Owning chickens is an incredible experience, but it is also one to prepare yourself for….we don’t claim to be chicken experts, but as fellow chicken owners and lovers we hope some of our insights help you take those first and egg-citing steps to become a chicken owner in a more informed way!! So, here goes:
#1 Identify Your Goal
What motivated you to look into chicken keeping in the first place? Were you hoping for a slower lifestyle? Were you hoping to teach your children about responsibility? Or, were you like many chicken keepers who just really wants farm fresh eggs!? Whatever your answer, it should dictate a lot about how you start the process. For example, if all you care about are the eggs, then make sure you pick the top egg layer breeds for your flock! Right, who knew that some chickens lay more eggs than others?! Visit Backyard Poultry’s list of Best Chickens for Eggs to help you find the perfect flock. Now, if your answer was more in line with either a slower lifestyle or teaching responsibility to children, our humble opinion would be to create an atmosphere for your coop that is as comfortable for you as it is for your chickens! This can be accomplished with our Chicks & Peeps Interior Option built right into your coop, it is as much about you as it is about your chickens!
#2 Are You Even Allowed to Own Chickens
As strange as this sounds, many areas do not allow for chicken ownership. And some places go as far as to regulate how many chickens you can have. A good resource to help figure this out is My Pet Chicken. Don’t be too surprised if you find that roosters are not allowed in your community but do the homework first so that you are not faced with unnecessary heartbreak later.
#3 How Many Chickens Do You Want Which Dictates Your Coop Size
So, chickens are a bit like potato chips….you really can’t just stop at one! This is so true that there is even a phrase for the feeling of wanting more chickens, which is “Chicken Math!” We bring this up because we believe it is good to plan for getting more chickens way before you even get your first batch! In other words, air on the side of caution and get a bigger coop to start so that you have room to grow your flock into the space!
#4 Be Ready to Play Doctor
Chicken ownership is on the rise, but it is nowhere near the popularity that we see with other household pets such as dogs and cats. Because of this, you may find yourself struggling to find a vet that has extensive poultry knowledge. We recently came across a terrific reference www.poultrydvm.com! Keep this one in your favorites for those times when you don’t know where else to turn!
#5 Get the Right Coop from the Start
It’s just like anything else, you get what you pay for. If you believe that chicken ownership will become a part of your foreseeable future, we think you would be best served by investing in the right coop at the outset! There are many inexpensive coops on the market that are made of very low-quality materials, which means they simply won’t last in inclement weather, and they certainly won’t protect your chickens from predators. Most of these products are also imported from factories that use toxic paints to add that finishing touch to coops….how awful is that for both your chickens and for you once you eat those eggs? In other words, do your homework before making the final decision of where you want to house your future feather babies!
All in all, we hope that this insight has given you some food for thought! Overall, owning chickens shouldn’t be taken lightly as these are beautiful little lives you get to care for and enjoy! We believe that a perfect home is one with chickens!