After our move into our new home, we got chickens as soon as we could get up a coop. Me and my husband have always wanted to have farm animals, and this was our first venture into it.
Chickens Need A House
You can put as much as you want into a chicken coop. We just opted to buy a nice one rather than put a bunch of labor and time into building our own. Either way works great.
Make Friends With Those Who Raise Chickens
We have some wonderful friends who’ve raised chickens their entire life. They’re my go-to expert on each issue I have with my feathery friends. And it truly helps understanding when things are simply ordinary chicken behavior (such as pecking each other’s feathers) and sign which are a warning of disease. Like all things, it’s easier doing this
When Will The Eggs Come?
Distinct breeds lay eggs at different ages. Before you invest, read up on which breeds are best to start with as far as earlier egg-laying. But remember, they’re chicken bodies are going to do what their chicken bodies do. You can’t speed up nature.
Additionally, it’s generally inconsistent. Our chickens laid eggs daily for a month, were barren for a couple of days, and then every other day laid eggs. So, you know, just go with it. You generally will have eggs that are enough to continue through days they aren’t producing as much.
Here are a few quick suggestions:
• Chickens are social animals—be ready to invest in about 4-6 of them.
• Collect eggs daily to ensure you’re not picking up old eggs
• Fresh chicken eggs are amazing.
• Because you can’t tell what sex chickens are when they are young so you may get some roosters. Most city ordinances have rules against roosters. So be prepared to deal with the roosters accordingly.
• Cuckoo Marans, Speckled Sussex, and Light Brahmas are a couple of great chicken breeds to begin with.
• In theory, backyard chickens seems like a romantic thought. They get free nutritious food. But it’s hard to shield them from predators out there—predators as close as your family cat or the neighbor’s dog. Personally, I feed my chickens high quality poultry feed inside their coop. I emphasize quality chicken feed because you can tell a difference between well-fed chicken eggs and under nourished chicken eggs. The better the chickens are fed the better the eggs are!
• Keep the coop clean.
• Make sure that the coop is wide enough the chickens don’t get competitive with each other. They want some room to flap their wings and healthy space reduces disease.
Just remember to have fun.
Fun looks different for each family.
My kids and husband enjoy cooking our chickens after a good egg season. But I understand that for a lot of people, the chickens become pets. Thus this wouldn’t be a great idea in that case. But we love it.
We also like entering our chickens into the state fair. It’s a great activity for the kids and they get really excited.
And most of all, love those fresh, delicious eggs.