I’m not sure that there is any data that quantifies how many more eggs you can get out of a happy chicken, but most people that raise animals could tell you that keeping your animals happy will help you get what you want out of them. Stress can cause chickens to fight with each other, molt, and can have an effect on any animals immune system. Keeping your chickens happy will reduce costs on keeping
them healthy and will provide you with more eggs and better meat. Here are some ways to please your chickens.
Chickens that are confined are going to be more prone to stress and have a greater need for dietary supplements. Despite what most people think, chickens don’t eat grains or bugs as much as they eat grass or other greens. If your chickens are confined make sure to provide them with greens. A cheap way to do this is to grow comfrey. Chickens love comfrey, and it can be dried so that you have some in the winter.
If your chickens are confined, you have probably notices that they have scratched the earth bare in their pin. Chickens love to scratch, and keeping them off the mud and their waste will reduce their exposure to parasites that could slow egg production or even be passed from the egg to you. Keep your chicken’s pin filled with a thick layer of fresh (fresh meaning that it is reasonably dry and not covered in chicken manure) mulch. When they have soiled it, it will be covered in nutrient rich manure that your garden will love.
Chickens are social animals that have a well-ordered hierarchy. If this hierarchy is disrupted fighting will ensue. One way to reduce that amount of fighting is to provide roosts for your chickens that are at different levels. The more dominate the chicken the higher it will roost. If there is only one height the dominate chickens might attack a less dominate chicken for being at their height.
None of these tips are difficult, so do your chickens a favor and keep them happy. They will be healthier, more productive, and live longer to provide you with more food.
If you liked this, you might also enjoy…