Backyard chickens can bring joy to the entire family. Plus, when they’re healthy and happy, they can provide you with fresh eggs for years. If you’re new to keeping chickens, the following information can help you get started successfully with your new flock.
When you get chickens for your backyard, you’ll need to make sure they have a coop with space to move around freely. The size of the coop and yard you need depends on the number of chickens you plan to get. One of the most important aspects of having a backyard flock is to keep your chickens protected. The general rule for keeping chickens is to provide them with 2 to 3 square feet of space inside per chicken and 8 to 10 square feet outside per chicken. It’s always better to give your flock as much room as possible to prevent stress, pecking, and health issues.
Upfront costs will depend on the type of coop and fencing you choose to use to keep your chickens protected. A DIY coop can be made for under $100. You can also buy a premade option, which can range from around $100 to several times that, depending on the size of the coop and the amount of fencing you need. A good feeder can cost between $45 and $180. Watering systems are significantly cheaper. The average cost of conventional chicken feed is around $0.15 per day. Organic chicken feed is around $0.60 per day. Chickens also love many types of kitchen scraps as treats. You can find lists of chicken-safe scraps online.
Chickens have no defense mechanisms, so it’s important to provide them with a safe space to live in your backyard. Chickens are naturally inclined to go inside on their own once the sun starts to set, which means you only need to provide them with a safe coop where you can close the door against predators. Having a small latch on the door can keep crafty animals like raccoons, weasels, and opossums away from your flock. It’s also important to install a fence around the area in which your chickens graze to keep them safe from neighborhood dogs and cats during the day.
Keeping chickens in your backyard is much simpler than you may think. Chickens are social animals, and most breeds are friendly enough to be around your entire family. Keep them safe and secure, provide them with food, and interact with them daily, and you’re sure to have a friendly flock to provide you with fresh eggs.
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