I will be modern and use the term ‘raising chickens’ but I must tell you my mother would be appalled and would most vehemently correct me. One does not ‘raise chickens’; one ‘keeps chickens’.
I have absolutely no idea in the world why one keeps chickens; I just know that one does. I tried googling it but was just given sites touting the benefits of keeping chickens, but not the reason for the terminology.
When we bought this house, with all the surrounding property, everyone told us we needed chickens. We have seriously considered it over the years. We have several friends who keep chickens and continually tell us not only how easy it is but how much fun. (And how great the fertilizer.)
If you have ever thought about having your own chickens, read on for some helpful tips on doing it the right way.
Once again, I’m tempted….. We have the perfect spot for a coop.
There is nothing better than cooking with fresh, organic, and ethically sourced ingredients. But why continually shell out the cash for high-quality eggs and poultry without reaping the benefits that come with raising your own chickens?
Some advantages are apparent such as the quality of food added to your kitchen and the ethical consumption. If you are still considering the pros and cons of raising chickens, here are some common dos and don’ts to remember before building that coop and buying those hens.
Do Create Safe Housing
The safety of your chickens should be a top priority. Their home should also keep them safe from whatever predators are common in your area.
Chickens do not require a lot of space, but they need enough to walk around and stay active. You want to build or buy a coop that will keep the birds safe from other animals while also allowing for space. It will take planning and some research for the best fit for your area.
You can buy a coop directly from a manufacturer, but it is also simple to build coops from everyday materials. This article illustrates some simple ways to make a chicken coop and the crucial factors to consider when constructing.
Don’t Neglect Hygiene
The upkeep of good hygiene is vital to raising chickens. These birds create excellent fertilizer, but this also requires the cleanup that goes with it.
To ensure a healthy living environment (and thus clean food production), you will need to frequently clean your chickens’ living quarters. If this seems daunting, do not distress!
Experts such as Dalton poultry supply many modern tools to make feeding, medical care, and cleanup easier for you. Having the right equipment for your chickens is essential to raising healthy chickens.
Do Check Your Local Ordinances
Unfortunately, there are restrictions on raising chickens in various parts of different countries, counties, and cities. Before you build a chicken coop and buy your first chicks, check all the laws, city ordinances, and zoning regulations that might apply to you. Some ordinances do allow for chickens but have conditions, like prohibiting roosters inside city limits.
Don’t Forget the Time Commitment
Adult chickens are relatively low maintenance when compared to dogs, cats, and other common pets. However, there is a time commitment to consider before taking the plunge into raising chickens.
As mentioned previously, there are the requirements of housing upkeep for general safety and cleaning for health concerns. Besides the day to day responsibility, don’t forget to consider less frequent disruptions to daily life, such as family vacations. There isn’t vacation time when it comes to raising these birds, so there needs to be a backup plan.
Is there someone nearby who could step in when you are not home? Is there a pet sitter in town who is comfortable with chickens? These are questions that you need answers to before buying chickens.
Do Enjoy All the Benefits
Sometimes when considering new projects, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in the details and forget what inspired the project in the first place. Raising chickens can be such a positive experience so remember to enjoy it!
Certain breeds make for excellent companions. You may fall in love with your hens.
Plus, your garden will thank you for the fantastic fertilizer. Your children will learn the importance of caring for animals and the work it takes to get food from farm to table.
Raising chickens takes work, time, and energy. But with the right knowledge, tools, and planning, it will be a great addition to your life and your table!