Learn, read, study before you start!
Maintaining a small livestock requires time, attention and resources. Don’t take this project lightly.
Take courses, training, read books and find a mentor.
Keep in touch with self-help groups by city on Facebook example: Poules à Terrebonne entraide et gardiennage.
Be aware of your municipal by-laws, for example, it is forbidden to slaughter hens at home in urban areas.
Plan in advance what you will do with a dead or sick hen.
Chickens are social animals, plan for at least 3 hens minimum.
Learn from the online webinar!
Good Neighbourhood Etiquette:
Talk to Your Neighbours
Explain to your neighbors your intention to have chickens, where the chicken coop will be set up and when they will arrive.
Reassure your neighbors that you will take good care of your chickens and that their privacy will not be affected.
Be ready and courteous to answer their questions.
Plan and set up your system and accessories in advance
Consider all the daily and seasonal details so that you can properly manage your installation.
Find a plan, plan your materials and costs. Build a chicken house and aviary that is adequate and large enough for your chickens.
Add Nature Sorb peat moss and wood shavings.
Prepare a system to store your grains.
Keep your coop free of odour and ammonia build-up. If you smell bad smells, it means that your coop is not clean, therefore unhealthy for your hens and a nuisance for your neighbors.
Provide a safe, spacious and clean coop
A dry place to perch at night in the henhouse and an external enclosure for sun, fresh air and shade.
The chicken coop should be large enough to allow the hens to enter, move around and feel comfortable. You must provide a perch large enough for them to be able to get away from each other.
The coop should be well ventilated to allow fresh air in and warm, moist air out throughout the year, even in winter.
The run should be large enough for all your chickens to circulate, stretch, scratch, dust bathe, and express their normal behaviours. The aviary should also have a shaded area. Cities generally have minimum dimensions in the hen house of 0.37 square meters per hen and 0.92 square meters per hen in the aviary. These are minimum standards. It goes without saying that the larger the aviary, the less likely you are to have problems with pecking.
The coop and the run must be completely predator and rodent proof.
The addition of heat sources for the winter is not necessary and can cause damage and fire accidents. Several species of hens are resistant to cold and will survive our winters very well.
Fresh water at all times and clean. Plan how you are going to do it so that the water doesn’t freeze. Plan to buy an electric waterer.
Feed for laying hens at all times and adequately every day.
Table scraps alone cannot be a good source of adequate and balanced nutrients.
Let your hens find their natural supplements on their own by stimulating them to discover and scratch the soil.
Examine and observe your chickens every day.
Notice any physical or behavioral changes.
Be very careful before introducing new chickens into your flock, it creates a lot of stress, can bring parasites, injuries and diseases. Do a 30 day isolation and proceed in stages.
If your chickens peck a lot and are very aggressive, they could run out of space. Enlarge your aviary or reduce the number of hens.
If you don’t know how to do this, ask the experts for help.
Keep your chickens in your yard. Don’t let them walk around if you don’t have a fence. Protect property from predators. The automatic gate will be a great asset to help you.
Don’t let food attract rodents and undesirables into your chicken house.
Roosters are not welcome, they are too noisy in urban areas.
Share your eggs if you have plenty of them with your neighbors. Be proactive to make sure your neighbors feel good and don’t worry about your chickens.