People seem to be flocking to raise chickens. Over the past few years the urban farm movement has hit cities big and small. Benefits of bringing foul from the farm into the backyard include having fresh eggs, rich compost, natural pest control and an educational experience for children. This edition of TRIO focuses on three things you’ll want to consider before adding poultry to your property.
Before you plan your backyard chicken adventure, you will need to find out if it is legal to have them where you live. You can check with your local government to find out what your options are since laws regarding livestock vary by city. If you are free to add fowl, be sure and ask details regarding special circumstances. For instance, there might be restrictions on how many chickens you can have and how much space they need.
When choosing your chicken it’s important to decide the primary function you want your birds to fill. Are you interested in getting fresh eggs? You might consider the Ameraucana or Easter Egger’s breeds. Both are “eggcellent” options for their regularity and variety of shell colors. If you are looking for a sustainable way to feed your family, a Cornish bird might be an option since they are ready to butcher in eight to 10 weeks. Regardless of your bird’s purpose, if you’re bringing chickens into city limits you might want to consider birds that are known for their easy temperament and hardiness.
When building or buying a chicken coop, remember that chickens need space. Not sure exactly how much space you’ll need? This chart can help! Don’t forget to plan for your flock’s growth. Just because you start with three hens, doesn’t mean that you’ll stay with three hens! Speaking of hens, if you have them, they will need a place to nest. Nesting boxes should make the chickens feel safe and secure. One way to do that is to fill them with materials such as straw, wood shavings or leaves. Chickens don’t like to sleep on the ground, so you will need to add a place for your chickens to roost. These elements are the staples that your coop will need, and like any other new home construction the customization options are endless!
Interested in learning more about raising chickens? Join us for the upcoming Backyard Chickens Basics class. Call 405.377.3333 with questions or register here. To find out about more courses like this sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. View all of our upcoming courses in our digital catalog.