Nothing beats the taste of fresh eggs in the morning that come from your own chickens. Raising chickens is becoming more and more popular. They provide you with organic eggs that are pesticide and antibiotic free. Before you set up a chicken coop, you will want to make sure that it is legal to have chickens on your property.
When you are first thinking about raising chickens you will want to check with your landlord if you are a renter. If you own your home, be sure to check with the city to see if this is legal. Many cities don’t allow homeowners to keep chickens in their backyards and if you get caught, you could end up having to pay a big fine. Chickens are often considered as livestock instead of pets, so do your research if you don’t want any problems.
You might want to inform your neighbors as well because they might not be too happy having to listen to the chickens and they could be concerned that the coop is going to smell or attract vermin. Keeping the cages raised and clean can help control vermin and odors. All chickens will make some noise and you might want to speak with your neighbors first so they don’t file a complaint. It won’t hurt to give your neighbors some eggs on a regular basis either.
Once you know that you can keep chickens and you don’t anticipate any problems with the neighbors, you can start to plan your coop. Chickens can make a mess of your new coop in a hurry, so you might want to consider having two coops that you can alternate between. This way you will always have a clean space for your chickens.
They can also make a mess on the ground and they need to have lots of scratching material, so make sure you have a thick layer of wood chips on the bottom of the coop and be sure to replace it on a regular basis. Don’t let your chickens go free range because there are too many predators. They could get eaten by dogs or cats and even escape your yard and get run over. You never want to overcrowd your chickens either because this can make them sick and cause stress. You only need two or three hens to get all the fresh eggs you can eat.
Now that the coop is set up, you need to think about what kind of hens you want. There are many breeds to choose from and some hens lay more eggs than others, so if gathering eggs is your main motivation for raising chickens, you should go with breeds that can produce more eggs.
You might want to have some hens that are kept as pets or even kept for their looks. If you can stomach it, you can choose hens for meat. Be sure to spend some time doing the research on the different type of hens that are available so you can find the best breeds for your needs.
Make sure to invest in the right equipment to keep chickens healthy and happy. They need much more than just a cage. You need a quality feeder that will keep the food dry and stop it from being wasted. Buy a high quality drinker as well because it is important that your chickens have access to fresh water at all times.
Store the chicken feed in a metal or glass container so the vermin can’t chew through it and make sure you have some quality cleaning supplies on hand. You want to keep the inside of the cages very clean so the hens don’t develop parasites or mites. Hens also love taking dust baths so make sure you have a pan filled with sand for the hens to bathe in.
Make sure to have lots of chicken feed on hand and give your hens corn as a treat. Keep a bowl of grit in the cage for the chickens and hang up some veggies in the cage for your chickens to snack on. Chickens need bedding material to be comfortable and they also need exercise so you can let them out of the cage if you are present.