Growing vegetables in your own garden has been a trend for a while now, but nowadays, more and more people are also starting to raise chicken and ducks for eggs and meat.
April and May are the best months to start growing your cultivations. But before you even build your greenhouse or backyard farm, you need to plan it thoroughly.
Depending on the kind of vegetables you want to grow, you will need a bigger or smaller area for growing your plants, as distancing can be an essential factor. Tomatoes and lettuce need a larger space to grow, while other vegetables can grow close to each other.
You will also need the right tools: such as gardening tools for your greenhouse, while for your eggs and meat production, you’re looking for chicken or duck house, fencing, and of course, a chicken feeder to prevent waste.
Economic Aspects of a Home Garden
The economic investment involved in the purchase of the base equipment and materials needed to start a vegetable garden is definitely not too huge — you’ll see how pots, seeds and the small gear needed is very affordable, and these tools can found in most gardening and DYI stores, as well as shops, specialized in horticulture and floriculture.
And for pots in particular, it isn’t strictly necessary to buy new ones: in fact, it’s possible to recycle old plastic containers and old terracotta pots. Of course, if you want to provide your backyard cultivation with an automatic irrigation system, the costs will go up.
Excluding the initial expense for your home garden, it’s obvious that the “management costs” are very low. Seeds and plants to bring in are inexpensive, and the costs for irrigation and organic fertilization are minimal too. For example, a bag of lettuce seeds will cost you few cents, and in only about a month and a half, you will be able to harvest a great salad for your table!
Raising Backyard Ducks
Raising ducks is a highly satisfying activity. The domestic duck is a competitor to chickens in the production of eggs because, although producing on average fewer eggs, they are bigger and have greater nutritional power.
Ducks are quite animals, and they won’t damage the garden but instead clean the ground of larvae, insects, and snails as they’re tireless in the search for food. Raising ducks is not complex because, in general, the duck is not very sensitive to bad weather or cold temperatures and is not demanding in terms of housing. It just needs a shelter and some straw.
Raising ducks to produce eggs is a great idea. The ducks used for egg production will require a higher protein diet compared to the others. Egg-laying ducks also need more calcium, which can be easily added to their feed.
Duck eggs have the same characteristics as the most common chicken eggs, but they are richer in protein and also more caloric because they contain less water. They are richer in nitrogenous substances and fats because they have a yolk larger than the egg white.
Even the dimensions are larger, on average a duck egg weighs from 60 to 80 grams, while those of a chicken don’t exceed 60 grams. The shell can take on different colors— going from blue to green to white with dark or green streaks depending on the breed of duck.
The benefits of raising backyard chickens
The chicken house
To raise chickens at home it is necessary that there is a chicken house, or coop. To define itself as a good chicken coop it is necessary that it’s provided with some elements:
Roosts, place where the chickens will go to perch and rest, and it’s where the bird is sleeping at night with the rest of the flock.
Nesting boxes, as you probably guessed, that’s where the chickens go to lay their eggs. You will need about one box every three birds, but it’s a good idea to have more.
Chicken feeders, you need to make sure that your chickens are easily and well fed. They require good chicken feed to maintain the production of your eggs. Chicken feeders are important to prevent waste, and save money.
Open space, in addition to the protection of the coop, your chickens are also going to need some outside space to roam.
Buying chicken feeders
If you are setting up a chicken house, remember that also the chicken feeders are essential to keep the environment healthy and hygienic.
By being attentive and keeping the chicken coop always clean and tidy, you can save yourself a lot of time. It is recommended to buy a durable chicken feeder to facilitate the daily operations of your small backyard farm.
Ideally you should buy an anti-waste chicken feeder, to allow the birds to feed sufficiently and without the risk that they will run out of food.
There are chicken feeders that can be hung and chick feeders to be placed on the ground.
The best chicken feeders can contain up to 15 kg of feed without it getting dirty or the wind dispersing it around your backyard.
Chickens feeders to prevent waste are equipped with a ring-shaped device which is positioned on the upper part and prevents food to spill out. The construction material is usually plastic, but there is also plenty of anti-waste feeders with metal rings.
Some feeders are even equipped with a system that also includes watering and with so many different types of chicken feeders available it’s understandable how hard choosing the right one for you can be. During writing of this article, we made an in-depth research of the market and decided to share with you the service that analyze the market of products related to gardening. They compiled the list of preventing waste chicken feeders available on the market. Hopefully, that will save your time.