Raising backyard chickens can be a fun and rewarded hobby for anyone. Backyard chicken keeping is an especially wonderful way to teach your children about the source of their food, responsible animal care, and the fun facts and behavior of chickens. It also provides your family with fresh, delicious and nutritious eggs. As with all decisions regarding pets, careful thought and preparation are a must. Here are some helpful tips to consider.
Check with your local municipality and state for laws and regulations concerning backyard chicken keeping and possibly selling eggs
Are you willing to commit to daily care and securing pet sitters when away from home?
Carefully research options and requirements for adequate space per bird and safety in coop and run design
Purchase chickens from reputable sources, preferably from PIP (Poultry Improvement Program) certified breeders
Research and choose chickens best suited for your climate
Research common predators in your area, and how to protect your chickens from them (dogs included)
Research common chicken diseases and medical issues, what medical supplies to have on hand, and availability of poultry experts or aviary veterinarians in your area
Research and understand how to implement bio-security practices to protect both your flock and your family
It's best to start small but always plan ahead for possible (and probable) expansion of your flock. It is called “Chicken Math”and it's real!
While social media chicken keeping groups can be fun and informative, beware of the credibility and reliability of "facts" and suggestions. Of course, people have been raising chickens for generations so there is most likely no perfect approach. But it's best to stick with sources that provide you with professional resources to back up their information.
Some of my favorite go to's include