Several years ago I decided that I was going to pursue my dream of keeping chickens in the backyard of my suburban home. Honestly, at the time I didn’t have a clue how to raise chickens, I just wanted a source of inexpensive organic and drug free chicken eggs.
Now the closest thing to a chicken I’d ever kept was a parakeet named George who I recall taunted the family cat one too many times. My great aunt had a chicken coop for years and I’m sure she knew everything there was to know about keeping them but she had been gone for many years. Thankfully there was plenty of information available in the form of books, magazines and lots of web sites.
Because I didn’t know where to start I decided to make a road map…sort of a guide of the things I would need to do. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Here are some of the most important items you’ll need to know:
- Find out if you local government will allow you to keep chickens on your property… probably the most important thing that you should do before you spend any money. Most municipalities have regulations concerning domesticated animals…make sure that they will allow you to raise them.
- Put together a budget; include cost of your housing, feed, medicines…anything related to your new hobby …make sure that you can afford it.
- Make sure that you have a good spot on your property to put your hen house. You don’t want to put it too close to your neighbor’s home. Hens don’t make too much noise but Rooster’s are positively noisy!
- Decide which breed would be best for you. If you want eggs you’ll need a breed called a “layer”. They are bred to produce lots of fresh chicken eggs.
- Do you have a little farmer in your veins? Keeping a small flock does take some work and dedication. If you’re not willing to tackle the daily chores like feeding and cleaning then this hobby might not be for you.
Do this first:
Start out at your local library by finding a book that has information on how to raise chickens that you can understand. Take your time and study the material.
If possible, visit a farm or find someone in your area with a backyard flock and ask a lot of questions. I’m sure that you’ll discover that you have what it takes to be successful!