Several years back, if you wanted to raise chicken, you need to move out to the country, where there’s a lot of open space. But do you know that many families now, regardless of how small a space they have, are putting up their own small backyard chickens. Nothing beats its simplicity and it makes life more exciting, giving you some measure of self-sufficiency.
Raising your own chicken helps you turn your kitchen scrap into fertilizer, they are an efficient insect terminators, they make a wonderful pet and of course, they will supply you with fresh and tastier eggs every day. But, you need to be sure that raising backyard chicken will fit into your lifestyle, because raising backyard chickens entails some responsibilities too. Hey, you can always change your lifestyle… right?
Everything starts with a plan. Here are some basic things that you need to know before you start bringing in chicken to your backyard. Try to find out first if your community allows raising backyard chicken. Many communities now in the U.S. are chicken friendly, so I think it’s not going to be much of a problem.
Choosing the right chicken breed for your project. Try to get some advice from local farmers or friends as to what age and breed to pick. For a beginner, raising them from chicks may not be a good idea. Aside from being costly (spend a lot on feed before they start producing eggs), mortality is high and unless you know how tell their sex, you may end up with a lot of rooster. It is best to start with hybrid hens that are just about ready to lay eggs, they are usually 18 to 21weeks old. Each hen lay one egg per day and they are also friendly in nature. There are other breeds that are flighty and are not children-friendly. If you want a good egg producer get the Isa Brown variety, they produce brown eggs.
Now, Chicken has the same basic needs like us in order to survive, like shelter, food and water.
Shelter. You need to provide a shelter for your flock or more appropriately called a chicken coop. They have three main purposes, protection from weather and predators, a place to roost at night and a safe place to lay their eggs.
Food. You can feed them with kitchen scraps and garden waste if you have them. This will help you cut down on commercial feeds. Buy them crumbles or grains to supplement their diet during rainy days and winter. They don’t move around much when it’s wet and cold. Make sure that their feeders are always clean. Never let the grains get moldy or wet.
Water. Yes, chicken gets thirsty too. Provide them the right watering bucket, like a 5 gallon type so you don’t have fill it often.
So, there you have it. It’s really not so expensive and chicken is really low maintenance. Plus the thrill of collecting fresh eggs every day!