3 Things to Do if You Want Chickens….
True to the name, we do live on a tiny farmette. This was always Nick’s dream and since moving here and experiencing farm life myself, some days it seems like a dream.
Some days it also seems like constant work, worry, and smell but those are few and far between.
These days many people want to have their own chickens for the eggs. Many breeds can be used for eggs as well as meat so if you like to know exactly where your food comes from that is a good option as well. We are in no way, shape, or form experts on the raising of chickens but we have learned some things on the way that may help other “chicken rookies.” Being very unseasoned farmers gives us a little edge since we really went into this blindly. In our area alone they are just starting to approve the raising of chickens (usually 2 to 3) in their backyard within city limits. We live outside of city limits in the country so we currently have 13 chickens that go in and outdoors on their leisure. There is one rooster (The Brain) and 12 hens that lay eggs ranging from bright white to dark tan. It is so rewarding to go into their coop every day and collect the eggs. If you are on the fence about taking on chickens, I encourage you to take the leap. It really is pretty easy, and so worth it. Below you will find The Brain and Speedy. Both aptly named, both very hard to take a picture of so excuse the quality.
If you decide to take on the exciting world of chickens, here are 3 things you should do before they arrive.
1. Have an area all set up for them. We have a big barn so after they grew up from their chick stage in the brooder they moved into a small room in there that has a little door for them to go outside. They have nesting boxes, a feeder, waterer, and roosting pole. All of these things are necessary for happy chickens. You can find cute little hen houses already built at places like Tractor Supply Company, Lowes, and Home Depot. Here are some cool ones I also found on Amazon that would be perfect for a backyard setting.
2. READ! I love to read as much as I can about any topic, as I’ve mention here and here. Nick and I picked up some books to get us ready, partly because we felt we should learn more before we started and partly because it was just fun to explore and get some recipes, ideas, and inspiration. I loved this one, Nick loved this one, and this one is just SUfPER informational. If you are only going to get one I would say that last one is the best.
3. Have a plan. Nick and I talked a lot about how long to keep the chicks in the brooder, who would let them out in the morning, who would feed and water them, who would put them in at night, etc. We wanted to go into this knowing we were both on the same page and ready for whatever we needed to be. Our plan didn’t work out so good at first because Brooks was born about 2 weeks after we got them but now a days things work like clock work around here. When one of us is busy, the other will pick up the slack. I can’t wait until Brooks is older and can help take on some of those responsibilities. There’s another plus to chickens, forget a dog, chickens are an easy way to teach any kid some responsibility!
There are tons of other things to consider when getting chickens: are you going to have time to clean their coop, are you able to feed them well, are you prepared if there are any injuries or health issues? The list could go on, but I think that with these three things you should be pretty prepared and will earn a TON as you go.