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.

The Reward!
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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 a few of the experts say, you’ll find many variances that still follow the basic rules.

Raising Baby Chicks | TBN Ranch

Everything you need to know, step by step, to prepare for, and manage baby chicks.
Research, have a plan, be prepared, and know what to expect; these four things will help ease your commitment, so there’s more time to enjoy your birds. Read Article

Murray McMurray
Murray McMurray | Chick Care Tips


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

BYC header
How To Raise Baby Chicks – The First 60 Days Of Raising Baby Chickens
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The Gist of Chicken Raising in the City | by Guest Writer Jordan Walker

Interested in raising chickens in the city? Not sure if it is allowed? Jordan Walker, the lead content curator of Coops And Cages, answers these questions that are commonly baffling interested breeders.

Chickens are very inexpensive pets. Not only are they easy to maintain, but they also produce eggs every now and then. Plus, kids can also have fun with them on occasion since chickens also serve as very great pets. With these numerous benefits, it’s no wonder people would like to raise chickens in the city. Is this possible though?

Local Laws and Regulations

Hens make the perfect addition to any backyard. However, you should first check if there are any local ordinances barring the raising of chickens. More often than not, these ordinances don’t really ban them but actually put certain requirements in place so as to keep everybody happy. Some of these regulations include but aren’t limited to the proper use of chicken enclosures, limitation on the number of chickens per household, and possibly mandatory inspections and vaccinations.

Neighbors

Even if you’ve verified that the law has provisions for chicken breeding, you still need to maintain a healthy relationship with your neighbors. Else, they can raise concerns with public offices and courts if the chickens annoy them. Be sure you check if the whole thing is alright with them. It even helps to commit to having no roosters around and offering free eggs every now and then to appease them.

Shelter

While chickens do appreciate having huge space to roam around, they are also fine cooped up in a secure space. Chickens are pretty much the bottom of the food chain and are prone to being snatched by predators such as raccoons, dogs, cats and other animals.

Coops and chicken enclosures are also great for protecting them against harsh weather and at the same time giving them some run space for fresh air purposes.

It isn’t impossible to raise chickens in the city. Chickens are great additions to any household and they help provide more food for the residents. Additionally, they also make excellent pets due to their calm demeanor. As long as you are clear with the law and your neighbors, you can raise them as you see fit.

Author: Jordan Walker

Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops and Cages as well as a couple of other pet related blogs.

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