Categories | Farm Animal Breeders | Fowl Breeders
If you love the idea of fresh eggs every day or even being able to get fresh meat (f you are so inclined), it can be rewarding to keep fowl either as a hobby or in a farming environment. Here’s what you need to know.
In farming terms, fowl usually refers to birds that are bred for their ability to produce meat, eggs, or feathers/down. Common fowl that are kept include ducks, geese, turkeys, and chickens but can include more “exotic” birds such as quail, pigeon and pheasants. Fowl can be kept in a farm environment but they can also often be kept in your own backyard provided that you have the space and are permitted to by council. Generally speaking fowl are quite large birds and they come in a huge range of different species, breeds, and colours.
Fowl generally like to “peck” up their food and they should have regular access to a specially designed seed and grain mix. You can supplement this diet with fresh leafy greens. You may also want to supplement the main diet with kitchen scraps or with a specialist vitamin and mineral supplement. Of course, you should also make sure that your fowl have access to clean, fresh water at all times.
Caring for Fowl
Practically, fowl are best kept outside, with appropriate shelter, such as a roost or a shed where they are protected against the elements and also have a safe spot to lay their eggs. Use clean, dry bedding such as straw and remove droppings and change bedding regularly. You will need to make sure that the area in which you keep your fowl is securely fenced. Often, you will need to bury chicken wire or fencing mesh beneath the ground to ensure that your fowl are safe against rodents, foxes and the like.
As well as providing a safe, comfortable environment for your fowl, you will need to keep them well wormed and also have a supply of antibiotics or have access to ready vet advice if your birds become sick. Worming should be done twice a year in spring and autumn. You may also need to keep a special dusting powder to treat external parasites such as mites and lice.
If you wish to handle your fowl, you should do so, slowly and gently. Try and herd the bird into a corner and then place one hand on its back and the other underneath to gently hold the feet. Once the bird is caught, tuck its head into your armpit, as the darkness will calm the bird. Be aware though that most fowl hate being caught and so you should do so only when absolutely necessary.
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