Monday, April 29, 2013

Backyard Chickens

We hear of more and more people becoming interested in raising their own chickens for fresh eggs. People are showing an interest in knowing where their food comes from, and part of that results in growing your own food. Even people in more urban areas are trying to find ways to have their own chicken coop.
So what are the main reasons that people want to keep chickens? Let's look at a few:

The first one is obvious, to be your own food producer. Raising your own chickens for eggs and food allow you to know first hand what the animal ate, what conditions it was living in, and how it was treated.

Eating fresh. Fresh eggs are amazing. And if you garden as well you can have an abundance of fresh food in your refrigerator.

Weed & Insect control. Chickens like to eat bugs, grasses, and other plants that may sprout up.

Make new friends. Team up with other people in your area who raise back yard chickens to trade tips and tricks.
Other than the reasons for keeping them, you should probably know a few things about keeping backyard chickens:

Legalities: This is going to be different for every town. So it is best if you check with your city council. If you live in an area with a Homeowner's Association, you will need to check with them also.

Roosters: Do you need a rooster? If you just want hens for eggs and do not want to breed your chickens then a rooster is unnecessary. The hens will lay so long as they are happy, comfortable, and getting the right nutrition.

Hen Quits Laying: Chickens have a lifespan of up to 12 years. However, they usually only produce large amounts of eggs between 6 months to 2 years of age, after 2 years the hen will not produce as many eggs. To keep the eggs coming you will need to invest in new hens and have a plan for the old ones. Some people use their hens that have quit laying as a food source. If this is not something you would be willing to do, you will need to find an alternative.

How Much Room is Needed: This will depend on local codes and on how many chickens you have. Keep in mind that the majority of towns and cities have ordinances that state how far a chicken coop has to be from other structures (this is usually somewhere around 20', but always check your local laws). Inside of the coop your hens will require about 2-3 square feet of space each. The outdoor run needs to offer 4-5 square feet of space per each hen.

Cleaning: Chicken manure can be quite potent. To keep your chickens healthy and happy, you will want to get rid of manure every 1-2 days. For deep cleaning 2 or more times a year. There are methods to helping keep a chicken coop clean on sites such as

Amongst the farm animal supplies on our website you will find supplies to help you with your chickens. We have a variety of poultry feeders, waterers, heat lamps, and even a nesting box in our poultry supplies section.

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