Some Basics For Raising Chickens (continued)
Have your back up plans and emergencies in mind. Do I need an extra coop for a sick or injured chicken? A dog or cat carrier works great and can be stored easily when not in use. Have a vet that deals with chickens, talk to them when things are good, before a crisis. You should also have some common remedies on hand. Here is a Short list for a
Eye wash, Vet Rx (nasal), vitamins, different food (high protein/fat), hydrogen peroxide,
bag balm, Neosporin, ensure or other high calorie drink, "no-pick", Q-tips, gauze and
water-proof tape. You should also have tweezers, a couple different scissors, "new skin"
or superglue, needles and surgical thread.
Flock management will become an issue after a while. What do I do if I lose a
chicken or two to predators? What to do with Broody Hens? What to do with chicks?
What to do with "Old Maids."? These are not pressing matters, but if you think about them before they happen, then they are easily taken care of.
Seasonal Effects and nature become an issue. What do I need to do as the year goes along? Sudden your coop design is not working. The needs of the chickens change over time and with the seasons, maybe not enough light or too wet. If you see a problem as it starts it is easier to fix that after a chicken gets sick.
Again this is just an outline. Experience is the best teacher; and the best students are the ones want to learn and pay attention to the lessons. Especially the unspoken ones.
Here are a couple of good Chicken references:
The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow
Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens by Various authors
Backyard Poultry (Bi monthly magazine)