First Time Raising Chickens – What You Need to Consider

Raising chickens can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but it is important to consider a few key factors before taking on the task. Raising backyard chickens has become a popular hobby for many American households. It’s no wonder! Raising chickens has proven an effective strategy throughout the pandemic, ensuring households can still keep direct access to fresh food. There is something incredibly rewarding about eating the eggs that your chicks lay. It’s not only self-sufficient, but it also is environmentally friendly.  

However, raising chickens doesn’t come without challenges. If you want to buy chicks and get your own fresh eggs in the morning, you will need to be prepared for the challenges of keeping chickens in your backyard. 

Building a Protective Enclosure

When it comes to raising chickens, one of the most important things you need to consider is providing them with a protective enclosure. Protecting your chickens from potential predators and other hazards is essential.

A good enclosure should be sturdy, secure and provide ample space for your birds to roam and forage. Look for materials such as welded wire mesh and heavy-gauge fencing to provide maximum protection. You can also use netting to create an overhead layer of protection for your birds.

Keep in mind that chickens need room to move around, exercise, and explore when planning your enclosure. Provide ample space for perching, dust baths, and access to natural sunlight. Your enclosure should also be easy to maintain and clean so that you can make sure your chickens are living in a healthy and sanitary environment.

First Time Raising Chickens - What You Need to Consider

Managing Clean Food and Water Access

Chickens tend to spoil their water and food supply, often flicking dust, dirt, and debris into bowls. They can even mistake it for the bathroom. Unfortunately, their behavior can make it tough to maintain healthy chickens. That’s precisely why you want to look for solutions to keep their food and water clean. Changing it regularly can seem like an option, but it is hard work and will need to be done several times throughout the day. Instead, you should consider chicken feeder and waterer solutions, which you can leave in their pen without worrying about dirt. 

Finding Their Eggs

It’s not uncommon for chickens to hide their eggs, and this is a natural behavior, as chickens will often look for a safe and secluded spot to lay their eggs. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to find eggs, especially if you have a large flock of chickens. 

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help you locate where your chickens may be hiding their eggs. Start by looking for signs that your chickens have been laying in a particular spot, such as feathers or nesting material. If you can’t find any physical clues, try looking for a spot that’s dark, quiet, and secluded. Chickens prefer these types of spots when it comes to laying eggs.

First Time Raising Chickens - What You Need to Consider

You can also observe your chickens to figure out where they are laying eggs. Watch them closely throughout the day and pay attention to where they go when they wander off on their own. 

Are you considering raising chickens in your backyard? This can be a fun experience, especially if you have young children. 

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Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, when she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s making tea and writing about country living and artisan culture.
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