickens is nearly reaching the age of menopause and they are deficient in calcium and the shell of the eggs are not strong; this disease is usually fatal. • Egg eating: this is when the chicken start acting with bad behaviour and can start eating eggs this can be cured by a large amount of attention. • Spider mites are small red insects that bite chicken. • Tape and Round worms will give the chickens a drop in egg production and diarrhoea. • Lice is another issues that affects chickens. • Red mites will make the egg production go down. • Northern mites will give chickens a scabby comb, face and wattles. • Chickens can also create problems for humans because chickens carry bacteria that can cause illness to humans; chicks are especially prone to shed bacteria. The most important bacteria humans need to be aware of is salmonella.
Conclusion • Through this information I can see that chickens do have some issues with health and sometimes can affect human’s health although I think if the community worked together to make sure the chickens are always in a clean, safe environment and checked for health issues often , so that this would not affect the way they live and the chickens would be fine.
Introduction • Before grocery stores had dozens of eggs piled up on their shelves priced at $4 a dozen, thousands of people were finding out the benefits of raising their own chickens. • Other than the obvious benefit of having a regular supply of eggs, there are seven other benefits from starting your own backyard flock of chickens:
1. Eggs from your backyard flock of chickens will be healthier. • Factory-farmed chickens live their lives never touching the earth and are treated poorly. They are also fed unnatural and unvaried food. These circumstances are made for chickens to produce eggs quickly and cheaply. But the outcome of it is that the egg is less nutritious than eggs that are produced by chickens that have been able to run and scrounge around for bugs and worms. • It is proven that factory-farmed eggs have less vitamin E, vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids and beta carotene than free-range eggs.
2. Eggs from your backyard flock of chickens will be tastier than eggs that are store bought. • Fresh food always tastes the best. When you go to the supermarket to buy eggs, are they really fresh? • When you have your own backyard flock you’re the person who picks up the eggs, which insures that your eggs are fresh and unharmed.
3. Chicken manure can be used as fertiliser on your garden. • The manure from your chickens can be used as highly nutritious fertiliser for the garden.
4. Chickens can get rid of those nasty pests that live in your garden. • Chickens eat grubs, worms, earwigs and other bugs which help keep your garden pest free which makes everything more convenient.
5. When chickens search for bugs, their scratching is good for the soil. • Their scratching will keep the top layer of soil loose which gives the soil effective water absorption.
6. Buying a chicken to produce its own eggs is very cost efficient. • It is cheaper to raise your own chickens for laying eggs because it doesn’t cost you anything apart from the additional feed and tools that might be needed to build the coop. You can even sell your eggs to other families.
7. Chickens that are at the end of their egg-laying life can be discarded in a convenient way. • Once your egg-laying chickens cannot lay any more eggs you can sell them off to meat companies/factories that will use the carcasses. • Egg-laying chickens can be discarded by having them for tea as this is another sustainable way.
Conclusion • From viewing this information you can see that there are lots of good benefits from raising chickens. It shows that chickens can be sustainable in many ways and that it is uncostly too.
Introduction • If you’re going to begin using chickens for meat and egg production, you need to know how to house them or who knows what might happen. • Even though there are only a few points, they are very important and must be remembered.
A few pointers: • Male chicks are separated from the female chicks • This is because the male would fertilise the eggs of the females and this is unnecessary unless you are trying to breed chickens. • The egg-layers are separated from the chickens bought up for meat • This is so the chickens do not get mixed up and it’s convenient for you anyways.
Conclusion • We only found a few bits of key information that was important for this question. • It was hard finding information but the bits of information we did find are logical. • In our opinions I think these bits of information are useful.
What is the difference between meat-bred chickens and egg-bred chickens?
Introduction • When you’re raising chickens you need to know how chickens adapt to certain things. • Because you’re deciding to raise chickens for meat and eggs, you need to know how to raise them etc.
Meat-bred Chickens • Chickens that are bred for meat are much bigger and musclier than egg-bred chickens. • These chickens take longer to grow. • Factories feed steroids to grow bigger and faster, but we will not because it is inhumane. • For meat-bred chickens, females and males can be used, meaning that they do not have to kill the males when they are baby chicks. • Males grow much more quickly than the females. • Females grow 1.1 kg in 5 weeks. • Males grow 2 kg in 6 weeks. • To make sure that the meat-bred chickens do not get leg problems from supporting a lot of weight, the owners have to keep a close eye on the feed that they give to the chickens.
Egg-bred Chickens • The chickens that are best for egg-breeding are commercial hybrids, for example the Shavers and the HyLine. • These chickens come from the Rhode Island Red (chicken breed). • These two breeds lay eggs that are brown. • These chickens are bred to make a lot of egg which is called a high egg production. • They can lay up to 280 eggs per year. • The only bad thing about these breeds is that they do not produce good offspring. • Chickens that are bred for eggs are much smaller than meat bred chickens. • Chickens do not like to lay eggs in the winter because they need their energy to stay warm.
Egg-bred Chickens continued… • It will lay NO eggs if it is under or over weight, dehydrated, stressed, has lice, nits or worms, a bad habitat, bad weather, over crowding, disease or fighting. • The chickens will lay FEW eggs if it is hungry, bad weather, dehydrated, too dark, disease, predators stealing their eggs, not enough nest boxes for them to lay their eggs in. • Sometimes male chicks are killed because they have no use in this type of production. • When they are around 4-5 months old they will start laying eggs. Free range chickens sometimes do not lay eggs in the winter. • A chicken will only lay eggs if it is good condition.
Conclusion • From viewing this information it is easy to see that there are lots of differences between these two types of productions. • We can also see that there are certain types that most farmers pick because of their certain genes and traits that are connected to the certain production process. • We thought that this information is helpful and helps people understand better about chickens.
Bibliography • http://library.thinkquest.org/05aug/00044/id33.htm • http://www.small-farm-permaculture-and-sustainable-living.com/how_to_raise_chickens.html • http://stonybrookfarm.wordpress.com/farming-practices/farming-practices-meat-chickens-aka-broilers/ • http://www.ehow.com/how_5168706_start-egg-chickens-food-profit.html • http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/Raising_Chickens_for_Eggs • http://www.demesne.info/Garden-Help/Keep-Chickens/ • http://www.diychickencoops.com/raising-chickens/pros-and-cons-menu • http://www.small-farm-permaculture-and-sustainable-living.com/how_to_raise_chickens.html • http://www.ruleworks.co.uk/cgi-bin/TUfaq.exe?Guide=Poultry&Category=Poultry%20-%20General#q5 • http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/BRKRaisingChicks.html • http://www.examiner.com/x-346-Gardening-Examiner~y2009m1d18-Ten-benefits-of-raising-backyard-chickens • http://www.mnn.com/food/farms-gardens/stories/the-benefits-of-raising-chickens
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Bibliography continued… • http://www.alibaba.com/member/sobhiabdin.html • http://www.backyardchickens.com/ • http://www.chickenhop.com/info/info.html • http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/AD4.pdf • http://www.elsenburg.com/infopaks/els/058/058e.html • http://egglayingchickens.com/best-egg-laying-chicken-breeds.html • http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/feeding.html • http://www.enc-online.org/GoodNews.htm • http://www.alive.com/454a2a2.php?subject_bread_cramb=816 • http://www.mybackyardchickenfarm.com/ • http://www.instructables.com/id/Backyard-Chicken-Coop/ • http://www.instructables.com/id/Backyard-Chicken-Coop/ • http://www.google.com/search?q=+requirements+needed+to+farm+a+chicken%3F&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1
Overall Conclusion How are chickens sustainable? From answering our sub-questions we then found out the answer to our main question. Here are ways chickens are sustainable: • They are easy to care for. • The are not costly to farm. • They do not necessarily need lots of land. • They provide different food options for us. • They provide natural pest control. • If we farm chickens, later generations will be able to farm them too in a similar manner.