Egg Production in Backyard Chickens

One of the most obvious benefits of raising backyard chickens is the eggs you get. But how does the laying cycle work? And how many eggs will a chicken lay in her lifetime? Learn answers to these and other questions from Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart in this video!

 

Helpful tips:

  • Chickens will start laying at around 20 – 24 weeks of age, depending on the breed
  • Most hens will lay their best in the first three seasons of life
  • Most standard laying breeds will lay around 250 – 300 eggs per year
  • Providing artificial light enables you to get eggs from hens year-round
  • Stress and dehydration can cause hens to stop laying

 

Raising Meat Birds

Interested in raising chickens or other poultry species for meat? It’s a different game than raising laying hens. Listen in as Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart shares valuable advice on getting started in the meatbird world.

 

Helpful tips:

  • Cornish Crosses are the best bird to raise for meat
  • Separate them from other breeds
  • Restrict their diet to feed 12 hours on, 12 hours off
  • Feed a specialized meat bird diet that is higher in protein

 

Feeding Chicks and Layers Together

Bringing baby chicks home to add to your existing flock? Check out this video from Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart for tips on feeding the entire flock properly through this transition.

 

Helpful tips:

  • Feed baby chicks, or juveniles, chick starter crumble until they are 16 weeks of age
  • Have oyster shell available for adult females as crumble feed have very little calcium

 

Keeping Chicken Feed Fresh

A big part of keeping your backyard chickens happy and healthy is providing them high quality chicken feed, like those from Nutrena! But if you don’t store your feed properly, no matter what brand you buy, you can run into trouble. Learn from Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart a few key tips to keeping your feed fresh and your girls happy!

 

Helpful tips:

  • Dump feed in a metal trash can with a lid on it to keep out rodents
  • Save the tag from the feed bag
  • Keep feed in a dry, cool place
  • Buy a little less feed in the summer time, more trips to the feed store

 

Transitioning Chicks from the Brooder to the Coop

If you bought new baby chicks this spring, they might be getting close to ready to go from the brooder to the coop. Learn from Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart how to make the transition a successful one!

 

Helpful tips:

  • Chicks should be fully feathered before transitioning
  • Place chicks in metal dog crate for two weeks before moving to the coop
  • Add water stations in hot weather 
  • Keep chicks on chick starter feed for 16 weeks

 

Mixing Poultry Breeds in Your Flock

If you’ve been at the chicken thing for a while, you might be interested in adding some birds of a different feather to your flock. Check out Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart’s advice on mixing breeds in your backyard flock.

Helpful tips:

  • Some breeds that make good producers, layers and are friendly include Naked Necks, Wyandottes and Sex Links
  • Bantams are miniature chickens and exist in every breed, but they do not mix well with the big ones
  • Cornish cross meat chickens do not mix well with other chickens

 

Biosecurity in the Coop

If you are raising backyard chickens, you need to consider biosecurity. Not just for your chickens, but for your family as well. Check out this video for Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart’s advice on keeping everyone happy and healthy.

Helpful tips:

  • Don’t kiss your chickens!
  • Wash your hands after you handle chickens
  • Have a pair of “coop shoes” that you do not wear anywhere else
  • Do not borrow equipment from friends
  • If you bring in a chicken from someone, quarantine them for a minimum of three weeks