Backyard chicken coops increased in popularity in 2020 as more people become invested in self-sufficiency and locally sourced food.
If you’re ready to join the backyard chicken revolution, you’re going to need to learn how to start raising chickens.
Chickens aren’t too hard to keep happy. The key is making sure that they have the right shelter, food, and environment to thrive and lay eggs in comfort.
Read on to learn more about how to raise chickens in your own backyard.
Check Your Local Ordinances
Before you get too excited, you need to look up local ordinances regarding poultry. These ordinances will determine how many chickens you can have based on things like the size of your yard, the neighborhood you live in, and more. Make sure your backyard chickens don’t violate any laws or you could face some hefty fines.
Bonus tip: even if you’re allowed to have a rooster on your property, we don’t recommend it for first-timers. Hatching and raising chicks is a lot more complicated than handling adult chickens. Plus, roosters are really loud and bound to irritate your neighbors.
Buy Or Build Your Chicken Coop
Next, it’s time to buy or build your henhouse or chicken coop. The size of your coop will also determine how many chickens you can keep in your yard.
Medium-sized chickens should have at least 3 square feet of space each on the floor of your chicken coop. Ideally, there should also be about 8 square feet of outdoor space per chicken.
A lot of chicken coops are tall enough that you’ll be able to walk in to collect your eggs. However, there are plenty of compact designs that allow you to collect eggs (and clean up poop–which you’ll need to do often) without much discomfort.
Keep Fresh Food and Water In Your Coop
Your coop should also have a somewhat spacious area dedicated to food and water. Make sure you’re providing fresh food and water every single day. You can purchase large bags of chicken feed at some pet stores, all livestock stores, and online.
If you have a garden, we also recommend granting your chickens access to it once a day! They’ll start to boost their own diet with weed seeds, insects, and other organic matter that they love–and that you probably want to have removed from your garden, anyway!
Protect Your Chickens From Predators
Your coop and your yard should also be optimized to protect your chickens from predators. Make sure that wild animals like foxes (or even loose neighborhood dogs) don’t have easy access to your chickens.
You should also consider investing in chicken bands that make it easy to identify your chickens if they get loose, themselves.
Learn How to Start Raising Chickens and Join the Backyard Chicken Revolution
Learning how to start raising chickens isn’t as complicated as you may think. As long as you provide the right food, shelter, and environment, you’ll be able to keep your chickens happy and healthy–and reap the benefits of having freshly laid eggs in your own backyard!
Looking for more advice on our furry and feathered friends? Take a look around for tips, guides, and health information about all domesticated animals.