A beginner’s help guide to backyard chickens

March 30, 2017 | By alex | Filed in: Chicken DIY Guide.

A beginner's help guide to backyard chickens Legality     

   Before you begin

The backyard chicken movement is growing, paralleling the burgeoning trend toward real/slow food/farmers’ markets and, in certain respects, the Primal/paleo/ancestral movements. In my experience, this really is positively welcome news, since it shows that individuals from many different backgrounds and proclivities are stumbling toward exactly the same fundamental goal: freedom in the industrial food culture. That may mean whittling lower “grocery store” to some four-letter word and outdoor camping twelve hrs prior to the farmer’s market opens on release day’s the brand new golden beet crop. It could mean eschewing all of the industrial agents altogether, like we Primals enjoy. Or it could mean raising chickens inside your backyard. So, how come increasingly more homeowners embracing backyard chicken farming?

Well, probably the most apparent method to achieve freedom in the industrial food scene would be to produce the food yourself. Gardening takes proper care of fruit and veggies, what about animal products? Cows, sheep, and goats are extremely big and cumbersome for many yards, while chickens are small, relatively quiet, prepared to eat almost anything, plus they can create a regular flow of eggs. So – here’s my fast and dirty armchair help guide to backyard chicken farming with a focus on egg lounging. I am not getting too detailed because, well, I am not qualified. I’ll complete the blanks with links to those who are qualified, though.

Getting Began

To obtain began, you’ll need some chickens. If starting with chicks, which run about $ 5 each typically (more for rarer breeds), it’s important to raise these questions climate-controlled brooder for five-8 days, or until they develop down. You’re attempting to replace their mother’s warm embrace, so you’ve to help keep the chicks warm. Start at 95 levels F for that first week, then reduce 5 levels every week after that. Make certain your chicks aren’t cowering within the corner (it’s hot) or huddling together directly underneath the lamp (it’s freezing) and their bedding and food dry and clean. Order chicks online or look for local suppliers on Craigslist. You could also try asking around at local chicken farms through Eat Wild or in the farmers’ market. Cost: $10-20 for 2 chicks.

Another, simpler option – specifically for beginners – is to begin with full-sized hens. This method for you to allow them to outdoors and begin feeding normal feed immediately, and you ought to get eggs soon. Most hens I have seen run about $20-25. You are able to usually find both hens and chicks on Craigslist. Basically were beginning out, I’d follow this path. Cost: $40-50 for 2 hens.

You also require a coop, even when your chickens are likely to range free. They’re natural roosters and like getting a bit of shelter to reside in. Besides, the most developed city has raccoons and cats, either that will make short work of the chickens whether they can achieve them. Coops can be expensive commercial products, DIY projects, Craigslist finds, or something like that cobbled together quickly. You are able to even convert a classic dog house right into a serviceable coop. Whatever you decide, choose a coop that you will be prepared to help keep clean. If you purchase a coop new, it’ll run between $400 and $1000. If you purchase it used, you can get one for $100 to $400, maybe. DIY might be super cheap to begin being almost free, or you might drop near to $700 making something great.

Unless of course you need to operate a two-chicken CAFO, you’ll should also provide some safe outside space. That may mean sticking the coop inside your backyard and providing the chickens the run from the yard, or it could mean assembling a chicken run enclosed on every side (top incorporated) with chicken wire. Free varying chickens left to their personal devices will eat bugs, weeds, and frequently gardens. If you have enough room, you should use the chicken paddock method, that involves a fixed coop having a mobile chicken run. When the chickens have exhausted a piece of grass, slowly move the chicken run to a different portion of grass.

You might help make your own chicken tractor, a mobile containment unit that keeps them in, keeps predators out, and enables you to select where your chickens forage. Once they’ve selected a place clean, simply slowly move the unit to some fresh section of grass. Joel Salatin performs this on the massive scale to allow his flocks forage without robbing the land of nutrients. Doing the work having a couple of backyard chickens ought to be even simpler, although on the smaller sized scale. Try making one from common wooden pallets.

You’ll should also feed and water your wild birds, which deserves its very own section. Waterers run affordable, and feed could be offered inside a little bowl. Just don’t allow the food get wet.

Overall, just how much spent depends upon just how much you need to spend. You are able to go full-scale and drop in regards to a 1000 dollars, or repurpose common products, dig around on Craigslist, and make ply yourself and spend only a couple of hundred, or perhaps less.


The most popular chicken comes from the omnivorous red junglefowl – an outrageous bird in the jungles of Asia that given on bugs, snakes, fruit, seeds, greenery, and small rodents – but we predict it to enjoy stale corn, soy, and grain spiked with mineral supplements, antibiotics, and vegetable oil waste. Heck, I wouldn’t be amazed if individuals vegetarian chickens did better on animal byproducts! Anyway, here’s your opportunity to flee the tyranny of vegetarian-given chickens.

Ideally, your chickens might have daily use of all of the bugs, wild seeds, grass, and forage they are able to handle, but it’s rare that the backyard can offer everything for just one chicken, not to mention several. This is where modern resourcefulness and modern table scraps are available in. Since chickens love bugs as well as your yard can’t sate their appetite, why don’t you produce your personal? Here’s a sustainable way to produce mealworms indefinitely, ideal for individuals potentially cold and bare winter several weeks. You may also toss scraps and compost for your chickens. Bones, meat (including organs), veggies, vegetables, yogurt, grass clippings (watch the harmful chemicals), weeds – it’s pretty much all fair game, and also, since your kitchen area scraps will unquestionably constitute the healthy, Primal variety, you will be increasing the taste, quality, and diet from the eggs your chickens lay. Actually, eggs from pastured chickens given use of vegetables, grass, and bugs contain 2/3 more vit a, two occasions more omega-3, three occasions more e vitamin, and 7 occasions more beta-carotene than eggs from battery farms. I am talking about, the main difference in taste alone is astonishing, and that i bet the satisfaction of manufacturing your personal eggs would add another layer of delight.

An additional help to providing them with totally hooked on bugs: they can keep your car’s grill clean after lengthy road journeys!

I’d avoid standard commercial chicken feed that utilizes things like “poultry feed fat,” that is just recycled vegetable oil from restaurants. It may be worthwhile to spring to have an organic feed, or perhaps a soy-free, corn-free, GMO-free organic feed (though even that one appears to possess vegetable oil). An alternative choice would be to mix your personal feed using seeds, legumes and grains. Take it easy concerning the grains inside a hen’s diet, beyond possibly corn, soy, and wheat these creatures are really created to digest seeds and grains (additionally to bugs and vegetables), instead of cows. Here’s a recipe, but hens are flexible. Make sure to add grit (which chickens use within their gizzards to grind up grains, seeds, and bugs) along with a mineral source, like oyster covering or perhaps ground-up egg covering (never leave the covering whole or halved, otherwise your chickens might start associating their eggs with food).


Before you begin buying chicks, constructing coops, and stockpiling feed, look at your local city ordinances regarding backyard chickens. From my general research, it’s usually permitted, having a couple of limitations, however it can’t hurt to check on. Or, you can flout the laws and regulations and get it done anyway. Should you follow this path, I’d advise against keeping a rooster. Hens might scratch, peck, and cluck, however they won’t awaken the whole neighborhood in the first light by having an ear-splitting cry. Ask other people for permission before you’re doing so (based on a recent article on illegal chicken farming in Philly, anti-chicken ordinances are hardly ever enforced unless of course a neighbor complains), have a handle around the waste (don’t let smell become a problem), and steer clear of roosters.

A great, quick resource for checking city ordinances. And here’s another one. Both of them depend on readers submissions, however, so that they aren’t complete. In case your city isn’t there, trying searching “YOUR CITY chicken ordinance.”

Scofflaws: sources exists for you, too. Jane Richardson authored a great article regarding how to get the city to permit backyard chickens. Here’s a blog with a South Salt Lake City subterranean chicken player detailing his horrible crimes from the condition that threaten the security and stability of society. After which there’s the Dayton Subterranean Chicken network.


With regards to just how much manure chickens produce, I’ve heard a number of different figures. First, from Urban Chickens Network: six chickens produce four pounds of manure every week. I’ve also heard it described thusly: five chickens produce about just as much waste like a medium-sized dog. In either case, it isn’t a lot of waste. Also, chicken poop is definitely an effective fertilizer. Actually, I’d advise against simply tossing the manure. Repurpose it. Utilize it inside your garden. Should you not get one, publish the manure on Craigslist.

With regards to fresh, “hot” manure full of nitrogen, utilize it sparingly in your garden. Should you allow manure to compost for many several weeks, technology-not only more liberally. For more in depth tips and methods on making use of backyard chicken manure as fertilizer, read this thread filled with folks who’ve been doing just that for a long time.


A beginner's help guide to backyard chickens and stability of

Hobby chicken farming seems to become a low-maintenance pursuit. Oh, sure, you have the first labor of establishing the coop/run, procuring the wild birds, buying/mixing the feed, and going for it, but everything after is rather simple. You distribute feed, alter the water, clean the manure every couple of days, slowly move the chicken tractor if you are one. Typically, though, a couple of chickens inside your backyard aren’t much work. I believe it’ll be this type of novelty the work doesn’t even seem like work. Supplment your flock and things might change.

From things i gather, it’s best to check out your backyard chicken experiment like a hobby – a minimum of initially. They are interesting, somewhat terrifying searching creatures with funny personalities who choose to consume everything. Oh, and in addition they lay eggs every so often. Just don’t expect an egg a day trip of each and every chicken, since you aren’t a complete-time chicken player managing a finely oiled operation composed of feathery egg dispensers around the perfect feed mix. You’re only a guy or perhaps a woman getting fun and seeking something totally new. If things exercise, and also you get used to this chicken farming stuff, you could buy more chickens and refine your process, until then, just see what goes on. Have some fun watching your chickens try eating a whole sardine or add too much over some feeder crickets and relish the eggs once they come.

Further Sources

Backyard Chickens – Premier website. Great, active forums. Take a look at their 101 section.

Breed Chart – A large number of breeds listed with temperaments, personalities, and egg-lounging habits.

Beginning a little Flock of Chickens – A fast, fundamental guide.

Raising Chickens 2. – Past the coop.

Storey’s Help guide to Raising Chickens – Very thorough and incredibly well considered.

Minnie Rose Lovegreen’s Recipe for Raising Chickens: The Primary Factor is To Ensure That They’re Happy – Hmm, for this married man, this sounds awfully familiar.

Victory Chicken – Reside in New You are able to City and want some assistance getting began? The folks at Victory Chicken have you ever covered.

So, how’d I actually do? Are you finding that you’ve enough information to obtain began? Did Provided sufficient links and sources for more research? If you are already a chicken player, inform us about it within the comment section. If you choose to give it a try, return later and inform us the way it went. Aspire to know what you think, and thank you for studying!

A beginner's help guide to backyard chickens day trip of

Beginners Guide To Raising BACKYARD CHICKENS


Guildbrook Farm | Simple Sustainable Living: Whoa! Did you get through that long video?! If you want to watch more videos on chickens (and shorter ones!) check out our Chickens Ducks and Geese Playlist: Full Chicken Playlist: https://goo.gl/qbMjtR Thanks for watching!

Jimmy Smith: Top quality video, I truly appreciate your work. Thank you for the video.

Mariah N. Shoaff: Thank you very much for taking the time to make this. It’s very informative. I am adding this to my favorites so I can go back and review it when I get started.

Flattened Squid: What type of chickens do you recommend if your wife doesn’t want you to have chickens?

Mike Miskell: There are very few videos that are long that I wish was longer,  and this is one of them.

Hai Ton: So the electric fence doesn’t shock the chickens?

Diego Sebastiàn Pérez: I bought 4 months old 6 buff Orpingtons on my little farm, but they are not doing well with my Rhode island reds. RIRs keep chasing and pecking them all day. what do you suggest?

Richard Strouth: Great video. I was watching it and my wife came downstairs and said I was not going to get any chickens.  Oh well.

Phoebe Vernier: You are awesome!

Wave RdR: this is great………..I’ve been trying to decide what to do on our family land. My other relatives have cows, but your video has solidified my choice to raise chickens and help with the cows…..thanks again…


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