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How to choose supplies for your farm animals
When you keep farm animals, you'll have your hands full managing their care and making sure they have the essentials. From chickens and goats to horses and other pets, we stock the latest products you'll need for your farm animals.
Housing and feeding chickens
When you're housing chickens, the right coop can keep them safe, happy, and thriving. You could go with a traditional coop and run or try something different. In the end, the best coop for you depends on your setting and your chickens.
The total number of chickens you think you'll want to house at any point will be a major factor in the type of coop you choose.
- Each average full-grown chicken needs between 7 and 8 square feet of space in both indoor and outdoor areas.
- If you have larger-than-average chicken breeds, figure a minimum of 10 square feet for each bird.
- Protecting your chickens from predators is one of the main purposes of a coop. Look for a coop with galvanized wire mesh. This feature should keep your chickens safe from predators that walk, fly, or slither.
- Explore coop features such as removable roosts and trays for convenient cleaning, locked nesting boxes, separate outdoor runs so your birds get exercise, and sliding windows and chimneys for ventilation.
You'll also need to stock up on bedding, chicken feed, and chicken treats when you raise chickens. Food dishes and a waterer are must-have items for your poultry, too. Look for units that keep the food and water off the ground to reduce contamination.
Goats need shelter from the elements because they don't like to get wet. Because goats tend to be amazing escape artists, you'll also want a sturdy fence around their pasture area to keep them contained. Goats primarily need to eat hay or forage, but you'll probably also need to feed them supplemental grain that's a mixture of alfalfa pellets, goat pellets, and sweet feed. To meet their nutritional needs, have a loose mineral on hand. If you've got goats, we have the supplies you need, but it's always important to discuss proper goat nutrition with your veterinarian before making any big decisions.
When you own horses, you're likely aware of the major time and care commitment they require. If you're just getting into the lifestyle, however, there are some important things to know. Horses need comfortable living spaces with adequate ventilation. The space should also protect them from the elements. You'll need to provide comfortable bedding, and keeping your horse's stall clean is typically a daily chore. Horses can't spend all their time in their stalls, though. In fact, horses need as much time out in pastures as possible. Horses sleep for only a couple of hours a day, so it's common for them to spend 20 or more hours a day out to pasture. You'll need an enclosed pasture area for your horse. When your horse is outdoors grazing, it's helpful to have an outdoor shelter available where your horse can stand to get out of the sun and the rain.
Horses need both grass and hay every day, and they usually eat about 2 to 4 percent of their total body weight daily. Your equine veterinarian can help you choose the best hay for your horse depending on his age and activity level. Keep the hay fresh and free of contaminants by covering it and storing it in a shed or barn. Grains are also a part of your horse's daily diet, and you might choose ground ear corn, wheat bran, or oats. Mixed grains are an ideal option for most horses, but don't let your horse overeat, because this can cause health problems. As always, meet with your veterinarian to discuss your horse's diet, particularly if you're considering adding a new food into the mix.
Maintaining your stock of supplies
When you raise farm animals, you'll be using your supplies daily to care for the animals. You can make sure you never run out of important items such as food and bedding when you sign up for automatic shipments. This eliminates the need to remember to reorder supplies, because we keep track of everything for you. Set up your AutoShip items for a recurring delivery schedule that fits your needs, whether that's every few weeks or every few months. We'll send out the products right on schedule, and you can even save an additional 5 percent off the regular prices of your essentials when you sign up for this convenient shipping option.