Why would I rent chickens? If you're not sure or do not want the commitment of owning chickens permanently, then renting is for you! Other reasons customers prefer renting over buying include: - Not sure if you want to tend to your chickens in the winter months (although certain breeds of chickens can endure the harsh South Dakota winters). - Not sure where/how to construct a coop. - With a simple phone call to Paul, you can discontinue your rental agreement (after the two month minimum). - You have the option of ending your chicken experience when they're done laying eggs.
How many eggs can I expect each day? A good layer can produce up to 6 eggs per week, but the average tends to be about 3 to 4 in a 7 day span. A healthy chicken can lay between 200-250 eggs each year. Please note, your hens may take a few days to get accustom to their new environment before settling back into a laying routine. Chickens produce the most eggs in the first 2 or 3 years and then slowly reduce production.
What do chickens eat? Chickens are omnivores, meaning they will eat a wide variety of food. A steady diet of chicken feed is important to give chickens the calcium and protein needed to lay eggs. Other food sources that are acceptable in moderation include: soft vegetables, fruits (not citrus), breads, pasta, and other table scraps. Here is a good article about what NOT to feed your backyard chickens.
Can I let my chickens outside of the portable coop? Yes! Chickens require a relatively small amount of space (the portable coop is sufficient) to be happy and healthy, but they do enjoy foraging around a fenced in yard for insects. For the safety of your chickens, please return them to their coop at night.
Do chickens carry any diseases? According to the Center for Disease Control, chickens may have Salmonella germs in their droppings and on their bodies, even when they appear healthy and clean. It is important to wash your hands thoroughly after handling chickens or being in their environment.
How do chickens handle the changing South Dakota weather? Chickens will adapt to warm and cold weather over time. Their body metabolism actually changes along with the seasons. In the cold winter months, it's important there is a constant source of water. Make sure to check the water dispenser on a regular basis to make sure it is not frozen. A source of fresh, clean water is also crucial in the warm summer months. If possible, move the portable coop to a shady area.