Will be raising chickens next spring.

If you want to raise chickens and have a farm to do it then you at least have 1 point on you. The difficulty of raising chickens would depend on how many you want to care for in any given time. The more the dirtier. They poop all the time and you have to feed and give them water all the time. So this means you have to clean their cages all time to avoid any diseases and to avoid neighbors complaining how smelly your surrounding area is.

If you plan to sell them, there are chicks sold that you will need to raise within 45 days anything over 45 days the chicken tends to develop very hard and stiff meat that people of course wouldn't want to eat.

Also if you are planning to hatch the actual eggs then grow them the mortality rate is like 50%. You need to incubate them accordingly and you have to care for them more. but if you plan to raise chickens for pets and would only have like 3 chicks at time, it will be less work of course. However they constantly need heat whether it is summer or not. they need like a light bulb in their cage every night that is cool.

We use to raise chickens as both pets and for business. We gave up after 2 months because it was just too hard for us. We kept 3 chickens as pets and they grew to be around 20 lbs each. They could hardly walk or run. They looked funny but of course they didn't last long. Just like any living thing too much of everything is bad. I thought maybe one died of a heart attack. Cheers!

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Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks

T0niesjv, thanks for providing an answer so quickly.

Yes, I do have a ten acre hobby farm which is outside any municipality, so that is not a problem. I wasn't planning to resell the chickens or hatch the eggs. The idea was just to have fresh eggs for my own family. I don't want to keep them cooped up in cages all the time. I am hoping they can roam in the yard and feed partly on worms and other insects that are available, so that I might be able to cut down on feed, and also it was my plan to supplement the feed with table scraps.

We would not need heat all the time, only during the winter months when the temperature is low. We live in a moderate climate. The idea was to let them run in the yard, then coop them up for the night to avoid predators like coyotes and pole cats.

In view of this additional information, do you have more advice?


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks

T0niesjv, thanks for providing an answer so quickly.

Yes, I do have a ten acre hobby farm which is outside any municipality, so that is not a problem. I wasn't planning to resell the chickens or hatch the eggs. The idea was just to have fresh eggs for my own family. I don't want to keep them cooped up in cages all the time. I am hoping they can roam in the yard and feed partly on worms and other insects that are available, so that I might be able to cut down on feed, and also it was my plan to supplement the feed with table scraps.

We would not need heat all the time, only during the winter months when the temperature is low. We live in a moderate climate. The idea was to let them run in the yard, then coop them up for the night to avoid predators like coyotes and pole cats.

In view of this additional information, do you have more advice?


t0niesjv profile image

t0niesjv 8 years ago from Philippines Author

hi again,

They still need heat. The eggs won't hatch if they are not properly heated.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks

t0niesjv, thanks. Okay, so they need heat. Can you be specific about the best way to provide it? Space heaters? Central heating in the chicken coop? How do I do this on a budget?


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

Good starting point on free ranging chickens! We raised them for 15 years, and during the winter a cheap out of the weather (we got a lot of snow) was a huge wooden dog house (we had Great Danes) with a roosting pole added, then using a chicken light with light bulb at night on a timer for added warmth. Supplemented what they could find outdoors for food with cracked corn and gravel for digestion. Bought our corn by the pickup load to get it cheaper, then stored it in plastic barrels.


t0niesjv profile image

t0niesjv 8 years ago from Philippines Author

Jerilee is right, they need a light bulb. I don't specifically know how many watts and I dont' know if the energy saving kind provides enough heat. As far as I can remember we just used an ordinary kind 30 or 50 watts. You can put 1 bulb in each coop that has about 10 chickens or so; but like what Jerilee said a dog house with lots of hay would be great for them. Since I don't expect a dog house to be big I would say 1 bulb is ok if it's not winter and maybe 2 if it is really cold. (this would still depend of course how many chickens there are). Buy a timer to plug in the cord so that you don't have to keep turning it on or off. I'm glad you find this helpful and goodluck. I love animals.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks

Thanks, Jerilee and t0niesjv. Heating by bulb sounds similar to the way I heat my well house for the winter.

Any thoughts about how to avoid attracting rodents who are after the spilled corn?


t0niesjv profile image

t0niesjv 8 years ago from Philippines Author

I actually don't know. Our chickens were all locked up except the pets, but we had dogs who went after the pests. you can set a place where your chickens can eat and maybe try to put some kind of protection around it. Have a dog maybe?


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

The drop light bulbs have a metal defector or cage, similar to a regular shop drop light, any low watt bulb will do, depending on how cold. They can be bought for under $5. Feed the chickens away from where they roost, generally there is no problem with spilled corn. However, have had problems with them wanting to get into the barrels storing corn, and that solution is to keep them clamped or sealed tightly. Keeping some guineas will keep rodents down, just a couple them will do.


Brainstormer profile image

Brainstormer 8 years ago from Australia

What i like most about this request is that it is about chickens. I have long lamented that there not enough chicken hub in Hubland.

The other thing I liked here was that the answers were of real practical use by people who have ventured down the chicken run.

I grew up with chickens all around.

Good stuff.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks

Jerilee, thanks. It sounds doable.

t0niesjv, yes, I do have a dog, but I will need to keep her away from the chickens.

She would kill them.


t0niesjv profile image

t0niesjv 8 years ago from Philippines Author

oh that's too bad then. our dogs were trained to protect the animals from predators. Maybe you should train him/her. Otherwise the dog will give you a hard time.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks

t0niesjv, is it possible to train an adult dog not to harm chickens? My dog is very sweet and affectionate, but she is also a hunter, and she has been known to snap at and sometimes bite children and chimps when overexcited. When any new animal enters the yard, she goes for them. She has caught and killed squirrels. On the other hand, she seems to be afraid of being pecked at by my daughter's parrot. (I normally keep them apart, but I'm talking about occasions when my daughter had them in the same room -- something I discourage.)


t0niesjv profile image

t0niesjv 8 years ago from Philippines Author

Wow, I don't know what to say? I gew up with so many animals. Dogs we had all our life. My dad and brother were the ones who trained them. When we introduce a new animal to them, my dad will always hold the animal close to the dog and let him smell him. If our dog reacted badly he would scold him. It takes time getting use to it of course, so I really don't know how you can teach your dog. It is weird though if your dog acts this way even with other pets. Maybe she is insecure? Any dog whisperer out there?


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 8 years ago

I can see why you gave up the chicken business. It's a lot of dirty, smelly work. The neighbors might complain if the area isn't kept tidy. How ever did your chickens get so big? Check out my Chicken Story: http://hubpages.com/literature/Haiku-Chicken-Littl...


moonlake profile image

moonlake 7 years ago from America

We had a great dane everytime one of our chickens would stick his head through the wire of the coop the dog would bite it's head off. We had to keep her completely away from the coop. We have never had a dog since that time that has done that. Our lab/shorthair loved the chickens and protected them. We also used the drop light bulb for our chickens and it gets 40 below here. With chickens you have to be very careful they don't get to hot. We let them free ranch during the day and cooped them at night well actually they cooped themselves as soon as it started to get dark they headed for the coop then we closed the door and locked them in so no other animals could get them.

Good hub.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 7 years ago from West Virginia

I raised chickens too. We kept them in a fenced area and they were fine. Some had babies and we let them raise them and sit on them--better rate of hatching that way. Mother Nature knows what she is doing. The day we let the mother hen out and her chickens they were all scooped up by a Chicken Hawk within ten minutes--no kidding and it was a horrible sight to see.

You can do many things with chickens and their housing, feed ect. Now we only had 6 hens and one rooster. Beware of the Rooster--they are mean, really mean and need no provocation to attack and they will attack with their feet and the claws they have are enormous! We had Road Island Reds. We used the eggs and some chickens we used as meat. If they are older and the meat is tough, no worries, you make stews with them. Feeding is not a problem if you have them in a fenced area. We built a large house that we could go into and they could roost at night and yes I believe we had a light for warmth in ther too. With the fence, put the wire about 6 inches below the soil line and they will not be able to get out and nothing will be able to dig in from the outside.

The poop----rake it up and use it as fertilizer! It's the best kind, but you have to age it first or it wil burn your plants. Aging it is simple--leave it in black platic bags for a couple of weeks or get a composter. All natural and very good for the grass, yard, and vegetable gardens. Actually it is wise to compost anyway. There are lots of things you can compost and if you can't afford a composter then just dig a big hole in the ground and throw your grass clippings, vegetable and fruit scraps, and yes the chicken poop right into the hole. Cover it with a piece of carpet or heavy duty cloth to make sure nothing gets into it. Add water for moisture as it won't compost if too dry and till it over once a week.

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