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Chicken Supplies

You've got a coop and chickens,
now what about your other chicken supplies?
Here's a list of the other things chickens need.

Chicken Supplies for Baby Chicks

You'll need to set up a brooder. You'll also need a quart-sized water container(s) for your chicks. These are inexpensive and generally made from plastic. If you've got more than 4 or 5 chicks, get two of these waterers.

A food container is another need. The best kind are trough containers that either have little holes along the top or a bar running the length. Both of these measures are to help keep the babies from making a big mess of their feed.

Chicken Supplies for Larger Birds

Unless you want to make yourself crazy, it's good to invest in a gallon sized (or larger) water container after your babies grow some. There are both plastic and metal containers readily available at most feed stores (or make your own homemade chicken waterer for a dollar). It's generally a good idea to place this waterer on a brick or some sort of platform to raise it a few inches off the ground. This will help keep it clean, as your chickens will (seemingly on purpose!) fill the water dish with dirt and poo on a regular basis.

A food container of some sort is needed for the adult birds. Again, there are several varieties on the market, or you can make your own. Make sure it's covered on the top (to prevent the birds from climbing on top and pooping inside, and it's also a good idea to hang it 6-8 inches off the ground for easy access as well as to help prevent waste.

A smaller container located somewhere in the coop or run should contain grit (I use a tuna fish can with the sharp edges removed) and another should contain calcium.

A big metal garbage can with a lid is a great way to keep your feed safe from both the elements and other animals that might want to load up on your chicken feed.

Chicken Supplies for the Coop

Basically, the biggest goal is to keep the coop as clean and dry as possible. This requires some sort of litter (wood shavings, stall pellets, straw, etc.) to be spread around the floor of the coop (and especially under the roosting areas). This helps keep the smell (and flies) down and helps keep the coop dry as the litter absorbs moisture.

Another great thing for the coop, to mix in the litter and to add to nest boxes, is Diatomaceous Earth. This is, essentially, ground up fossils, and helps keep parasites down naturally (make sure you get food grade, which you can also mix in with your feed to help with internal parasites). This is also something you can dust your chickens with to help with external parasites, so it's a good all round, safe and non-toxic treatment for your coop.

Safe cleaners for the coop include things like Simple Green and bleach water. Some people dust their clean coop with lime (make sure to get the right kind at the feed store) for added insurance against parasites.

Shovels and brooms are great to use when cleaning out the coop. And a face mask is also a good idea (use this also with the Diatomaceous Earth--not because it's bad for you, but because it's a very fine powder and can easily irritate your eyes and throat).

Other possible (optional) supplies might include a heat lamp in extreme cold temperatures or a fan in extreme heat.

Chicken Supplies for Health

I'd add the Diatomaceous Earth to the list here, because of all the benefits listed above. In addition, a dish scrubbing brush is helpful to scrub out the waterers on a daily or near daily basis. Occasionally, every month or so, it's also good to wash the waterers with soapy beach water. Make sure to rinse them well.

Electrolytes for poultry and Vet RX are both non-toxic, great things to have on hand. They both help a variety of ailments and chicken problems in a safe, non-toxic way.

Many of the things your chickens will need are things you can add as you go. You don't have to buy them all at once, and some you may decide you don't need at all, or you can make a cheaper alternative.

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