Chickens require adequate food and water and should be provided with a coop that protects them from predators and extreme temperatures. Chickens need daily care and should be monitored for signs of illness.
- Provide food and water
Feed the chicken a commercial chicken feed daily, and supplement the feed with kitchen scraps, such as vegetable peels cut into small pieces, and grains, such as cracked corn and oats. Hens that lay eggs also require a grit and calcium source, such as crushed oyster shells. Chickens require more food when temperatures are cold, and owners should provide them with clean water daily.
- Maintain the coop
The chicken coop should provide 3 to 5 square feet of space for each bird and should be well-ventilated while providing protection from the elements and predators. The coop should have roosts and nesting areas, and owners should examine it regularly for damage that may allow predators to enter. Collect any eggs in the coop twice daily, and allow the chickens out of the coop in the morning. Chickens should be back in the coop before dark.
- Monitor the chicken's health
Chickens are typically active and vocal throughout the day. Monitor the birds for changes in behavior, and consult a veterinarian if a chicken exhibits signs of illness.