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Deciding on whether or not to raise chickens can be a big debate for some, for others it is an easy decision.
There are also many known and unknown facts about raising chickens that are interesting to those that have never been around chickens before.
Benefits of Raising Chickens
So you wonder what are some good reasons to raise your own chickens….
A great benefit to raising chickens is it’s actually a lot cheaper than most people realize. The most money you’ll end up spending is on the chicken coop itself, which there are multiple ways you can go about it.
Many outdoor websites sell already made chicken coops but be weary of the ones you’re looking into. (Always check reviews)
For Instance, the first coop I bought was a pre-made coop. All I had to do was unbox it and put it together.
It sounded like a fantastic idea at the time especially since I lived in the city and you couldn’t have anything too big since you were allowed a max of 6 hens (**note below).
After only having the coop for about 4 months or so it started warping and basically falling apart from being rained on. I was so upset since I spent $300 on this coop just for it to be falling apart so fast.
So as I said if you decide to buy a pre-made coop I highly suggest you check reviews.
**I will cover possible state/city laws and regulations later on
So many types of chickens!! What do you choose?
Another benefit is that there are so many different types of chickens, and they’re so adorable!
There are types like Rhode Island Reds, Easter Eggers (Ameraucanas), Buff Laced Polish, Barred Rocks (Plymouth Rocks), Leghorns, I could go on and on to be honest, there are so many types and many variations too.
There are some that lay better than others.
Also, depending on the type of chicken will depend on the color of the eggs. There isn’t just white and brown eggs…..gasp!…..yes I said there are many types of eggs that chickens lay!
Colors can rang from white, brown, speckled brown, green, blue, olive, etc. See now, you may have learned something new today, most do not know that eggs come in more than two colors naturally.
Eggs…I mean it’s the whole point of having chickens right?
Chickens naturally lay an egg a day. So depending on how many chickens you decide to raise in your flock will depend on how many eggs you will get daily. Keep that in mind when you’re deciding on how many chickens to raise.
Think about how many eggs your family eats, whether you decide you plan on selling them (another possible law I will discuss later), or even if you just plan to give extras to neighbors.
Being able to have your own fresh daily eggs can be a great thing
You don’t have to go all the way to the grocery store for eggs anymore, you just walk out to the yard with your adorable egg basket and collect your eggs.
No need to worry about egg recalls since you know step to step what goes on with your eggs, and fresh eggs are 100 times better and taste better than store bought eggs.
Your chicken care needs depend on the age of your chickens…
It’s always your decision on deciding to start with pullets (baby chicks) or if you want to buy already grown and egg producing hens.
I personally love starting with pullets. They are ADORABLE as babies and there are also some cool benefits to starting with babies.
One of those benefits is they grow close to you when you raise them that young.
When I raised my first chickens from babies they had been around me so long that even as adults they would follow me everywhere. You become their momma/poppa chicken so they love to stay by you and be held by you.
Whether raising from pullets or adult hens your chickens will get used to you and get attached to you
Those that have decided to start from babies, first things first when you purchase your babies you will want to make sure that they are pullets.
If you get them from a feed store they should have them marked. (If you pull from the straight run bin, you could end up with hens or roosters).
Unless you know how to sex them yourself you may just want to strictly make sure you know that they are pullets
Special Care Note: You will NEED a heat lamp for your baby chicks since they love warmth and need to stay at a certain temperature.
Baby chicks tend to need to stay in 95-100 degrees and then you can lessen the temperature each month they get older.
When raising them from babies the heat lamp is not an optional thing, they HAVE to stay warm.
Feed for Chicks
Specific feed is sold for baby chicks, this one specifically even has a probiotic for them which is great at such a young age.
You also want to make sure that you use pine bedding in their box. Cedar chips can mess with their breathing, and news paper tends to be too slippery for them once they go potty and you want to avoid injuries.
Feed for Chickens
Chicken feed can be bought at many feed stores such as Tractor Supply, Rural King, etc. There are different kinds depending on what you would like.
Typically you can get a 50 lb bag of feed for less than $15. If you only have a few chickens that feed can last you a month or so.
You can also make your own food to help save on money
Also, you can even make your own and there are many how to’s on YouTube.
Of course just like all animals, you want to check their food and water daily. If it’s warm out they will drink more water than usual.
Roosters tend to be a whole different discussion. Many suggest to get your rooster as a baby so he is used to you. They tend to be very protective and may try to spar you if they do not like you lol.
Of course, they are needed in order to make baby chickens.
Also, unless you plan on raising baby chicks you will want to keep the rooster separated from your hens. If you do not you would have to light test your eggs constantly (make sure there isn’t a baby inside).
If you keep them separated then the rooster cannot spray the eggs for fertilization.
More to Come!!
I will post more blogs on additional chicken information including treats and toys for chickens!
Possible Laws State/City Laws and Regulations
Depending where you live you will want to check into your county/city regulations on raising chickens.
(This is more for people raising chickens in the suburbs/city areas)
City laws tend to be the most strict
When I was raising my chickens while living in the city they had many rules about it. We were only allowed a maximum of 6 hens, you could not own a rooster.
Also, there were ordinances on where the coop could be. It had to be a certain distance from your house and your neighbors property lines.
Another big thing was that you were also required to get a permit for raising chickens or else you could be fined by the city.
These are all things you will want to look into if you plan a Backyard Raising style in the suburbs.
Rural areas of course do not tend to have any rules on chicken raising