Considering Back Yard Chickens? Pros and Cons

The Honest Truth About What You’re Committing To

The first and most important thing you’ll need is proper housing. That means you’re going to have to spend some money on a shelter that’s not only suitable for flock, and the climate you live in, but one that is easy for you to clean and maintain. The coop also must be predator proof, no matter where you live, chickens are not safe from predators, not in residential communities, and not in the city.

If you’re not sure where to start, or need some ideas on coop types, here’s a collection of  Chicken Coops to help you choose the proper set-up.
Always keep in mind, you get what you pay for. Here’s the truth, by the time you get your first egg, you probably will have spent $1,000 for your chicken set-up.
Usually, new chicken keepers invest good money in a to small coop and end up spending even more money on larger one. Bigger is always better, no exceptions. Chickens need space, they live by the harsh rules of a pecking order, and their chosen territories are not kindly shared.  Remember, happy chickens fill the egg basket. So always keep in mind, build or buy bigger than you need, it’s the smarter investment in the long run.

Furnishing the Coop
Your birds are going to need a feeder, drinker, nest boxes, shavings, and a roost. Those are the obvious necessities. But there’s a lot of little things that you might not think of such as a rake, gloves, buckets, a hose, etc. It would be really helpful to have a nearby shed to store all your supplies, including feed, shavings, or straw/hay.

Pine Shavings

So the next time you are mesmerized by those cute fuzzy butts at the feed store, remember what you’re getting into. You may only have to pay a few bucks for the chicks, but I guarantee you’ll be digging a lot deeper into your pockets in no time at all.  It’s best to get your set-up in place before you buy the chicks. Make sure it’s weather proof, predator proof, and in a place where it’s protected from inclement weather.

Caring for Your Chickens
You will be committing to a daily chore, even in inclement weather. It will be your responsibility to keep the coop clean and dry, provide your flock with fresh water, and ample good quality feed. As a rule, chickens don’t need much personal attention, but there will be occasions when a bird may need special treatment. You may even have to isolate a bird if it becomes injured. A chicken that is bleeding even the tiniest bit will cause havoc among the flock, will most definitely be pecked by the others, and the outcome is rarely good. Be prepared for these inevitable situations.

Cost of keeping Backyard Chickens
If you think you’ll save money by having a small flock to supply your family with fresh eggs you are dead wrong. In comparison, buying grocery store shelf eggs are substantially cheaper. One standard size bag of chicken feed is about $14.00, it will feed 4 birds for a month, One bale of shavings (bedding & nest boxes) for your coop is about $10-$12 and it will last about 2 weeks.  Straw or hay is also comparable in price, somewhere between $10-$15, depending on where you live.
Considering the initial investment of a coop, and the monthly overhead of caring for the birds, it’s hard to argue the fact that you could buy more store shelf eggs for much less money. Just sayin’…. get into chicken keeping because you want to invest in healthy eggs and enjoy a rewarding hobby.

Bottom Line
A back yard flock is wonderful if you’re up for the job. If you want to bring your own farm fresh eggs to the table for your family then jump right in and start preparing.  Research what breeds are best for you, get your coop and set-up ready, then get your chicks. We are here with any help you might need raising chicks from brooder, to coop, and beyond. Check out our Resource Directory, Articles Archives, and FAQ’s.

More on Raising Chickens in the City

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The Ultimate Guide to Raising Chickens in the City

Raising chickens in the city can be challenging. With neighbors issues, predators, and the law to deal with, you NEED this post to get you started!
Source: The Ultimate Guide to Raising Chickens in the City

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How to Care for Baby Chicks | Articles from the Experts Across the Web

Basically the rules are the same. But that doesn’t mean there’s only one way to raise chicks. Maybe you’re looking for creative ideas, solutions, or have a unique situation to address.

Here’s what some of the experts say, you’ll find many variances that still follow the basic rules.

Chicks TBN Ranch 1012

TSC | How to Care for New Baby Chicks

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Set up a brooding area. When raising just a few chicks (30 or less) use a large box with walls at least 18-inches high and place the box in a safe area away from drafts and household pets. Use a screen or a towel to cover the box. For larger numbers, a metal stock tank can used in an enclosed, draft free outbuilding… Continue Reading

My Pet Chicken | Caring for Baby Chicks

my pet chicken

Baby chicks require constant care and monitoring, so make sure your schedule is clear for the first 4 weeks! Don’t plan on vacations or even day trips unless you have a seasoned baby chick pro on standby. Make sure you or a member of your family are available to check on them at least 5 times a day… Continue Reading

Raising Baby Chicks

Ideal Poultry | Care Tips for Baby Poultry

Hatchery and Supplies

A variety of products can be used for initial brooding to provide a draft free environment. Most commonly used is a 12- to 18-inch high cardboard brooder ring formed around the brooding area. A circle five feet in diameter is needed for 50 chicks. Increase the size of the ring proportionately to the added number of chicks to be started… Continue Reading

The Chicken Chick | Baby Chick Basics

Murray McMurray | Chick Care Tips

Murray McMurray

Poultry Need: Feed, Water, Heat, Light & Space.
FEED: Use a commercial chick starter for the first 8 weeks. On the first day cover the litter with newspaper and spread some feed on the papers and have your feeders full also. This will allow the new birds to find the feed. Use a 2 foot feeder for each 25 chicks… Continue Reading

Cackle Hatchery | The Care of Baby Chicks

The Old Farmer’s Almanac | Raising Chickens 101: Bring Up Baby Chicks
UrbanChickens.com | Raising Baby Chicks

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Backyard Chickens | How To Raise Baby Chicks – The First 60 Days Of Raising Baby Chickens

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