There are over 518 million chickens that live in the United States, most are born and raised on factory farms.
If you want to have fresh eggs and meat then avoid the factory-raised chickens, and start raising your own. By owning chickens you can get better eggs, healthier meat, and even enjoyment from the experience. Watching and raising chickens is a rewarding and fun process for you and the entire family.
So how do you start off, if you’ve never owned chickens before and don’t know where to begin?
The first thing to consider is what type of chicken you want to raise. With chickens, and all poultry birds, there are a lot of breeds to consider and they all have their own quirks. For ease of care and productivity don’t get something strange, stick with a normal breed like Rhode Island Reds.
There is a lot of information out there about this breed, so the process of owning chickens and doing research will be easier. Rhode Island Reds aren’t the only breed out there, however, so check with reputable suppliers around you for what is available.
Number of Birds
To start with you don’t want to have a huge flock to take care of, and you may never want many birds at once. Another consideration to keep in mind when raising chickens is that they are a flock animals. Three to four birds would be optimal if you want healthy, happy backyard chickens.
If you have a large family, you may want to consider getting up to six chickens. You can even keep pet chickens if you want, though you may need to do some extra research on breed and disposition.
In order to keep chickens at home, you’ll need a safe, and secure place for them to stay. Your chickens will require security because there are a lot of predators out there that will want to eat them. They will also need a clean place to stay so that they don’t get sick.
Whatever you feed the chickens is going to be part of your food source if you get chickens for eggs. Choose a natural feed, one that is full of healthy ingredients so that your eggs and chicken meat are healthy. You can even find gluten free chicken feed.
Having healthy chickens means more eggs, and better feed means healthier chickens. Make sure they have access to freshwater as well. Don’t worry, if they encounter any lizards or garden snakes in your yard they will supplement their own diet, they are predatory too.
Owning chickens isn’t for everyone, it does require consistent and scheduled work. Chickens like routine, so make sure that you establish a routine that they can live by. If you do, and you have the time and energy to put into their growth and happiness, you will be rewarded with delicious food and wonderful companions.
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