Chook keep­ing check­list

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - LYNDA'S PROJECT -

Check your lo­cal coun­cil by­laws be­fore get­ting chooks. Some coun­cils have strict guide­lines for the size, lo­ca­tion and max­i­mum res­i­dency of back­yard hen houses, while oth­ers re­quire no pa­per­work. Roost­ers are gen­er­ally a no-no in ur­ban ar­eas. Brown shavers are re­li­able lay­ers, pro­duc­ing an egg a day ex­cept when moult­ing. As a gen­eral rule, one lay­ing hen per mem­ber of the fam­ily is ad­e­quate. Hen houses must be dry and draught-free, with a perch for roost­ing and sep­a­rate lay­ing boxes. If you’ve never kept chooks be­fore, I’d rec­om­mend pur­chas­ing a kit­set hen house to at­tach your own run to. To de­sign and build your own coop from scratch, google DIY plans on the in­ter­net. Hens must al­ways have clean drink­ing wa­ter. Au­to­matic drinkers are avail­able from rural sup­plies stores and vet­eri­nary prac­tices. Don’t over­feed chooks with sup­ple­men­tary feeds. These sim­ply at­tract rats.

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