Your “Check List” for Raising Backyard Chickens
Backyard Chickens Top Popularity Charts in 2020!
Cluck! Cluck! Cluck! Never sounded so good and neither has raising backyard chickens ever been so popular!
Delicious, cheesy, veggie filled omelets and “grass-fed”, marinated, grilled chicken never tasted better than when you KNOW exactly where it came from, when it’s basically free, and when your ability to provide for yourself is rewarded.
Are you ready to raise some backyard chickens!?
If so, allow this checklist to jumpstart your venture of beginning your own flock of feathery fowl. But before the checklist, dig the amazing benefits of owning these pecky birds.
The Fabulous Benefits of Raising Backyard Chickens
Although the most obvious, this is one of the greatest benefits to owning your own backyard chickens! There is nothing quite like having access to a limitless supply of eggs. No need to run 15 minutes to the store for 1 egg for your baking adventures. Simply step outside your backdoor… and whala, your fudge brownie batter is complete!
Feathery Bug Repellants
A complementary plus to owning backyard chickens is their pecky appetites! Chickens will keep your backyard free from pesky bugs such as ticks, beetles, roaches, grasshoppers, and if they are quick enough even mosquitoes. Free roaming backyard chickens are perfect for keeping the garden-loving bugs under control. Free Bug Repellant that is environmentally friendly is an extra cool, complementary addition that comes with owning backyard chickens!
Facilitates Fantastic Fertilizer
All aspiring or avid backyard gardeners benefit big with the addition of chicken manure to their garden soil. Chicken manure is one of the most popular and recommended ways to nurture your aspiring seeds into delicious, top notch veggies or gorgeous flowers.
Friendly Amusement for Your Children (and Yourself)
Chickens make friendly pets. Many people enjoy their company and find comfort and therapy from watching them peck around the yard. Plus, chickens can keep your children amused and busy, by incorporating fun chores, such as gathering eggs and feeding the chickens.
Freedom and Independence!
Food is a non-negotiable. There is no way we can get around the need for food. That is why owning a flock of backyard chickens is so ideal, because then you no longer must be entirely dependent on your local grocery store. Your food is in your own hands and that is an empowering feeling of security, regardless of the ebb and flow of our economy.
Backyard Chicken Preparation Checklist
✅ Run Your Chicken Venture by Your Local Township
Before you jump headlong into this project, reach out to your local township to ensure that housing a bunch of talkative birds in your backyard is legal. If you really want to get on everyone’s good side, it would be wise to reach out to your surrounding neighbors ( especially if they are in close proximity) and give them a heads up on your feathery ladies arrival. Fresh eggs speak anyone’s language, and most likely your neighbor’s too. A dozen or two every now and then will surely make up for all your extroverted fowl.
✅ Assess Your Backyard Space
Chickens need adequate space to thrive and to stay heathy. The average chicken needs about 8-10 square feet of chicken run space and 2-3 square feet of space inside their chicken coop. If you want to avoid stressed out, cannibalistic, pecky chickens, do not skimp on their need for sufficient space. Ideally the more space the better, but with adequate space provided, your chickens will be content. Become more fully equipped by checking out, How to Determine Your Flock Size and Space Requirements. Remember, all ladies need their space.
✅ Prepare Your Chicken’s Abode
A hen without her house is like a fish out of water…Providing your hens with a comfortable and secure nesting ground will encourage their egg productivity and increase their health and happiness.
You have two options:
- Build – Requires time, money, skills, and research
- Buy – Requires research and money
Option 1: If you are a skilled handyman, then building might be the way to go, and if so, research will ensure you choose an ideal chicken coop to replicate. Check out 13 Free DIY Chicken Coop Plans and discover the right one for you and your backyard chickens.
Option 2: If time and skills are on short supply, buying is rather wise. You have two ways you can purchase your hen house. You can either choose a prebuilt, quality made chicken coop or a shed and add nesting boxes on your own.
✅ Buy Your Feathery Ladies
With your hen house secured, now its time to choose what breed of chickens will occupy the new abode.
To discover which breed is right for you, determine what your ultimate purpose is for investing in backyard chickens.
Is your main purpose any of the following? If so, the breed will match!
- Highest egg productivity – Plymouth Rock, Barnevelder, Ancona
- Most Conducive to Limited Space – Bantams
- Best Meat to Eat – Jersey Giant, Freedom Ranger, Cornish Cross, Bresse
- Dual- Purposed (both eggs and meat) – Marans, Sussex, Potchefstroom Koekoek
- Especially Child-friendly – Bantams
There you have it folks! As a springboard for a more thorough investigation, check out Choosing a Chicken Breed, and nail down your choice once and for all!
✅ Prepare Proper Bedding for Your Chicken
Your backyard chickens will need a soft bedding underneath their feet and bodies.
Here are the top picks for ways to provide comfortable and efficient bedding (listed most friendly to the least).
- Coarse Grained Sand
- Chopped Straw
- Shredded paper or leaves
- Pine Shavings (ideal for reducing chicken smells, but can be toxic to your chicken’s health)
✅ Provide Feeding and Drinking Containers
Fact. Your chickens need food and water daily, and they need easy access to both. Proper feeders and drinking containers will supply all their needs!
Get a little taste of your DIY options with this fascinating video giving 3 ways to make chicken feeders.
✅ Feed Your Chickens WELL
“You are what you eat” that saying applies to humans and to your chickens. Do not overfeed your chickens. A well-fed chicken is happy and productive. An over-fed chicken is sick and unproductive.
Here are the ideal complementary ways to provide your chicken with ideal food.
- Healthy Table Scraps such as, select veggies, grains, and citrus.
- Homemade or Commercial mash or pellets (these vary with breed)
Remember, what you feed your chickens will have repercussions on their health, their eggs, and their meat.
✅ Give Your Backyard Chickens Some Love
A “loved” chicken is a happy chicken! Maybe you are not feeling especially cozy with your chickens, but kind words and considerate care will reap benefits both in the health and productivity of your backyard chickens. Love makes the world go around, even for a bunch of pecky chickens. So go ahead, and show your feathery ladies some love.
✅ Live More Self-sufficiently!
Once you have secured a chicken coop, your backyard chickens, their bedding, and food, the last thing on this list is to live more self-sufficiently! The taste of self-sufficiency is almost as good as a fresh sunny side up egg on a toasted piece of bread. Probably even better! Why don’t you get a taste for yourself and start your adventure of raising your backyard chickens today!
Get Your Backyard Chicken’s Dream Coop!
At Overholt and Sons, we build and design the highest quality chicken coops, capable of housing your hens in comfort, and creating an ideal environment for egg laying productivity. Check out our custom-made chicken coops and scratch securing your chicken’s abode off the list right now!