If you anticipate raising chickens while still in college, be sure that you will commit yourself. Raising chickens is one of the easiest activities for college students. Some of the students start it as a hobby to get healthier and better-tasting eggs and meat than those sold in different supermarkets.
Before jumping in, there are things that you need to consider to balance taking care of the chickens and the school life. Here are tips on starting raising chickens while still in college.
Start with mature birds
As a college student, you don’t have all the time to look after the chicks because they mostly require special attention. It seems enjoyable to take care of the chicks to many students, but it’s the opposite when things get practical. Mature birds are not stressful to handle as most of them do not require special attention.
If you supply them with all the requirements, they will start laying eggs as soon as possible. Within the first month, you will have collected many eggs that you can sell to different retailers. This option saves you a lot of time to handle most of your assignments and research.
Most college instructors expect well-researched work to capture all essential details. This is sometimes challenging with college students, and most opt to pay for paper writing services. With adequate time, you can plan effectively and choose the best research paper writing service if you face any challenges. And this is only possible with keeping mature chicken. Different service providers offer paid research papers to students. As a student, you can try to pay for a research paper on EduBirdie for quality writing services. The site offers plenty of other free writing tools that are worth trying.
Go for dual-purpose breeds
In most cases, chickens are classified as either layers or broilers. This can be confusing when you enjoy both the eggs and the meat from the same chicken farm. Here, you are trying to maximize the profit margin to make the most out of your little time.
If you are undecided on the kind of breeds that you should keep, go for the ones that can lay decent eggs and still provide quality meat. Dual-purpose breeds seem to be better for the students instead of ending up with so many roosters or hens that do not lay eggs.
Design a simple coop
There are better coops with advanced technology and designs, and there shall still be better coops for chickens. But not all students can afford a fancy design for the chickens. If you fall in this category, get a simple coop that is affordable and can easily be repaired in case it gets damaged on one end.
The good thing is that chickens do not require a fancy resort to be happy and more productive. Your coop should ensure that the chickens are protected from external predators and have a place to roost and nesting boxes. Ensure that you provide them with a room to move around just for exercise.
Due to the limited budget, you should always aim for a cost-effective process. It’s upon you to make your chicken venture complicated or as simple as possible. If you have adequate space, you can free-range the chickens when possible as this will cut down on their food bills and provide them with a natural diet.
Ensure that you don’t use chemicals or special washes to disinfect the coop; instead, make homemade solutions. Switch the lights off to keep their laying pattern as consistent as possible. Staying natural will help prevent unnecessary stress that may arise due to complicated procedures.
Keep proper routine
Time management is a factor when raising chickens as a student. You won’t have all the time to keep on feeding the chickens and providing them with water. Provide them with adequate food and water at normal levels instead of a little more often.
Chickens are not like pets to spend most of your time doting on them. You will not like it when dealing with a large number of chickens. They should constitute one of the lower maintenance aspects of the homestead. Consequently, you will spare some time for your studies.
From the above points, starting raising chickens while still in college can be complicated or straightforward, depending on how you choose to make it. But in this case, you don’t have all the time and the energy to come up with fancy structures, and you have to keep things normal and realistic. You have to make sure that the chicken venture doesn’t interfere with your reading schedule for the college course.
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch.