Raising chickens can have so many benefits. You can count on the hens to lay eggs regularly, and many people claim there is nothing better on the dinner table than a delicious locally-raised roasted or fried chicken. However, there are some things you should pay attention to if you’re raising chickens in Puerto Rico. Here are a few things you might want to think about.
You will need to think about how you are going to protect your flock from predators. The red-tailed hawk, also known as a “guaraguao”, can be a problem, so you may need to cover your chicken runs with a welded wire netting. If you cannot keep your chickens in one location all the time, then a chicken tractor may be the best answer because it allows you to move your coup around quickly. Hanging some shiny objects, like old CDs, also works as a deterrent. You may also need to cover your chickens’ food; aerial predators may be interested in having a feast on the chicken feed.
Puerto Rico has almost the perfect environment to raise chickens, but you need to be prepared to protect your flock from tropical storms. If you have to transport them for their safety, put your chickens in cardboard boxes filled with cat litter or wood shavings. Choose boxes that have secure lids, but be sure to poke some air holes in the side. If you are staying put, then you should stock up enough food to feed your chickens for at least a week. It should be stored at least 2 feet off the ground. A large flock may require a feeder with a larger capacity. You should also store up 1/3 gallon of water for each chicken per day that you expect the storm to last. If you are afraid that your coop might not hold up against the wind, then bring the chickens inside a more secure structure. You can use playpens with nets to keep them safe. If you are going to leave them outside, then remove any dead tree limbs or other debris that can easily be blown onto the coop.
You also need to watch for pests when you raise chickens. Observe your chickens to make sure that they do not become infested with mites. These bugs are tiny, and they are often fall off the bodies of other birds that may be flying near your flock. Another common problem is lice. Since new chickens brought into your facility may be infected, you should make sure to keep new arrivals isolated. Carefully inspect all carry cages after using them, or use disposable ones. If you find signs of lice or mites, then you should spray the area with an insecticide that is safe for use on chickens.
Raising chickens in Puerto Rico can be fun for the whole family. Keep these tips in mind, and you can have a safe and healthy flock.
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