Getting started with chickens

As far as I can work out there are 2 types of chickens that people keep here, local chickens, and “Agric” chickens.

Local chickens are, well, local!  You get them at the market or from a friend or from a village, and they are usually kept in a small enclosure at night but let to wander during the day.


Agric chickens are imported and are either layers (for eggs) or broilers (for meat).  They are bred to lay lots of eggs (one a day) or to grow really fast for lots of meat – in fact they sometimes grow so big they can hardly walk.  All Agric chickens have a 20 week vaccination programme and they get their beaks and claws cut to stop them attacking each other.  This is because they are usually kept crowded indoors, eg on the floor of a garage.


Some useful vocab:

Chicks – baby hens

Point of lay – hens about 16 weeks old that will begin to lay eggs soon

Layers – Agric chickens bred to produce lots of eggs

Broilers – Agric chickens bred to produce lots of meat quickly

Spent layers – Agric layers that  have finished laying and are being sold for meat.


Useful equipment:

a feeder is really handy as you can put a few days worth of feed in it at a time.

a waterer is also a really good idea as chickens drink lots of water but tend to kick over small dishes.


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