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Why Raise Chickens?

Chicken Raising Contributes Environmentally

 Of all the animals that people can raise as pets, chickens are unique in the sense that they produce something edible compared to other pets like dogs, horses, cats and fish. In fact, raising chickens for pets pay off in the long run as they are a source of fresh meat and eggs unlike what you normally buy in the supermarket.

 And considering the craze about organic food, with your own backyard chickens it is very easy to produce your own organic eggs and poultry meat – all you have to do is feed your chickens organic chicken feed. Organically fed chicken that roam freely, eat grass are proven to lay eggs that have higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E while having lower cholesterol content!

 

Chickens Have Personalities Too

 It may come as a surprise but each chicken has their own distinctive and endearing personality traits. Aside from this, chickens are very pleasing to look at because their plumages have an assortment of colors and patterns; they also come in all shapes and sizes. You will certainly be tempted to spoil them, pick them up and hug them to show them off to your friends and give them their individual names as you get familiarized with their characteristics.

Chicken Raising Contributes Environmental Car

 Chickens naturally love to range freely. By letting them range freely, you get two very tangible benefits in return – they would gladly eat any garden pest they encounter and help you with your grass cutting chores as they love to eat grass as well. As an added bonus, they’ll turn all they have eaten in the form of organic fertilizer! All you have to do is sit down on the porch and watch them as they happily go about their daily routine.

 Most people are not aware that chickens can eat almost anything people can, even leftover foods. Although you may reconsider feeding them onions and garlic as they would make their eggs taste funny.

 Chickens are the best producers of black gold soil their waste is a naturally nitrogen-rich. Chickens also thrive on leaves, weeds and grass clippings – they actually help people get rid of their garden/farm refuse instead of simply getting rid of them.

Chickens are Low Maintenance Pets!

 Of all animals that can be taken cared of as pets, chickens are the ones that need almost no maintenance compared to others. All you have to do is make sure their food and water containers are freshly filled and replenished on a daily basis. And once they start laying eggs, then you have to gather the eggs daily as well. Cleaning their coops daily or every other day is good enough and their beddings has to be changed once every 3 or 4 weeks depending on weather conditions

 Is Chicken Raising Right for You?

Despite the advantages of raising backyard chicken, the practice is still somewhat uncommon. Most people are simply not aware that aside from the healthy eggs and poultry meat chickens can provide their family on a regular basis, chickens are fun pets too that you can cuddle.

Here are important considerations that have to be carefully evaluated and assessed if you are considering backyard chicken raising – for fun and pleasure and poultry meat and eggs.

Do You Have Time?

Although chickens are relatively low-maintenance, they do require time for daily care and maintenance. The necessary time is almost negligible as you only need 15 to 20 minutes daily (depending on the number of chickens in your flock) for replenishing their food and water and making sure that their beddings are dry.

Do You Have Space?

If chickens are cooped (housed) then you have to ensure that the run (where they are allowed to range freely during the day is big enough and secure from predators. It is highly recommended that at least six square feet per bird is allotted in the outside run, the more space the better. Chickens are natural foragers and they eat insects, grass and weeds and any other that they can find in the run – the more they are able to forage, the healthier and more contented they will be. This is to your advantage since you will reap the benefits in tastier eggs and poultry meat.

Making chickens range freely is to your advantage because they love to scratch, dig holes for their dust baths and eat plants and weeds. The more space they have, the better it is for your yard since they can keep the grass trimmed. While they range freely, they also aerate the area with their scratching while their droppings fertilize the soil thus making it rich and fertile.

Are Chickens Allowed in Your Neighborhood?

An important aspect of chicken raising is to determine if it is allowed in your locality as not all towns do. Check your local regulations and ordinances regarding backyard chicken raising as it may be necessary for you to secure the necessary health or zoning permit since what you plan to do is not on a commercial level anyway. Do your homework in order to avoid unwelcome surprise visits from town hall officials.

In addition, you also have to find out about noise regulations especially if you plan to have roosters with your flock. It is better to check with your neighbors first in order to avoid misunderstandings and future complications regarding your new hobby. It might be a good idea also to mention that when the chickens start laying eggs, they would surely benefit from that too!

How Much Would It Cost?

The initial investment in constructing the chicken coop, feed supplies, cost of the birds, and maintenance may reach a significant amount of money but in the long run, when they start laying fresh eggs and you already benefit from their poultry meat, the up front cost becomes negligible. This does not include yet the fact that your flock provides you with more fertile garden soil and that they keep farm pests at bay and your grass trimmed!

How Many?

It is important to note that chickens are social birds and do not fare well on their own, you should therefore have a minimum of two for starters. If your family loves eggs then it is best to have two hens per family member; this should be enough to take care of your egg requirements as soon as your chickens start laying eggs.

What Size Chicken?

Another important factor for consideration is the size of chicken, Standard (normal-size), or Bantam, chickens that are a fraction of the size of Standards and are mainly raised for ornamental purposes. Although bantams lay edible eggs also, they do so on a less frequent schedule and their eggs are smaller in size.

There is no problem in having both sizes in your flock as Silkies, Belgian Bearded D'Uccles and Sebrights are available only as Bantams whereas there are other breeds which are available in both sizes. You can combine both sizes in your flock if you want both types.

Chicken Breeds for Cold Weather

If the weather in your area is the cold climate type where temperatures drop below freezing during part or all of the year, it is better to have Standards than Bantams. Standards are hardier and fare better than Bantams. Chicken combs and wattles are an important factor to consider since the smaller they are, the less they will be affected by frostbite.

 
Common Cold Weather Breed Chickens

 

Chanticleers

Plymouth Rocks

Langshans

Sussexes

Orpingtons

Wyandottes

 chicken coop 4

Chicken Breeds for Hot Weather

 

However if your locality regularly experience climates of over 100 degrees, it is best to avoid the big-sized and feathery chickens. In hot weather, most Bantams do well with the exception of the feather-footed varieties, and the following Standard breeds are highly recommended for hot climates:

Common Hot Weather Breed Chickens

 

Blue Andalusians

Light Brown Leghorns

Golden Campines

White Leghorns

 

Egg Production

If you want the best possible egg production, limit your search to the laying breeds. Understand, however, that many people feel the best layers (like White Leghorns) have a tendency to be more inconsistent and nervous and to avoid human contact. Dual-purpose and ornamental breeds are usually more docile and friendly but this is an oversimplified generalization. How friendly your birds are is in large part dependent on how well they have accustomed themselves to human contact and their individual personalities.

Common Egg Producing Chicken Breeds

 

White Leghorns

Stars

Rhode Island Reds

 

 

If you would like more information or to purchase plans for your Chicken Coop
Click Here

 


 

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