Animals Eat Chickens
Backyard chicken owners that choose to raise poultry outside may want to invest in a chicken wire fence for their farm or pasture. While we may consider chickens to be friends not food, others, especially wildlife that need to eat too, disagree. The top predatory wild animals that desire chickens for food include:
- Wolves and coyotes
- House cats
- Foxes, especially red foxes
If these animals reach free-range chickens, consider them goners. Installing fencing that is at least 6 feet high will block jumping attempts from these types of predatory animals of poultry.
Do Chickens Chew?
One of the basic questions that people asking when thinking about raising poultry is whether or not these types of birds chew.
Chickens do not chew. In fact, chickens do not have teeth. When a chicken picks up food, it is sucked down using one's tongue as it enters down the esophagus into the crop - a bulge area in the esophagus. Once it reaches the crop, it is moved to the stomach region where digestion starts to begin. Chicken digestion takes place in the gizzard region where the food is now able to be broken down.
Why are we telling you all of this? Because after bringing home backyard chickens to farms and pastures,a chicken owner may decide to buy chicken fencing. Because chickens can't chew, it would be assumed that a plastic fence will do just fine; but that is not the case because chickens have to worry about wildlife attacks from wolves, coyotes and foxes - among others. Therefore, it's best to go with a chicken wire fence that will protect chickens from the inside: A Steel Hexagon Fence with PVC-coating. Surprisingly, chickens can only fly short distances due to their size; and they can easily cross over a 4 foot high fence, if motivated. It's best to install poultry fencing that is at least 6 feet high to block short flights.
How To Raise Chickens
Yes, chickens can be pets; and for chicken owners, they are quite proud of their flock. For those interested, here is how to raise backyard chickens.
First, check your municipalities codes about raising backyard chickens and see what laws are for/against raising flock. After you get the green light from your city, you can begin the fun stuff, like caring and feeding your poultry.
Chicken diet consists of small bugs, insects and snails. Chickens also need plenty of water especially if they are laying chickens. These type of chickens that go without water for over 12 hours may risk production complications.
"Chickens need a quality balanced diet that's 16 to 18 percent protein and made specifically for their needs," says Phillip J. Clauer, a Penn State poultry expert, who notes that there are special diets for young chicks, growing birds, and layers.
Like any other pet, chickens need exercise; and installing a chicken wire fence in the backyard is both safe and convenient. Free-range chickens not only product better tasting eggs but they are healthier than caged chickens. They are more sociable when they are free to roam.
Lastly, chickens need human interaction. Feel free to hug your chickens and take them for walks (like Actress Jennifer Garner).