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Raising Chickens in Your Backyard

Updated on August 17, 2009

Backyard Chickens

As a backyard poultry trend sweeps the country, hatcheries that supply baby chicks say they can barely keep up with demand.
As a backyard poultry trend sweeps the country, hatcheries that supply baby chicks say they can barely keep up with demand.

Raising chickens is becoming increasingly popular not only in the farm but also in city and suburb back yards. It is seen as a great alternative to drastically decrease food costs and at the same time make some good investments.

Growing a flock does not only mean being a self-sufficient producer of eggs but you could also provide your family with great tasting poultry meat. Harvesting your own eggs and meat gives you the assurance of a fresh and disease-free meal. Understanding the reason and purpose as to why you have decided to keep poultry is essential since the set up will be based on how you plan to raise them.

Providing them with shelter is practically the most important component to properly raise your chicks. You should construct a home which will secure them from predators while still keeping enough ventilation available. Lighting is also a vital component since it will provide enough heat within the coop. Heat is essential for their growth and development - it also aids to maximize egg production.

You must also possess basic knowledge with regards to choosing breeds. Basically chickens are categorized into two types the meat birds and egg layers.

  • Meat birds are the type of breeds which are quickly grown and needs to gain weight to be able to harvest their meats.
  • The egg layers, as the name implies, are the type of breeds which serve the sole purpose of producing quality eggs.

Cheap Chicken House

Chicken Raising - Choosing a Breed

Knowing what breed of chickens to choose will help you achieve your goal for raising them. The quality of meat and amount of eggs produced are dependent on how well you have nurtured them. You can also have the option of selecting a breed which can serve dual purpose. Most common breed which can lay eggs and provide meat at the same time includes Columbian Rock and Light Sussex. These hens are smaller compared to commercial broilers and typically produce brown eggs.

Preparing nesting boxes which closely resemble like a real nest will stimulate the hens to lay eggs. They are known to lay eggs whenever they feel the conditions are suitable. It is expected that they will produce at least one egg every one to two days. It is advised to frequently gather the eggs to minimize breakage and ensure freshness. Regular collection must be practiced to keep the hens laying eggs since there is a tendency that it might stop and start brooding.

The amount of food given and the quality of feeds are important in keeping your chickens happy. Feeding them can be easily done since they almost eat anything from worms and weeds to vegetable peelings from the kitchen. When you have laying hens, providing them with enough calcium is recommended to improve the quality of egg shells. Different feeds are also available in the market formulated specifically to suit the changing needs of poultry. You can invest in some good feeds to boost egg production and also ensure that your flock receives proper nourishment.

In just minutes you’ll discover everything you need to know about keeping chickens at home, in your backyard, in the city, suburbs, or anywhere for that matter. You'll absolutely have all of the information you need...everything. Seriously! It's all here and more!


Submit a Comment

  • evelynsaenz profile image

    Evelyn Saenz 6 years ago from Vermont

    I'm looking for all purpose chickens. I'd like hens that will raise chicks for next year as well as produce eggs now. Thank you for writing this article.

  • profile image

    Brumnick 7 years ago

    Was thinking about buying some chooks for some eggs - thank you!

  • infoguider profile image

    infoguider 7 years ago

    Having chickens in the yard is pretty much way cooler than other standard household pets. Thanks for the great idea!

  • profile image

    Dianne 7 years ago

    Raising chickens is very satisfying and ties in really well with a vegetable garden. Compost made with chicken manure makes a fantastic fertilizer. If you have the space and you like fresh food, why not raise some chickens.

  • Silver Poet profile image

    Silver Poet 8 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

    Excellent and informative hub! I've always liked chickens. In the past I've owned Buff Orpingtons, Araucanas, Black Australorps, White Rocks, and Cornish Cross. Thanks for writing this.

  • Litany Notch profile image

    Litany Notch 8 years ago from South UK

    One thing you must check if you live in a city or urban area is the local laws regarding keeping chickens.

    In 2004, Madison, Wis., was among the first of several cities to change laws to allow limited numbers of chickens, but usually not crowing roosters. New York City has long allowed chickens. The birds live in urban areas in Chicago; Albuquerque, N.M.; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; and other cities.

    Many Web sites and Backyard Poultry magazine support the effort, which they say is still growing in this country, Great Britain and Canada.

  • profile image

    R Burow 8 years ago

    Lving in the country and wanting to raise egg producers. This is timely for me. Thanks.