Learn how to raise chickens in your own backyard! Calling all frugal families: raising chickens for eggs can be a great project for your family. Build a backyard chicken coop, and start raising backyard chickens! Learn how here.
This blog, Loving Home Life, is dedicated to saving families money. So can raising backyard chickens really save you money? I believe so, in a round-about way.
There are some expenses to raising chickens for eggs and meat. Feed costs money. And though you can probably build a backyard chicken coop with scrap materials, you will have some initial outlay of cash. But there are other, less noticeable ways you will save money.
- If you currently purchase organic chicken and eggs, raising your own is much more economical
- If you have more eggs than you would normally purchase, you will think of ways to use them, and replace other purchased items in your diet
- Committing to taking care of chickens daily leaves little options for spontaneously going out to dinner, meaning you will less tempted to spend money on restaurant meals
Chickens are relatively low maintenance. You need to keep the coop clean, and feed them, like many other small pets. In addition to raising chickens for eggs, you can raise chickens for meat as well. (or not)
Chickens are friendly, with unique personalities, and kids love them. Plus, learning how to raise chickens will be a great life-lesson for your children. And chickens can be raised in a small backyard, so long as there is enough room to build a backyard chicken coop and have some space for them to run around.
Note: Part of how to raise chickens is finding out if it is legal in your town. Many suburban areas allow chickens, or at least hens in the backyard. Check with your city.
How to Raise Chickens: Getting Started
So what do you need to start raising backyard chickens? A few things, the first of which is your chickens themselves!
- Chickens – You’ll need to decide if you will be raising chickens for eggs or for meat and eggs. There are different varieties of chickens depending on what you want to use them for. If you are only wanting eggs, or if your city will not allow roosters, get some hens only. Your hens will produce edible eggs without a rooster. Chickens can be obtained by a local or mail order hatchery, or by asking around in your neighborhood.
- Backyard Chicken Coop – You’ll need to build a backyard chicken coop. This would make an excellent weekend project. Actually, this is one of those projects that would be great for the entire family! Involve the kids whenever possible.
- Chicken Food – Chickens need a diet of proteins, grains, greens and water. They like bugs and worms and will keep their yard-space free of insects. They also like grass and weeds. Grain can be purchased from a local farm supply store. They will only drink clean water, so this needs to be filled and changed daily.
- Knowledge – Probably the most important thing you will need in order to learn how to raise chickens is knowledge! This can (and should) come from a variety of sources. First, network with other local backyard chicken producers. Ask to tour their chicken coop, and learn and ask questions. Visit more than one. Every family raising backyard chickens does it a little differently. This will help you to see if raising chickens for eggs is something your family may be interested in. Next, get yourself some good literature. You’re going to need a step-by-step guide not just on how to raise chickens, but on how to build a backyard chicken coop, what to feed chickens, how to keep them healthy and safe, and how to raise chicks. Here’s what I recommend:
Karl Caden has put together a complete chicken kit to help all us newbies get started raising backyard chickens. His sales page initially advertises his Easy DIY Chicken Coop Plans, which are excellent, come with building materials lists, step-by-step plans, diagrams, pictures, you name it.
But in addition to the chicken coop plans, Karl gives you several bonus books:
- Chicken Care
- Chicken Diet Plans
- Easy Worm Farming
- Chickens in Hot and Cold Climates
- Easy Organic Egg Recipes
- Disease Diagnoser
- Chicken Raising Terms A to Z
- Raising Chicks 101
- Chicken Resources Toolbox
The chicken care book bonus is incredible, and contains all the information you need to get started with your chickens right away. He goes through and tells you the different types of chickens, and which are good egg/meat producers, what to feed your chickens, how to keep them safe from predators, and how to keep them happy.
Karl is a very experienced backyard chicken owner and his passion for chickens shines through in his work. This kit is a must-have for all those considering raising backyard chickens. Visit How to Raise Backyard Chickens by Karl Caden.
Learning how to raise chickens can be a fun hobby that will provide you with a reduction of grocery expenses. Your own home-grown food supplies are better tasting than products found in the grocery store, fresher, and you know exactly how it was made. Backyard chickens can add joy to your life and a smile to your face.