Raising Chickens in Your Backyard

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Raising chickens in your backyard is a fun adventure for many families. Some choose to raise their own chickens to save money, while others are motivated by health-consciousness and a desire for local, natural food sources.

In a recession or economic depression, the ability to raise some of one’s own food is an important survival skill.

To successfully keep chickens, you will need to do the following:

  1. Choose a breed of chickens. There are many different chicken breeds , and which ones you choose depens upon your purpose. Learn about the best laying hens , if you intend to raise chickens just for eggs. If you want a combination of meat and egg birds, you can mix your flock or use a good dual-purpose bird, such as the Plymouth Rock.
  2. Prepare your chicken coop and run. Keeping your birds safe from predators, both domestic and wild, is one of your main tasks when it comes to raising chickens. A sturdy chicken coop with nesting boxes for laying hens can be made of scrap material. It should be enclosed by or attached to a yard fenced in with chicken wire to keep chickens in and curious cats out.
  3. Purchase chicken feed and supplies such as a waterer and feeding tray. A bale of straw for bedding in the nesting boxes is a good idea, too.
  4. Buy your chickens and introduce them to their new home. Day-old baby chicks will need to be kept indoors or in a brood house kept warm enough for new chicks until they are old enough to live outside.
  5. Feed chickens daily and ensure they have a constant water supply. In the winter, check each day to make sure the water is not frozen.
  6. Collect eggs once a day when your hens are laying, unless you have a setting hen who is broody and will hatch fertilized eggs.

To learn more about raising chickens, visit Egg Laying Chickens or the Chicken Books & Supplies webstore.

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