Chickens are a fantastic introduction to domestic livestock. They are generally easy to take care of, don’t require much space, produce eggs almost daily, and provide food when they pass away.
Many people successfully raise chickens on their first try, but some experience a lot of trial and error. To eliminate any unwanted struggles, here are some things to know before raising backyard chickens.
1. Check Your Local Laws
Not all towns allow for residents to have chickens. Check to see if yours permits roosters and hens or just hens. Even if you think you can get away with it, you could still have a neighbor tip off the local police department about your backyard project.
You may need a permit before you start as well. Some municipalities have limits on the number of chickens that you can raise. Find out this information ahead of time, so you don’t have to get rid of them and their coop after your hard work setting it up.
2. Build and Maintain Their Coop
No matter where you live, chickens need a safe home to roost in during the night and should have nesting boxes. There are lots of local wildlife that like to snack on chickens. The coop must be spacious enough for their food and water as well. There are plenty of designs that you can find online, or you can purchase a premade one from a retailer.
You’ll also need to regularly clean their coop out. Get used to shoveling up manure! A clean home is essential for your chickens’ health and yours because you’ll be eating their eggs.
3. They Live Up to 10 Years
Most chickens do not make it this long. The average lifespan of a chicken is around five to eight years. Another essential thing to know before raising backyard chickens is that not all of these are egg-laying years! Most chickens only lay eggs for about two to three years. Keep this in mind when planning for how many to raise and how many eggs you want.
Chickens make excellent pets, and, to some degree, each has its personality. By spending some time planning for their care, you’ll set yourself up to have a fantastic experience raising them.