Have you ever imagined raising chickens in your backyard? Even if you were never a farm-loving person or exposed to farm animals much in your life, it doesn’t mean that you automatically lack the ability to raise chickens. In comparison to other livestock, chickens are fairly simple to maintain and care for properly. Plus, the chickens will take care of the bugs and weeds in your lawn and provide you with organic eggs. How could you not want to raise chickens? Instead of another dog or cat, consider a few chickens.
The benefits of chickens of course include farm fresh eggs, but they also manage your lawn and fertilize it. Because these animals have simple needs when it comes to food and shelter, this will be an inexpensive endeavor. If you have children, this can teach them how to appreciate animals as well as important lessons with regard to responsibility and compassion. However, before taking on this new adventure, it’s best to become familiar with the chicken and what it needs.
To find chicks to purchase, you should visit or contact local feed stores or online chicken suppliers in the spring. Or you can start from scratch by using an incubator and hatching a chicken from an egg. But before you have the baby chick, you need to setup two shelters (one inside and one outside).
The reason for two shelters is because the chick will have different needs during the first 60 days and after the first 60 days of its birth. For instance, in the beginning, the chick will be safe and happy in a cardboard box or animal cage. But later on as it gets stronger and grows, it will need an outdoor coop. There will need to be two to three square feet of space for each chicken in the coop, and you can spread pine shavings on the floor. It’s also imperative that you protect the henhouse with fencing so local predators don’t eat them.
For food, the young chicken will eat chick crumbles, but as it gets older, you will need to feed it chicken layer feed or pellets (sometimes treats too such as vegetables, bugs and wheat). Also, a fresh supply of water is necessary in both of the shelters.
Some other helpful tips include creating a fenced in area outside of the henhouse so the chickens can safely explore and scratch around in their environmental. Lastly, if you want your chickens to be comfortable around humans, you need to handle them and socialize them with people from the day you get them.
Once your hens start producing, you will be able to enjoy guaranteed hormone- and anti-biotic-free eggs that are much more cheaper than what you buy at the store.