Raising Araucana chickens is easy. This breed is one of the friendliest around and is often the best choice for children who wish to raise chickens. The Araucana also has a fascinating history rooted in Chile. The fact that they lay blue eggs only endears them more to the youngest of growers and the young at heart. Some experts believe that the Araucana came about from the breeding of a chicken with a peasant. There is some debate on that legend, but it adds to the wonderful story of this bird.
For those who may be new to raising Araucana chickens, the process is much the same as for other breeds of chickens. If you are raising Araucana chickens from eggs, you will need to have an incubator, heating lamp, and brooder box. For those who buy their chickens from a hatchery, you will need to have a chicken coop, chicken run, and food and watering stations.
One of the most important parts of raising Araucana chickens is the chicken coop and run. Your chicken coop must do several jobs. It has to be sturdy enough to keep out the elements (rain and snow), secure enough to keep out predators such as mice, snakes, and foxes. And it has to big enough to allow plenty of room for the entire flock.
Feeding and watering stations are also very important. You want to always have fresh water available for your flock. Araucana chickens, like many other breeds of chickens, will not drink dirty water. This can lead to death in the hot summer months. Feeding your flock is also important.
Araucana chickens should be fed a good quality chicken feed that is specific to their age and purpose. Chicks can be fed chick starter, but laying hens should be fed a different type of feed that contains added calcium. Adult chickens can be fed an all-purpose chicken feed.
If you notice that your Araucana chickens are fighting one another inside the chicken coop, it may be because the chicken coop is too crowded. Even if you do not see the fight, you should be suspicious if you notice bloody marks on your birds. When this happens, you have to decrease the number of birds living in the coop. If you do not, the chickens may end up killing one another until they have enough room.
You should also watch for disease within your flock. Araucana chicks have been known to get the disease coccidiosis. Generally, good quality hatcheries will inoculate your new chicks before you buy them. If they do not, you can buy feed that has medicine in it.
Keep in mind that if you want eggs or if you want your flock to grow organically, you will need at least one cockerel. One cock is usually kept for every 8 hens.
These are the basics of raising Araucana chickens. You can find much more about these fascinating birds online or at your local library. You kids will love these fun birds and you will too!