Do you want chickens, but need a simple must-have chicken supplies list to help you get started?
Maybe you are overwhelmed. You don’t want to spend a lot of money, but you want the best for your chicken flock. You really just want to know what chickens actually need to thrive. A simple must-have chicken supplies list is just what you need.
I know how you feel! When you go to the local feed store, farm store or even shopping online, you’ll find a ton of different products for chickens. You wonder if you should buy a certain treat or medication to have on hand, just examples. But what you really need to focus on is what chickens NEED.
You’re in luck! This post contains the only items you will ever need for raising chickens for beginners and beyond. The good thing about raising chickens is that they really don’t need a lot. It’s true! They don’t!
I’ve raised chickens for both meat and eggs for over a decade. This list I’m about to share with you is based upon my experience but I share it with you in order to help you make those sound decisions finding the right simple must-have chicken supplies list of items to have on hand for your flock.
So, What is On This Simple Must-Have Chicken Supplies List?
What do chickens need? They need the basics: Food, Water, Shelter, Bedding and the right equipment. I’ll go into each of these categories and give you some examples of some products I use and recommend. Also, at the bottom of this post, you’ll find some of my other chicken-related articles that go deeper into some of these headlines.
I also want to say that the fact that chickens need very little make them very enjoyable to raise. I enjoy raising chickens and selling eggs as part of my business. But most importantly, I love taking care of my chickens first because if I don’t provide for them, they won’t provide for me. This supplies checklist for keeping chickens is going to shift through all of the products that are out there on the market waiting for you to buy.
So, let’s start into the chicken supply list with equipment.
Simple Must-Have Chicken Supplies List: Equipment
Obviously, chickens are living things and need to be fed and watered daily. Therefore, it’s important to have feeders and watering containers to hold the food and water.
For feeding, the system should help to eliminate spills or waste. The feeder I have linked below has taller sides, making it great for this.
Also, chickens drink a LOT of water! Your watering should be functional and efficient as well. The bucket I have linked will help you save time while making sure your chickens have plenty of water. It has a lid so the chickens will always have tasty clean water. It also has a handle for easy hanging. What’s not to like?
Like any other living animal, chickens need protection from the elements. They need shelter. And although my chickens have a chicken coop, they tend to find their own shelter in other ways.
When my chickens are free to roam around the farm, I find them in the lambing barn, equipment barn, and even calf huts. Whatever will help them stay dry but not only that – they love to find living areas that have places to dust themselves and and wet areas they can scratch round to find bugs.
But, let’s talk about a chicken coop for your chickens.
You can definitely build your own or buy one. The only draw back from buying chicken coops from places like Tractor Supply is that they are very small and don’t allow for growth.
You need to know that chickens are addictions and you will want more! That’s why I suggest building your own or hiring someone to build it for you. The rule of thumb for a size is that it has a feeder, watering containers and a nesting box for every three hens. I know you want more than three hens. This is why I highly recommend customizing your own coop.
Another thing to make sure of when you’re building your coop is that it’s large enough so that you can comfortably be in it. You’ll need to clean it out routinely and gather that lone egg that didn’t make it into the box.
Ease is the key here but also function ability.
Food & Treats
I mentioned some equipment above to hold food and treats. Now, what is recommended to feed chickens?
Layer crumble – This is a very complete feed for all laying chickens. I also give it to my young growing birds because it’s so fortified and nutritious.
Kitchen Scraps – Chickens love fruit and veggie scraps as treats! You can experiment with different ones to see what your chickens like the best.
Grit – This is small stones that chickens store in their crop to help them break down food. Typically, your chicken feed would have grit in it but if you’re not buying a feed for them, you’ll need to supplement.
Scratch – This is a combination of grains, such as cracked corn, oats, wheat and rye. Simply toss a handful out on the ground and see what they do. I’ll give you a hint: They will LOVE IT!
Bedding & Boxes
Your chickens LOVE a nice, clean bed to nestle into. They will lay their eggs in their boxes and will do so more if there’s bedding in there. It will also help to make those eggs cleaner.
Here’s some examples of great options for bedding that are easy to get:
– Pine shavings
Any one of these options are great quality options. Get whatever is accessible for you and your chickens.
And if you’re needing boxes to go into your homemade coop, you can buy some pre-made. Or you can go ahead and make them as well. Just in case, I found an economy one that has 10 boxes. There’s also lots of other options for nesting boxes, so if you follow the link to the nesting boxes, you can continue shopping for boxes.
Chickens love to hang out up high. The coop needs to have roosts for them to hang out on, especially at night.
It can be a wooden 2×4 or a steel pole that stretches across the coop. My chickens have roosted on the hose that hangs above my lambing pens! It doesn’t matter – Whatever they can safely sit on up high will be just perfect for them.
Fencing for Chickens
Everyone needs exercise and chickens are no different. If you want your chickens to run around, but truly care about their safety, you can build a fence attached to the coop with chicken wire.
What size should the run be? A great rule of thumb for size is 20×5 feet. Chickens love to be outside and should have that freedom! But they are targets of predators, dogs being the worst. This is why I have a run attached to all of my chicken coops.
Raising Healthy & Happy Chickens
Whether you’re preparing for chickens or already raising them, we all have one goal: To raise happy chickens by providing what they need. It doesn’t have to be hard. The hard part is shifting through the products they don’t need to find what they do.
You will find that there are a million products out there for chicken flocks. Many of these products are toys, extras and other items that just want you to spend your money. They aren’t really items that your chickens need.
I hope this post has helped you to pick out the items that your chickens will need to be happy and healthy. Please leave me a comment and share the post if you liked this simple must-have chicken supplies list.
~ Much Love ~
Learn How to Raise Meat Chickens
From Start to Finish, you'll learn the best practices that will save you time and money. This eBook will be released the end of March, 2018. If you want to stay updated on the Progress of the book and be the first to know when it is ready to be in your hands, join my super safe list just for this eBook and raising meat chickens.