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How To Raise Chickens For Fun And Self-Sufficiency

Updated on February 14, 2014

Become a Gentleman Farmer Today

By no stretch of the imagination am I an expert in raising chickens. I learn from the time-tested approach of trial and error, and more times than not error rules the day. Still, I have six chickens, all of which are healthy and happy, so I must be doing something right.

I did my research before beginning my chicken adventure. There are countless articles online that will go into great depth about chicken farming, and you can find books about it at your local library that can make you the expert I am not.

My sole goal today is to write a very basic overview of what it takes to raise chickens in an urban setting, and maybe by doing so save you from making some of the mistakes I made along the way.

Two of our flock
Two of our flock | Source

Advantages of Having Chickens

When we started out on our adventure, we simply wanted to have fresh eggs. Since I have a natural distrust of agribusinesses, I much prefer knowing where my eggs come from; in other words, I trust myself more than I do “egg factories” that produce tens of thousands of eggs. I was surprised, however, to discover that I gained not only eggs but very entertaining pets as a bonus. Chickens really are fun to raise. They are by no means stupid and they each have distinctive personalities.

They are fertilizing machines as well as food providers, and their fertilizer helps me in my gardening adventures, and roll it all together and it is one more step in my quest to become self-sufficient in this modern world.

So yes, I recommend raising chickens if you have the time and space to do so; I do not think you will be disappointed at all.

Check Municipal Codes

This is your first step if you live in a city. Every city is different regarding legislation about chickens. We live in Olympia, Washington, and here we are allowed five chickens and no roosters. That is a fairly common guideline. Roosters tend to be a bit noisy when the rest of the neighborhood is trying to sleep, whereas hens are quite content to sleep and remain quiet until you release them from their coop in the morning.

So check those municipal codes and see what is allowed in your area. Quite frankly, if you are not planning on raising countless chickens, there is no reason to have roosters anyway. You just add a whole bunch of headaches you don’t need by adding roosters to the mix.

The first few days in plastic tub with water and food dishes
The first few days in plastic tub with water and food dishes | Source

Preparing for the Chicks

Check your property and make sure you have a suitable space for your hens. You will need room for a coop and room for a chicken “run,” a space where they can roam about and hunt for insects and worms. Consider it an exercise yard for your hens, and the exact size is up to you. Our initial chicken run was about thirty feet long and five feet wide. We have since expanded it and now allow our chickens to roam our entire garden area; that was not done because of necessity but rather by choice because we wanted their fertilizer in our raised garden beds.

You can purchase newborn chicks for two or three dollars each, or you can buy year olds for a little more. If you are buying chicks then you will need a large tub to keep them in for a month or so. Newborns need to be kept warm for that first month and safe from predators, so we kept ours in a spare bedroom. Turn the light off at night and you won’t even know they are in the house.

One other thing I would suggest is letting your neighbors know you will be raising chickens. It’s just a matter of courtesy, really. Tell them you will let them have some fresh eggs and chances are they will be quite excited about the venture.

Coop under construction
Coop under construction | Source
Nesting boxes in unfinished coop
Nesting boxes in unfinished coop | Source

Building the Coop

A chicken coop needs to be a dry, reasonably warm place that serves as protection against backyard predators and a place for your hens to lay. It should have a nesting box and a place to roost.

We refused to pay for a ready-made coop that cost $600 so we made ours from used wooden pallets. Making it took about four hours and cost a total of $50 for the plywood that we nailed over the pallets to keep the wind and rain out. The roof is an old truck canopy that we were not using.

Any old structure will serve the purpose. If you have a small shed that you don’t use then make that a coop. An old garage or an old kid’s playhouse will also do the job.

We have a door that opens from the coop to the run, and the run is protected with chicken wire on the sides and fowl netting on top to keep the hawks from feasting on our darlings. I have provided pictures to the right of this article for you to see; they should give you a little better idea of what is needed in a coop.

Supplies Needed

Not much in the way of supplies are needed. We have a water dish and a food dish, both of which we hang from the ceiling of the coop so their food and water is not contaminated. Chickens will walk in their food; they will poop in their food; and they will mix their food with straw and possibly die from that mixture, so hanging the food and water from the ceiling seems to eliminate those problems.

You can buy chicken feed at any farm supply store. For our six chickens we buy a 25 lb bag once every two months or so. Their main diet consists of bugs and worms, which cost nothing, and our table scraps which again cost nothing. If you eat rice then your chickens will be happy. If you eat bread then your chickens will be ecstatic. They are not terribly picky eaters and they are wonderful little composters.

If you live in an area that gets very cold in the winter you will need a heat lamp to hang in the coop during those cold stretches, but we are talking about very cold weather. Our chickens do quite well with temps around freezing, and during a cold snap earlier this winter when temps dropped into the teens during the day they were still out pecking and scratching….but at night they really do need the comfort of that heat lamp.

The finished product
The finished product | Source

Care for Your Chickens

Really there is very little care involved. I release ours from the coop at sunlight and they amuse themselves until sundown. Once a day I go to their coop and take out the fresh eggs, and at the same time I scrape out the poop from the night before. We have a bale of fresh hay and we use that as a bedding in their nesting box and the floor of their coop.

At night I take a piece of bread and entice them back to their coop and lock them in for the night….and yes, it is important to lock them in. Nighttime predators can kill off your flock very quickly, so they definitely need that protection at night.

For you pet owners, we have two dogs and they get along fine with the chickens, but that is not true of all breeds of dogs or cats. If you do have dogs or cats then you’ll have to discover compatibility on your own and take the necessary precautions. Chickens are quite defenseless, so proceed with caution please.

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And Those Are the Basics

You will notice that I did not mention the fact that when their laying days are over they also provide wonderful chicken dinners. Our chickens are our pets and I doubt we will be eating them until they die naturally.

Chickens will last from eight to ten years, and they will lay eggs for five or six of those years. Their laying comes in a decreasing amount over the years. Their best year of laying is the first year when each hen will lay, on average, five or six eggs per week. As the years continue their laying output will diminish, and during the winter months they usually will not lay.

I love to share information and experience, so if you are considering raising chickens feel free to contact me with your questions.

If you have the space and the desire for fresh eggs and a bit of self-sufficiency, I highly recommend raising chickens. In three years we will be moving to the country and then all restrictions will be gone. We plan on having dozens of these great pets and roosters as well. If you ever want to visit our little farm just follow the sounds of crowing in the distance.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Country-Sunshine, as soon as I get acreage I'll have as many chickens as you have. I love it...and they really do make great pets. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 2 years ago from Texas

      When my neighbor gave me a rooster & 5 pullets several years ago, I couldn't imagine what I was going to do with them. Now, I can't imagine being without them! I have 34 chickens, 9 guineas and 5 ducks, and they are such a pleasure! They are my pets, and all have names. I sit in the yard, and some hop into my lap to be petted.

      This is a really nice article on the basics of getting & raising chickens. I enjoyed seeing the photos of your birds, and their coop!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Violette...they are a joy to watch. We are so glad we got them. Thank you!

    • VioletteRose profile image

      VioletteRose 3 years ago from Chicago

      We had them in my parents home so many years back, and yes they were so much of fun :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, if i had acreage I would have fifty chickens and sell eggs for supplemental income...maybe one day. :) Thank you as always my friend.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      I thought about you the other day on a trip to Sam's Club ( a huge box store). They were selling chicken coops and they weren't cheap. Raising chickens is definitely in fashion right now. A friend of ours raises them and sells the eggs.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      titi6601, you are very welcome. Thanks for the visit and comment and I hope you get those chickens one day.

    • titi6601 profile image

      titi6601 3 years ago

      I love this article. I have always wanted to raise chickens to have fresh healthy eggs. Especially, with the crazy prices for organic eggs. Thanks for sharing and the videos are great too.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      sujaya, I can understand that. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shyron, that must have turned out to be a very large rooster. LOL Thanks for sharing that story this morning.

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 3 years ago

      bil i become nostalgic of my grandparents' house

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Bill, on my grandparents farm we had chickens and they do make good pets. One Banty rooster followed my everywhere, it was so funny and still is, when my brother tell the story and the rooster came up to his knee, the rooster grew just like he did (not really) but you would think so from his story on his pet rooster.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeannie, Bev would never allow that to happen...and honestly I don't have it in me to do it either. :) Thanks for the visit.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      My grandmother used to have chickens, and they were quite delightful little pets. I do miss them. I am happy to hear you are enjoying your chickens and even happier to hear you won't be making a meal out of them once their egg laying days are over. :-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, I may not be an expert but I'm not afraid to try until I learn....all we have to do is try, right?

      Blessings on this beautiful Sunday, and a sincere thank you!

      bill

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Good evening Bill.

      WOW ! what an enjoyable read by an expert. Who wouldn't like to raise own chicken being introduced to step by step how to do right thing right from the first hand experience?! I would…

      Voted awesome.

      May the good Lord give you long and healthy life, you're absolutely essential , my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It will indeed, Deb! Now we just have to make it happen.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sounds like a great dream to have your little farm. It will surely be a peaceful abode, I have no doubt.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great memories, Brandi..coyotes, I'm afraid, would find a way to get those chickens if you had any....it is tough keeping those four-legged devils out of the henhouse. :) Thank you as always.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Such a wonderful Hub packed full of helpful information. My grandfather had about 20 chickens when I was a teenager. My job was to get the eggs every day. It was such an amazing experience. I've been wanting chickens for my own children, but we have a lot of wild animals around here. We have fisher cats, coyotes, and fox.

      Fortunately there are two farms where my children have had the opportunity to be exposed to chickens. The apple orchard and the family farm down the road both allow children to feed the chickens scraps. My kids used to have so much fun doing that when they were smaller.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      stuff4kids, I'm so happy that you found this helpful and informative. Good luck with that garden and hopefully you have space for some chicks; they don't take up too much room.

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Fabulous stuff!

      I finally got a small vegetable garden - well, a patch of ground that will become a vegetable garden!

      I'm wondering if I'll have enough space to keep a few hens for eggs as well? This is really full of great information and quite inspiring and unusual coop designs, too.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ron, I look forward to reading it. Thanks for the kind words.

    • RonHawk profile image

      Ron Hawkins 3 years ago from California, United States

      Billybuc, you done it again. I loved this. So much so, it inspired me to write my first hub in a long chicken. errrr.... in a long time.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, for a bird-lover like you, chickens probably aren't the greatest pets. :) We haven't had one killed yet by scavengers, but I know that day is coming and I dread it.

      Thank you my friend. Spring is coming, right? The calendar says so, right? LOL

      bill

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, you have certainly covered the basics of chicken raising and then some! My Grandma Card raised chickens so she could have money to buy fabrics to make quilts. As you say, they pretty much do their own thing, and they give a lot in return for a modest coop and some kitchen scraps. Here in the northeast, chickens don't lay eggs from late November until the warmth of spring returns.

      We have considered raising chickens, but our woods are full of predators that know how to pick the locks! It would be great to have fresh eggs everyday. I know I wouldn't have the heart to turn them into Sunday dinner once those older chickens stopped laying like my Grandma did ;) Pearl

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, I don't know if they realize or not. I'll ask them this morning. :)

      Thank you dear friend. Have a wonderful week!

      bill

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Hi Bill, I just love your chicken hubs, I hope you realise that those fabulous chicks of yours, are now part of our HP extended family, we've known them since they were little balls of fluff. You and Bev have done such a great job, well done! This is a wonderful read with oodles of useful information. My best to you both.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's always a pleasure having you stop by vellur...thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome vkwok; thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rachel, I don't see that as argumentative. I see it as sharing your experience and I thank you.

      So far we have stopped the raccoons....but we are always vigilant about that. I can hardly wait to get out in the country where we aren't limited by the six chicken number....I can see us having forty or more easily and selling the eggs.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, for sure, it is very hard to eat pets. I would have never guessed that I would become attached to a chicken but I have. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again Misty. We are getting three eggs from our six right now; not sure which three are laying...actually, the two blue egg layers are taking the winter off, so that narrows it down to the other four.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Misty, thanks for the tip on the hay...I knew they diminished in egg laying after two years. I guess we'll have a decision to make when our two years comes up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I was smiling at your comment; we have two running across the yard right now and they are hilarious. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kim, there is a distinctly different taste for sure and I know others who haven't been able to adjust to it...kind of like farm fresh milk rather than the stuff you buy in a grocery store. :) Thanks for your thoughts and it's good to see you back.

      bill

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Very useful and an interesting hub. Great pointers to raising chickens. Checking what is allowed in the area is very important as you have stated. Great hub. Voted up.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for sharing these interesting and useful facts, Bill!

    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Informative and concise hub, Bill. Well done! :) Raccoons are a chicken's worst enemy, I'm convinced. Lost nearly 20 young birds in one raccoon raid a few years back. They're the only predator I've encountered that will kill more prey than he intends to eat, leaving behind a good portion of his kill in favor of consuming only what are apparently his favorite parts.

      I love that you built your coop from pallet wood. We are planning to do just that. Why buy what you can get for free, right?

      Your chickens are lovely and I'm happy for you, now that you've got them. I know you were looking forward to it :).

      And also, I don't want to be argumentative with another comment-leaver, but I often used hay for bedding with no issues. The chickens will gladly pick hay free of seeds! I would recommend straw because it is cheaper, and would stay away from wood chips or sawdust, etc. The type of wood itself can be unhealthy for the chickens, especially if it's pressure- or chemically-treated wood. Respiratory problems ensue!

      Good luck with your birds! ;)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I love that you are giving chickens the respect they deserve through not only your chronicles but also this piece. My brother has several chickens, and they are productive ladies, helping to feed his family of 7. Some of the girls are retired now and living the good life ... never eaten. Can't eat pets!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      PS: The variety of chicken we have is called a 'Black Rhode' (a hybrid Rhode Island Red) which are known to lay all year round. Currently we are in the depths of winter here, and still getting about 10 eggs a day from 14 chickens (2 of which are not Black Rhodes).

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Just an afterthought. You should avoid using hay in both nest boxes and in the coop (straw too) as these make the perfect habitat for mites. Wood shavings are the far better option both in the nest boxes and on the floor. :)

      They also reach their peak egg laying years at around 2 years old (which is why many people change their chickens then). Although they will lay after this the egg laying quantities will drop considerably.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      I raised chickens when I lived in the country but after losing two of my favorite roosters, that kind of did it for me. I did enjoy the fresh eggs, though and you are right - they are fun to watch. There are few things funnier than watching a chicken run. Great information here, Bill!

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Bill,

      I think it is really cool and brave to raise chickens in a city setting. I have had chickens in the past, but I live in the country. I do not know that I would be as brave in a city setting. I do remember how delightful it was to collect the eggs. I do not know if it was the type of chicken or what, but I never could adjust to the taste of the eggs to eat them as eggs, but found them to be a magic ingredient in anything I baked. Also, how wonderful it is that you are working toward having a place in the country. I look forward to hearing about your future adventures.

      Best Always,

      Kim

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelly, I didn't know you guys were moving....that's great. I hope you find the property you want. Thanks for stopping by on this rainy weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Genna! Raccoons can, indeed, open a hook and eye latch lock. We had to buy wisely when we got a lock for the coop. As for how old.....a week is sufficient. They will survive quite nicely inside the house and after a month or so they are ready for the outside.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peg, we have talked about raising emus when we get out farm...and I'm pretty sure we will. Don't worry about cold temps with chickens; they do quite well in the cold as long as they have a heat lamp to hang by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Deb, we already have an unhappy neighbor because of the noise our hens make when laying.....of course, this same guy runs his power tools all day long and doesn't think that noise is annoying. Now when he gets angry I go outside and squawk louder than our hens. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      georgescifo, thank you for sharing your experience. Maybe one day in the future you can do it again.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Mary, maybe some day your area will see the wisdom in allowing them....until then, you can live vicariously through us. :) Thanks for all the visits today.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, I'm with you on that. I can't eat a pet and our chickens have become pets....I'll just go to the store when I have a hankerin' for fried chicken. Thanks buddy and have a great weekend.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Cool Bill! I've always wanted to have chickens...of course I have to move first my sub restrictions don't allow it here. I'm slowly getting ready to move though - going to buy property to go with the house this time so I can have some chicks!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia...if what you say is true then I am a happy writer.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Misty, when we finally buy our mini-farm we will have that many as well and sell eggs too...I can hardly wait. Thanks for sharing and visiting.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Bill;

      I was surprised to learn that chickens are “by no means stupid.” The coloring of the two you have pictured above are distinctive and pretty. They really are cute. :-)

      You take care of your flock quite well, Bill, and did your homework on their raising and maintenance. The videos are excellent, too. Raccoons can open a hook and eye latch lock? Pesky little critters, aren’t they? I learned a lot from this interesting hub, such as they like rice and table scraps I addition to feed, and can handle colder temps surprising well. I was curious as to how old chicks are when available for purchase.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Billybuc, Thanks for this entertaining and educational write up about raising chickens. We certainly have the space to raise a flock but the freezing temps have kept me from actually doing so. At one time, we raised emus before the market crashed. I spent a lot of time worrying about their exposure in the weather. That experience taught me I could never allow my pets to go to the end market as food. I became quite close to the birds who actually had distinct personalities, some very friendly and curious and others would sneak up from behind and bite. Reading your article made me consider a fresh start with raising chickens.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      Great summary. Chickens do make fantastic pets. They are so entertaining. Some days I can sit out there for hours watching mine. And their happy clucking sounds are so peaceful. The biggest surprise for me is how noisy hens can be, especially when they are getting ready to lay an egg.

    • georgescifo profile image

      georgescifo 3 years ago from India

      really reminds me of my college days when I stayed in my village and had a decent number of chickens at home. It was really a fun and passion, raising the chickens and I had some of the best breeds of chicken in my village and was also considered as a growing young chicken farmer. But unfortunately in the course of time, I moved away from my village and become busy with my profession and career. So really missing those wonderful days back at my village. Thanks for sharing this amazing hub.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      Of course I would love to raise chickens. I've been able to have fresh eggs and they can't be beat, however, we are not "zoned" for farm animals. What a shame. So much to be learned and so much to appreciate.

      Voted up, useful, interesting, and shared.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Good article Bill. Chickens are a great addition to any yard as long as the municipal codes of your area allow them. We an never bring ourselves to kill and eat ours either. After their egg laying days are over they live out their retirement happily here. Chicken is so cheap to buy that it seems a lot of unnecessary work and duress to kill and eat your pets who have served you well.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very useful hub for anyone who is considering raising chickens. It's also very enjoyable to read, even for someone who might never own chickens!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Just love our chickens. Right now we have 14 but have 40 more on order. We simply can't keep up with the demand for eggs. All our chickens are on a standard vegetarian diet apart from the worms and insects they get scratching around in the grass and they seem to thrive on it. The eggs are amazing and becoming a nice little part time business for me. We can't kill ours either but luckily have plenty of land we lease to keep them on.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, I hear you buddy. There is no way these "pets" are going to be our dinner until they die on their own....and then probably not. LOL...Quite honestly I don't know why more people don't raise them. We could start a movement and put the egg factories out of business. :) Thanks my friend and have a warm and enjoyable weekend in Arizona.

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      Old Poolman 3 years ago

      Bill, as a fellow chicken lover, I have to say I loved this hub. I only have 5 hens now. I had 6 but a red tailed hawk had one for lunch. Since then I have installed bird netting over the top of the large run area. The hawks kept coming back but soon learned their "entitlements" had been shut down. I have not seen them for over a month so perhaps they found easier pickings.

      I love my fresh eggs, and the five hens provide just about the right number of eggs to keep the 3 of us well supplied. Unfortunately, I have made friends with all 5 of them, so the idea of fried chicken is no longer in the picture. But fortunately the supermarkets still sell chicken so I don't have to do without.

      Anyone who has the space should seriously consider getting a few chickens. The rewards are great and they would find it an interesting and fun hobby.

      Thanks for sharing this information Bill, have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, I want you to take the rest of the weekend off. You have outdone yourself with this hilarious comment. The day I choose paint schemes for a chicken coop is the day hell offers cross-country skiing. LOL Way too funny my friend...vibrating recliners for chickens? I wonder if Ikea carries such a thing?

      Have a great weekend and thanks for ending my week on a high note.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! No, this is not for everyone, and there are still quite a few cities that have not joined the movement...but....it is a movement and it is growing, and that's nice to see.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That's okay, Sha! I'm not too fond of doing it myself. These chickens of ours will live a long life. :)

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      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Bill, Bill, Bill. You say you love your chickens. Really? Surely you are

      familiar with Feng Shui. But, are you up on the latest Chicken Feng Shui? Take for example your chicken ramp. All the good energy can just roll right on down that ramp. What if one of your birds stubs her toe and

      trips and falls. That is a long way to the bottom. Everyone knows a hot chick likes to work the runway. It should be L shaped to add more flair.

      And, would it kill you to put up some window boxes for those sweet girls?

      They could wake up to daisies in the springtime.

      Finished product? For heaven's sake, slap some pretty paint on that girl's dormitory. Maybe Dusty Rose would complement the red camper

      top. Those girls will work their tail feathers off for you if you make them

      happy. Everyone knows a few bucks can make the girls cluck.

      Be a responsible chicken father and check out the latest books on

      Chicken Feng Shui. When you are ready for the next step, we will

      discuss furniture for Chicken Flats. Think recliners that vibrate----

      ever so relaxing and when you break the eggs, they are already scrambled

      up!

      Have a super weekend, my friend.

      DJ.

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      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I eat chicken, pork and beef, but can't bring myself to do it if I knew them when they were alive - believe me, I've tried. I would make a lousy farmer!

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      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. This is a great introduction to raising chickens. I may have mentioned that my sister raises chickens and they have also become her pets with names and distinctive personalities. Perhaps someday I will give this a go. I suspect my town has some code preventing this but I will check out of curiosity. Have a great weekend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I've seen the same thing on a farm and it is not a sight you are likely to forget. I've always seen rabbits killed for meat by snapping their necks.....not for me my friend. I'll just eat the eggs and be happy with that. :) Thank you my dear.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I swear to all that is holy, Lizzy, you could have them in a month if you would move that family to Washington. I'll even do the real estate search for you. Come west my dear friend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, those poor fish...nobody cares about them because they are so ugly. LOL It's true, though; you can't cuddle with them so they aren't cute. I'll keep writing chicken stories and maybe one day I'll get a convert in you. Thanks my dear.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      HaHa, i loved your last thoughts. My mother always had chickens, she bought babies and raised them to young fryers then canned them. I can't imagine doing that. When she wanted fried chicken in the summer time, she would grab one and wring it's neck off, i would run and hide and cover my ears. I remember watching them run around headless, OMG! I feel sorry for chickens that are caged and never feel the earth. I am going to start buying range-free eggs. I know you will be happy when you can live on a farm. You are a natural. Thank you again...

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      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I will have chickens some day. I've had the book Chickens in Your Backyard for about 10 years now!

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      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I just love your chicken hubs. I don't know if I'll ever raise chickens, but I do have the room in my backyard. My neighbor raised chickens. He and his wife have now seemed to have taken up permanent residence in the Georgia home, but their son still lives next door. However, I don't think he's raising the chickens. I would imagine they're now in Georgia as well.

      If I did venture into the chicken raising business, I'm sure I'd have to keep them as pets when they finished laying eggs; I wouldn't be able to eat them. I just can't bring myself to eat something I've seen live. Well, fish are an exception - they're not cuddly.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith. If they are your favorites then I'll have to writer more now won't I?

      blessings always and wishing you a marvelous weekend.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Some day, Ann, I will write a children's book based on our chickens...but first things first and my current novel is in need of 20,000 more words. I shall persevere. :) Have a wonderful weekend my friend and thank you.

      bill

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      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Well, when you set your mind to do something, you do it!!! What a great hub full of insightful information to help anyone know how to get started raising chickens in the city! What fun! I just love reading your chicken hubs. They may just be my favorite hubs of your hubs!

      Up and more and sharing

      Have a great weekend and enjoy your eggs (maybe a nice omelet!).

      Hugs, Faith Reaper

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      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Chickens are great, aren't they? I love hearing about yours and it's true that each one is a character in its own right.

      My partner has kept chickens, geese, rabbits, you name it, so he was keen to keep some in France and they were great fun. Did you know they love porridge? Couldn't get enough of it! We used to mix up all sorts of things and there was never a scrap of it left.

      None here though as it's not practical in our pocket handkerchief garden and the neighbours wouldn't like it (lots of veg and a very low wall!).

      Great advice, especially regarding checking local laws. Wishing your chickens a long a happy life; they couldn't be in a better place! Ann

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I wish you could too, cecileportilla. If you lived closer I'd give you some of our fresh eggs. :) Thank you and have a great weekend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree, Dora..the benefits are worth it. Thank you and have a great weekend.

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      Cecile Portilla 3 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      Nice Article Billybuc. As pointed out in the video it is true that what chickens eat can affect the taste of their eggs. My grandparents raised chickens. The eggs and the chicken when cooked taste absolutely delicious and completely differently from chicken and eggs that are sold in the grocery stores. Too many chemicals in our commercial poultry products. Wish I could grow my own!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Sheri! I hope one day you can move back to the country. I am so looking forward to it.

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      This takes me back to my Caribbean childhood when almost, if not all, the families in our village raised their own chickens. Those who can should learn from you. Health and financial benefits are worth it. Thank you, Bill.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you kschimmel; we think so too. :)

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      Sheri Dusseault 3 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      I was raised on a farm and chickens were a part of our life. We lost a lot of them to hawks though. And, I am afraid we did eat them, which broke my heart because I made pets out of them too. How nice you are moving to the country....I would love to too! Thanks Bill, great article.

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      Kimberly Schimmel 3 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      Your chickens are beautiful!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Don, I think that's great that you are pulling away and documenting it. I look forward to reading your accounting of the life change. Thanks my friend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, most people have no idea how much better fresh eggs are than those bought in a store...huge difference in my opinion.

      I can't wait for you to raise them either...I know you will love it.

      Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, I would say you have some big hurdles to jump over before you get chickens....but you have the perfect place for them. Too bad you can't do it. Well, thanks and have a great weekend.

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      Don Bobbitt 3 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      billybuc- great article. I will keep your suggestions in mind as I set my sights on pulling away from commercialized foods that are loaded with so many toxic chemicals these days.

      It is going to be a long journey, but I am documenting my trip so your suggestions are being tagged for future reference.

      Thanks for another well written article on an interesting subject.

      DON

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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I can't wait to raise chickens! I used to enjoy fresh eggs every day when we lived in the country. The taste is so wonderful. Thanks for sharing what it takes to sucessfully raise chickens. And, yes, they are very smart birds!

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      Cynthia Sageleaf 3 years ago from Western NC

      Hehe. Your chickens are cute. :) We have space. We have gardens. But, we have a crazy dog and we go to Colorado a lot: the chickens would either get eaten or starve. Until we have more friends willing to make the trek out to our neck of the woods, we don't have much in the way of housesitters when we're gone. The dog problem can be solved with chicken wire, but...maybe we can train him to BRING us the eggs and not eat them and the chickens. hahaha

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, thanks for taking the time to read a hub that obviously does not interest you. :) I do appreciate it. Enjoy your Friday and stay safe in Snowland.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good news, Jackie, and thanks for sharing that....I wonder, living in the South, if your chickens will even take time off? I guess we'll find out, won't we? Have a great weekend my friend.

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      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, great advice and will say I don't think I will be raising chickens any day soon, because my girls are enough work for me right now, but still thank you for sharing. Happy Friday and Valentine's Day, too now!

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      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      My heat lamp raised my electric bill quite a bit so after reading up on it I discovered I can just stick a 60 watt or 100 watt bulb in there that costs about nothing and it will put out nearly as much heat and with the metal hood you have constant heat coming out. Also I saw the big ones could cause a fire if they got knocked down on the straw and caught fire which is not likely with reg bulbs. The girls seem to be happy and so am I and it is 3 eggs a day no matter the temperature so I have to start sharing with someone!