Where to Start: Raising Chickens

Where to start

Well now this is your first big step deciding the pros and cons and if you are up for the excitement of raising chickens.

Ask yourself a few simple questions:

So for the first big question “Why do I want chickens?” “Why should I?”

Well first off its fun. Yeah its work, but its something you and all your friends and family can jump right in and enjoy.

The real answer is for food whether it be for eggs or a good ol’ chicken leg. Chickens provide for us means to be self sufficient so we don’t rely on store goods. They provide eggs or meat also waste product that’s the real miracle grow for the garden. Also some things we may forget about until we go to enjoy a relaxing BBQ the bugs chickens are great for keeping the pest population down.

Am I able to follow through with the responsibility?

Now for responsibility if you can’t keep a gold fish don’t attempt chickens. Everyone has their own strengths and weakness and if you cant commit to feeding them and keeping their coop clean. Its the best for you and the chicks not to consider raising them.

Do I have room for chickens in my home or in in my yard?

Now that all the lazy’s have stopped reading we come to space. Now there are some that choose to keep their chickens as pets in the house but for most its an out door coop now if you live in a city where your neighbor is two feet from you its possible but I personally don’t recommend it.

Chickens don’t take much room at all but a free to roam chicken is the happiest at least able to go out doors and scratch in the dirt and maybe pick at some bugs and grass. Almost everyone has enough room for a few chickens.

Does my city allow chickens?

Now the the question that most are worried about does my city allow chickens.

Most cities have strict laws on farm animals as pets. Also in most cities they have a three hen ordnance that you are allowed but no roasters. You will have to check your city ordnance.

Can I afford chickens?

Yes you can afford chickens at the price of store bought goods nowadays if you eat eggs and chicken then one meal that you bought at the store will feed your chickens all month. If your serious about raising chickens you probably aren’t worried about spending money on feed you just want to know where your food is coming from and know its healthier.

Well if your answers were positive to those then join in the excitement and raise back yard chickens.

backyard chicken chicksLets get started

So now we are in to it, we want to go get some chicks right now but we got to slow down and think ahead. What breed of chicken do we want based on what our goal is for egg production or meat or as a feathered pet.

Their are many breeds of chickens out there. Check out one of the listed hatcheries on our where to buy chicks page. To see what breed best fits your purpose.

Where are they going to be in the house or do I need to buy or build a coop?

Some people use dog  kennels or rabbit cages if they plan on keeping them indoors. Now if you don’t have the skills to

build a outdoor coop there are many available online or at your local farm and garden store. If you would like to building your own coop check out our building a coop page or watch video on coop building.

Now once you have what breed best suits you and a place for the chicks to call home its time to go shopping. Every woman’s love and every mans nightmare. First on the list a coop kennel cage or if you chose a large plastic tote for the first few weeks. Then a feeder and waterier chick feed and bedding. Yeah bedding I find that wood shavings worked the best for me and in a larger coop we use straw. You can check out amazon for a large selection of products or at your local farm and garden store. Now that your set for the chicks to call home. You can order your chicks from one of the great hatcheries listed on our where to buy chicks page. Also most farm and garden stores carry your most common poultry breeds in the spring of each year.

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The Backyard Chickens Archived Post: Tips to Keep Pet Chickens in Your Home

Tips to Keep Pet Chickens in Your Home

As the backyard chicken becomes more and more popular in urban and suburban areas, many people find they don’t mind and even wish to encourage their chickens to become house pets. Although a rooster should never be kept as a pet because it can become territorial and aggressive, a hen in the house can be a pleasant companion, is easy to care for and even provides you with breakfast.

Check your local zoning laws before deciding to have chickens as pets. Those who live in rural areas will likely not have a problem, but those who live in more urban areas may need a permit.

Set up a cage or coop where your chicken will roost. Even if you intend to let the chicken roam free in the house and the yard, it will need a place to spend the night, get food and water and lay eggs. Some people find it is easier to just use a large cage made for guinea pigs inside the house, while others prefer to use a smaller coop placed in the garage or in the yard.

Use newspaper to cover the places where you allow your chicken to hang out in the house. Chickens are not capable of house training, so you will have to clean up after them often. Limiting their access to certain areas of the house can help keep down the amount of cleaning you have to do.

Look into using chicken diapers if you want your chicken to be able to roam around freely without worrying about cleaning up after it all of the time. A number of chicken lovers have started businesses making and selling small diapers for chickens. They are made of reusable fabric and attached to the stiff tail feathers of the chicken.

Find a place where your chickens can go outside to get fresh air, pick at plants and bugs, scratch in the dirt and get some sunlight. Even if they are house pets, you still need to provide the chickens with a safe place to hang outside during the day. Even in the winter, chickens enjoy getting outside.

Use poultry netting stapled to small fence posts or wooden stakes and driven into the ground to create a protected space for your chickens to play outside. Chickens cannot be trained to not go in the road or down the sidewalk, although they will rarely fly off. You must protect them with poultry netting from roads and predators, like the neighborhood dog or cat.

Feed your chicken well, either outside or in his coop or cage. Pellets and feed for chickens is available at your local feed store. Chickens can also eat kitchen scraps like leftover salad, vegetables and meat — as long as it’s not chicken. Chickens prefer a varied diet and will produce better eggs with the more nutrition they get.

Mix a handful of crushed oyster shells, available from your feed store, or sand in with their feed. This gives them the grit necessary for digesting their food. All chickens require grit to stay healthy. The oyster shells also help keep the shells on chickens’ eggs hard.

Handle your chickens often, if they are to be pets. Pick them up, stroke them and feed them by hand. Chickens are not by nature a pet animal, but do enjoy handling if it is done often enough.

Read more: How to Keep Pet Chickens in Your Home | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_8136027_keep-pet-chickens-home.html#ixzz1NAM4aCsr

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Backyard chicken fleas

chicken fleasBackyard chicken fleas

Backyard chickens are in the news again and this time not in a good light.

The Huffington Post Canada recently reported:

As backyard chickens grow in popularity, pests hitch ride to take a bite out
The popular push for locally produced food has spawned flocks of backyard chickens in urban neighbourhoods nationwide, but people may not realize that feasting on fresh eggs can mean subjecting their more typical household pets to pain from a new pest …
By Huffington Post Canada on Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:22:03 -0700

In summary:

As backyard chickens are now in more and more backyards poultry fleas are now being added to the list of pests infesting dogs and cats.  It talks about other pests like regular fleas, ticks, flies, spiders, and snakes, and suggests you talk to your vet about the proper treatment for your pet.

If you have chicken fleas or think you might get them:

Prevent them:  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  • Keep your coop and run clean
  • Use Diatomoceous Earth (DE) on your birds and the coop floor.
  • Add a little garlic to the flocks drinking water and feed.
  • Spray your chickens feathers with apple cider vinegar.
  • Plant mint around your coop to drive fleas away.
  • Use a commercial product like Poultry Protector.

Treat them: Get rid of the nasty buggers.

  • Clean your coop – Get rid of everything and start scrubbing with a 10% Bleach to water solution.
  • Dust the coop – Use DE, or a commercial product like Poultry Protector.
  • Treat your flock – Used DE, apple cider vinegar, brewer’s yeast, or a commercial product.
  • Repeat the process in two weeks, and then again in another two weeks. Yes 3 times!

For more information check out:

Tilly’ Nest: Backyard Chickens and Fleas

Community Chickens: GOT FLEAS? 13 CHICKEN FLEA FACTS

 

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