As you can see I am a chicken Mom… Love chickens. They always de-stress me and I get eggs. I wanted to share some of my information I learned by keeping chickens. I hope you are thinking about getting some. They are fun to have and help you in lots of ways.
Gardens love chickens….. The pecking and scratching as well as the poop add nutrients and aerates the soil. Rich soil is a plus in gardening as you know.
So I also save money by keeping chickens. A dozen eggs at our Wal-Mart is 3.38. That is for large white eggs. I pay for a 40 lb bag of feed at $9 feeding 10 chickens all hens for about a month. I get about 8 eggs a day in peak time which I will explain in a minute making my out-of-pocket cash cost per dozen eggs about $2 bucks…. cost-effective right….
Not to mention my eggs are completely natural. No chemicals added and have more nutrients per egg then store-bought.. Plus, you can’t beat an egg cooked within 24 hours of collection.
The eggs in the store are not from healthy chickens. They are giving chemicals to make them lay more often than the 28 hour natural cycle. Some breeds are longer or shorter cycle. They are already old by the time they hit the stores, egg producers have 6 WEEKS to get them to the store….. Depending on what breed you choose to have your fresh eggs will be bigger too.
A few things you need to do to prep for having chickens……
1; Check your city or county and find out if you can have chickens and how many… If not well it’s completely up to you to decide if you want to risk it.
2; OK you can have chickens so now do you have space for them. They need a minimum of 4 square feet per for roaming around. That will dictate how many you can get too. Remember their lay cycles are 28 hours. You may be giving eggs away if you go over board. YES I DID…..
3; Most chicken experts recommend at least 3 chickens because they are social animals. You also need to be aware of outdoor predators like cats, dogs, hawks…. etc. Keep your other animals away from them unless you are willing to deal with the ugly details. Or train your pets to love them too.
4; You do not need a rooster to have chickens lay eggs. That is a question I have gotten before. If you have people close by you may want to keep it to hens.
5;You need a house for them. A place for them to lay eggs and perch at night. It will help you in the long run by having a way to contain them on occasion like I do. We purchase a hen-house from someone on Craigslist. $100 and 2 dog runs for $100. not too much money if you think about it. You can build your own hen house and get fencing.
6; Water and feed are important. You don’t have to spend huge money on chicken products but find out what will work for you and check out YouTube for ideas. Unless you live on 20 acres and have plenty of green and bugs for them they will need supplemental feed. Fresh water needs to be available 24-7. Feed you can feed them in the morning and a bit at night but I just have feed available 24-7 too.
7; Now is the time to research what breeds are best for you. If you live in snow country or hot area certain breeds are best for your area. Here in Northern Cal I can choose almost any breed. Contact your local farm supply store and find out what works around your area. Most of them will be selling day old chicks in the spring.
8; Make sure your area you have for the chickens has ample shade and sun. Chickens need at least 10 hours of sun to lay eggs and be healthy. Shade for when its hot out is good too. They can’t sweat and have hot feathers. They need an area to cool off. I set up a mister so they can be cooler when it’s over 100 degrees.
There you go…. the 8 things you should think about before you bring those fur balls home. I hope this helps you with the basic information you will need to know before you get any chicks or chickens.
In my next Chicken Raising article I will take you though the frist steps of chick babies. What they need and how to raise them so they love you as much as you love them.
Questions or comments please leave them here… I want to help you and you can help others…
Glad your here!