Q: What’s the difference between a chicken and a rooster?
A: A chicken is a generic term used to refer to both sexes. A hen is female; a rooster is male.
Q: Do I need a rooster to get eggs from my hen?
A: No, a hen will lay eggs regardless of whether or not a rooster is present.
Q: Where do you get chicks?
A: Find a local person who raises chickens or check at your local animal feed store.
Q: How many chickens can I have?
A: Check your village or city’s ordinances. Laws vary from locale to locale.
Q: Do I have to have a coop?
A: Yes, absolutely. Chickens need to be protected from both aerial and ground predators.
Q: I have a cat. Will it kill my chickens?
A: A cat will probably not take on an adult chicken, but you might lose a chick or two. However, my cat when I was growing up she used to let the chicks ride around on her back. She never bothered them. Keep an eye on the cat and how it acts toward the birds.
Q: I have a dog, and I want chickens. Should I be concerned?
A: My opinion is that dogs are more of a threat than cats. It depends on the breed. My dog was a German shepherd/golden retriever mix. He grew up with the chickens, goats, sheep, and other animals. He knew they were his to protect and never harmed them. HOWEVER, keep an eye on the dog; behavioral cues can reveal a lot. Also if hens are around a dog that barks a lot, it will be upsetting to the birds and could interfere with laying.
Q: What do I do with the chickens in the winter?
A: Keep your coop in a place that is protected from the wind. Provide lots of straw or other bedding that will trap heat. Give the birds plenty of protein-rich food and fresh water.
Q: How often do I feed and water them?
A: Just keep their feeder topped up and change the water daily. Be sure to scrub out their food and water dishes thoroughly with hot water & detergent to prevent bacterial growth.
Q: Can chickens fly?
A: Not very well, but well enough to clear a fence. Get one wing clipped (Does not hurt them) and then they will always fly in a semi-circle.
Q: How do I catch a loose chicken?
A: Run fast! Try to corner it or wait until they roost for the evening. Chickens don’t see well at night. A good method is to use a large fishing landing net.
A: It depends on breed, time of year, the age of the bird, and environment. Good layer breeds will lay about 300 eggs per year. Hens lay less eggs in the winter. Feed hens on layer pellets for best results. A hen will lay best between 1 and 3 years of age.
Q: How difficult is it to keep chickens?
A: It’s been compared to keeping a dog — except you don’t have to walk them. You need to open up their coop in the morning and close it at night (There are automatic devices that do this, but best done yourself), keep feed topped up, change water daily and clean coop every week.
Q: Can I hatch eggs?
A: Only if 1) you have a rooster 2) you have a breed of hen that goes broody (or you have an incubator). Keep in mind, though, that 50 percent of your hatch will be male. Figure out beforehand what happens to the boys!
Q: What's the best part about raising chickens?
A: Fresh eggs every day and interacting/watching them. They are the funniest animals with individual characters.