Raising some chickens on your own backyard is very interesting and provide you fresh and organic eggs and meat for your daily consumption. Raising chickens on your backyard also help you recycling your food scraps and developing high-quality fertilizer from chicken droppings. Nowadays people are becoming more conscious about their daily food. As a result of this, organic products are becoming popular and demands are increasing day by day. In this regard, backyard chicken raising can be a great idea for you to produce organic foods for your family by your own. See the advantages and disadvantages of raising chickens on your backyard and lean more about how to raise backyard chickens.
There are several advantages of raising chickens on your backyard. I am describing the main advantages shortly.
- You can always get farm fresh organic eggs and meat. The difference of taste and nutritional value is astounding.
- You can proper utilize of your kitchen garbage. Chickens will consume this type of food along with their regular food and convert them to quality eggs and meat.
- They will help you and keep the environment clean by consuming various types of insects including mosquito.
- Chickens are awesome! They are of very friendly and delightful in nature. As a result, you can raise them as pets and spend some fantastic time with them on your own backyard.
- If your chickens produce more eggs and meat than your family demands, then you can earn some extra money by selling eggs and meat at the farmer’s market.
- Keeping chickens on your backyard can be a great way to teach your children responsibility and respect for animals.
- You can use chicken manure as good fertilizer for producing vegetables and fruits in your garden.
- Along with the above, there are more advantages of raising chickens on your backyard. Personally, I like chickens and raising few ducks and chickens in my backyard. They are very cute and lovely! I love them.
How to Raise Backyard Chickens
Raising some chickens on your backyard is really very easy and simple. If you want to raise some chickens on your own backyard and want to produce fresh and organic foods, then simply follow the steps mentioned below.
First of all contact with your local government council, animal control group or zoning board to confirm that keeping chickens on your backyard is legal in your area. Many municipalities have ordinances against keeping farm animals and birds inside the house or property. For ensuring your compliance and assuming backyard chickens allowed, request all information about housing requirements and all other relevant statutes. Some of your neighbors can’t support you about raising chickens on your backyard. But in rural areas there are no problems. Roosters crow loudly during daybreak and afternoon. Your neighbors may not take it easily. Especially the people of urban areas.
Before selecting breeds for raising in your backyard, it would be better if you talk with local farmers and your neighbors who are already raising chickens on their backyards. You can choose those breeds which are suitable for raising according to the weather of your area. You can select both egg and meat productive chicken breeds. But most of the people raise egg laying chickens on their backyard. Before purchasing breeds discuss with the farmers and experts and try to determine which breed best suits your lifestyle and intentions.
After selecting breeds, purchase a well facilitated coop from a reliable provider who can offer expertise in making the right coop for your chickens. Chickens are sensitive to temperature. They react quickly against cold and heat and they need to be well sheltered against excessive temperature change. Ensure that, your coop is well ventilated and fresh air and light can easily flow inside the coop. Purchase a coop with an enclosed chicken run if you yard is not securely enclosed or if there are vegetables or fruits in your garden. Your can move freely in a coop with enclosed chicken run. The more space in the run the better for chickens.
Keep some nesting boxes inside the coop for your chickens so that they can lay eggs snugly. You can line the boxes with straw bedding. Clean the box and change the straw at least once a week. Generally, chickens do not sleep in their nesting boxes. You can use elevated hardwood roosts where chickens can sleep and feel comfortable.
Use straw for covering the ground of chicken coop. Straw bedding also add warmth and comfort for the chickens. Clean the coop after a few days on a regular basis and if possible replace the straw completely for better cleanliness. You can use the straw again by drying it well.
There are various types of predators which are very harmful for your chickens. Learn more about the predators in your area and take necessary steps for preventing them. Generally raccoons, opossums, preying birds, foxes, rats, snakes, various types of insects etc. are common predators of chicken. Even your domestic cats or dogs can also be a threat for your chickens. Make the coop with strong materials. Always close the doors and windows in the evening and enclose the chickens securely in their coop to keep them safe.
Feeding & Watering
Always try to feed your chickens sufficient amount of nutritious foods and clean water. Fresh water and nutritious food not only help the chickens to grow well but also prevent them from various types of chicken diseases. Allow your chickens unrestricted access to food and fresh water. Talk with your nearest vet and learn more about chicken’s nutritional and calorie requirements in accordance with their age. Along with natural food and kitchen garbage, feed them adequate amount of nutritionally balanced commercial feed. You can add some limestone or another approved source of calcium in their feed if the feed doesn’t contain recommended levels of calcium and minerals. In backyard chicken raising you can supplement the diet of chickens with vegetables, fruits or grains. But before serving this type of food, be confirm that each food element is safe for the birds. Some are toxic to chickens like avocados, dried or undercooked legumes, raw potato skins etc. Keep feed and watering pot outside the coop and never provide all the feeds at a time. Instead serve the feeds several times a day.
Care & Management Tips
Always try to keep your chickens healthy, productive and diseases free. Ensure a hygienic environment and always observe your chicken’s health. Never serve your chickens rotted feed. Confirm that, their food and water is fresh. Clean the feeding and watering pot on a regular basis. For taking dust bath, you can keep some sand, peat or loose dirt for your chickens. Never use used equipment omitted by other farms. Observe your chickens regularly for weight loss, behavioral changes and other possible signs or symptoms of disease or parasites. If you find any changes then consult with your nearest veterinarian as soon as possible. Diseases are less in free range chicken raising system in the backyard. By proper care and management, your chickens will grow and live happily and produce their maximum. Wish your success! Have a good day.