7 Tips for Beginning Chicken Keepers


Three Chickens In A Backyard

Our chicken-keeping path started a little backwards: First, we dreamed and wished to start raising chickens for a long, long while. Then, my husband came home one day with a box of baby chicks in his arms; and then we figured out how to build a coop and make it safe and comfortable for our new feathered friends.

So perhaps you’re like us — you wish you had chickens and feel that your sustainable, self-reliant life wouldn’t be complete without some hens clucking and pecking around your back yard. However, you’re a little intimidated by actually jumping in. Here’s my two cents, after several years of raising chickens under our belts:

Figure out what you want. Do you want to grace your breakfast table with some fantastic home-grown eggs? Are you into keeping some birds for the prospect of humanely raised meats? Are you fascinated by heirloom chickens and would like to try your hand at breeding them and selling chicks? Or maybe a mixture of all?

Think about this as you select your breed. At first we thought of nothing but eggs, so we went for Leghorns. Later on, we developed a taste for fancy breeds, and have raised Brahmas, Cochins, Silkies and Polish.

Also, in the beginning we only wanted some laying hens and weren’t at all interested in keeping a rooster, but now we value our roosters as an important part of the flock and enjoy the excitement of baby chicks each spring.

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