How to Keep Happy Hens in Penns Valley



Have you ever considered keeping chickens? If you know how to take care of them, chickens can make a great addition to your backyard. With rising inflation and the Avian Flu outbreak, it is a good time to get your own chickens. Take a look at how to raise some beautiful hens that will produce locally-laid eggs.


Picking The Right Breed for You

In Penns Valley, there are plenty of local sellers of chicks and pullets. To narrow down your choices, consider what you intend to do with the chickens. If you intend on having chickens that lay eggs, you should choose a breed with excellent egg production, such as the Rhode Island Red or the Australorp.

This is an Australorp pullet from our flock.

If you would prefer to have a fuzzy feathered companion, pick a more docile and Friendly breed, such as the Easter Egger or the Jersey Giant.


Building Your Coop and Run

The chicken coop is used mainly for egg-laying, roosting, and predator protection. It is better to put food and water in the coop and the run if they need it. In the cold winters of Penns Valley, it is a good idea to put a heat lamp in your coop as well. Roosting poles and nest boxes along with some sort of bedding should also be in the coop. The bedding could be made of pine shavings, grass clippings, straw/hay, or recycled paper. Although hens can live in just a coop, it can stress them out and they will need some source of natural light and fresh air. If you decide to add a run, make sure that your run is predator-proof. You can do this by using strong fence material like welded wire. It is a good idea to put some of the fence underground so that digging predators cannot reach your chickens. You should also put a wire top on your run to ensure their safety from predators that can jump high or fly.

This is the inside of our coop.


Common Coop Chores

Although chickens are relatively low-maintenance pets compared to other animals, you will have to wake up at about sunrise to let the chickens out of the coop. The chickens must also be brought inside the coop at dusk. This makes it less likely for a predator to attack your chickens. To keep them healthy, they need to be fed and watered constantly during the day, which will be easier if you have an automatic feeder or waterer. Once your chickens become old enough to lay eggs, you should check the hen boxes daily for eggs. Ensure that your chickens are inspected for disease twice a week. It is recommended that you change the bedding in your chicken coop every 2-3 weeks. There should be a semiannual full cleaning of the coop. If you are going out of town, make sure you have a chicken-sitter to tend to them.



Overall, chickens can be a great addition to your family. They provide eggs, they are relatively easy to take care of, and they provide tons of companionship. However, they can be noisy, destructive, and messy. So it is important to consider every aspect of how to properly take care of them before you get them. It’s a great day to get some hens!

This is our flock.