Chook keeping checklist
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.