Raising Backyard Chickens

Raising Backyard Chickens

Raising backyard chickens used to be a radical endeavor, but today it’s become much more mainstream!  If you think that you might be ready for the enjoyment and fresh eggs that backyard chickens bring, read on!

Whether you are new to chicken farming or are an experienced poultry owner, raising backyard chickens can be a rewarding and fun experience. With the right preparation and attention, you can enjoy fresh eggs and beautiful birds right in your own backyard.

If you are thinking about raising backyard chickens, there are many things to consider before getting started. To help you decide if raising chickens is right for you, consider your goals for keeping chickens – whether it’s for egg production or meat birds, the amount of time and effort you can devote to raising chickens, and what restrictions or regulations may be in place for keeping chickens in your area. Taking these factors into account will help you determine if raising backyard chickens is right for you. With the right planning and care, raising backyard chickens can be a rewarding experience that will provide a source of fresh eggs and meat while also helping you connect with nature.

First, chicken farming requires time and commitment, the same way bringing any new pet into your home would.

You will need to feed and water your chickens daily, and collect eggs daily as well.  Additionally, you will need to clean out the chicken coop regularly to keep it sanitary and prevent disease.

Another important consideration when raising chickens is the cost involved. You will need to purchase a coop for your chickens, as well as feed and other supplies on an ongoing basis.  Make sure you have money set aside in your budget to properly care for your birds.

If you are prepared to put in the time and effort required to successfully raise chickens, then backyard chicken farming can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are a few tips to get you started:

 

backyard chickens hen and chick

What Breeds are Best for Backyard Chickens?

Like any animal species, every breed has different characteristics.  It’s important to choose breeds that are quiet and do well in a situation where neighbors are close by.

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Choose the right breed of chicken for your needs!  Chickens come in all shapes and sizes and lay all different colors of eggs!  Be careful, however, it’s easy to fall in love with all of the beautiful breeds available!

 


Chicken Housing and Coops

If you’re thinking about raising backyard chickens, one of the first things you need to consider is how to protect them from predators.  Build or purchase a chicken coop that is well-ventilated and predator-proof. Your chickens will need a safe place to sleep and lay their eggs.

Chickens are a tasty treat for many animals, including coyotes, foxes, raccoons, weasels, and hawks. A well-designed coop can help deter predators and keep your chickens safe. Here are some tips to keep in mind when predator-proofing your chicken coop:

 

– Use sturdy construction materials like metal or concrete for the walls and floor of the coop.

– Make sure the coop has a tight-fitting door that can be secured shut at night.

– Install hardware cloth over any vents or openings to prevent animals from getting inside.

– Place the coop in an area with ample shade and cover, to protect your chickens from sun exposure and predators alike.

 

If you’re particularly concerned about protecting your chickens from hawks, consider installing some protective netting over their run. This will not only prevent hawks from getting inside, but will also keep smaller birds like sparrows or starlings out.

You may also want to invest in a guard dog or other animal deterrents, such as motion-activated lights, to help keep potential predators at bay. With these strategies in place, you can rest assured that your chickens are safe and secure in their backyard chicken coop.

 


What Supplies Will I Need for Backyard Chickens?

Gather supplies such as feeders, waterers, and bedding material. You can find these items at your local farm supply store or on Amazon.  Once you purchase these items, you won’t need to buy them again until they wear out or break.

Start small when building your flock. It is easier to care for a smaller number of chickens until you get the hang of it. You can always add more chickens later on.

mother hen with chicks following

What Should I Feed my Backyard Chickens?

One of the most important aspects of raising healthy chickens is providing them with a nutritious diet. A good chicken feed should contain all the essential nutrients that chickens need to stay healthy and lay eggs. You can either purchase commercial chicken feed or make your own.

When it comes to feeding chickens, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, different types of chickens require different types of feed.

For example, laying hens need a different type of feed than meat birds do.

Secondly, the amount of feed chickens need will vary depending on their age and stage of development. Chickens that are younger and still growing will need more food than adult chickens.

As a general rule of thumb, you should provide 1/4 to 1/3 cup of chicken feed per bird each day. You can use a specialized feeder to help you measure and distribute the right amount of food evenly among your chickens.

In addition to providing a balanced diet, it is also important to ensure that your chickens have access to clean, fresh water at all times. This can be done by using a waterer or a nipple system, which will make sure that the water stays clean and won’t get contaminated with chicken waste.


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hens on roost

Chicken Health

Be prepared for the occasional medical issue. Chickens are susceptible to health problems from time to time, so be sure to keep a close eye on them and watch for any signs of illness.

What Can I Feed My Chickens to Keep them Healthy?

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Making Money with Backyard Chickens

There are many ways to make money with your backyard chickens, the first of which is selling eggs.

You won’t make a lot of money selling eggs, however, you can offset your own feed bill and thereby enjoy free eggs.

Where you can make significant amounts of money with your chickens is by selling eggs for hatching and baby chicks.

Why not consider starting your own homesteading business?  It might be time to leave that dead-end job that you don’t enjoy and do what you LOVE for a living!

 

One of the things that surprise people about backyard chickens is just how quiet they are.  They are much quieter than many of the wild birds that come to my yard!

I hope you’ll consider backyard chickens and see what amazing pets and friends they are!

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