It’s spring, which means it’s a great time to start your own chicken coop. Raising chickens can be very easy. They are flock birds, so you should have a minimum of three in your coop. Your coop doesn’t have to be anything fancy, as long as it provides shelter for your birds and protects them from harmful predators. They will need a nesting box, a place to perch and containers for fresh food and water.
Raising chicks can be a great experience for kids, that can help teach them the importance of responsibility. There are many benefits to having chickens. The main one is having delicious fresh eggs. Eggs from your own backyard will taste so much better than store bought eggs, and they are better for you as well. Chickens are also great for bug control. Chickens will eat bugs like ticks and mosquitoes that are harmful to humans. As a parent, having chickens in your backyard is a good way to help prevent your kids from getting ticks. And if you like to garden, chickens will become your new best friend. Chicken poop makes great natural fertilizer. Also, they will eat all the unwanted bugs that would normally eat your plants. Chickens will eat many of your leftover’s, so you don’t have to waste any food. Fruits and vegetables can make a great healthy snack for them. As always, do your research to see what your birds can and can’t eat before giving them anything.
I was recently honored to have been invited back to my former middle school by 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Flores, to give a class about raising chickens and the importance of protecting animals. The students had a lot of fun seeing the different breeds of pigeons and chickens up-close. We discussed my work as an animal educator and journalist, as well as my role as an Ambassador for Pets and Wildlife. We talked about my annual trip to Albany for NYS Animal Advocacy Day where I join the Senators and Assembly Members to speak about protecting animals. It’s a great day to get together with other animal lovers to discuss animal rights and how we can best protect them from abuse. Abuse can often begin when someone doesn’t know how to take care of their pet, which is why it’s important to educate yourself before getting one. The students were very interested and eager to get involved with helping animals. I’d like to give a shout-out to 6th grade student, Kristopher Soriano, for coming up with so many great questions.
Victoria’s Fun Facts and Tips:
• Chickens can lay many different colored eggs, including, blue, green and chocolate brown and they dream just like us.
• When a chick hatches, they can see, walk, eat, and drink right away.
• Animal Advocacy Day will be held on Tuesday, June 5th, 9:30am to Noon in the Well of the Legislative Office Building in Albany. All are welcome!
• Our publisher, Assemblyman Dean Murray, is a huge supporter of pets and wildlife, and works tirelessly on their behalf in Albany.
• The Barn, in Deer Park, sells beautiful coops. They also have everything you will need to care for your birds.
• Visit www.poultryshowcentral.com for info on shows, breeders and all things poultry.
Written by Victoria Bonavita
For more information on me, please visit www.VictoriasAmazingWorld.com. And if you’d like me to visit your school or library for one of my animal education programs, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org