Have you ever wanted to raise chickens? I would love to tell you that it is easy, but guess what? It's not. There is so much that goes into raising chickens that it's not for the faint of heart. I have to say, that I should have done a lot more research before starting with my flock. It would have been easier if we had been better prepared. Let me show you what we started with.
Let me tell you, cleaning this coop was not easy as you could not stand up straight. What a pain. So, my first tip on how to raise chickens is to have a coop ready before you get your chickens that you can stand up straight in, because you will spend much time cleaning and maintaining the coop. This is what we have now:
As you can see, the chickens now have a condo instead of a pen (or at least that's what my husband calls it). You can see, we made our own coop and it cost about $1000 from start to finish. The first coop only cost about $100, the rest went into the remodel.
The next thing to remember is the food. Let me tell you, this is not cheap! We are spending about $30 a week to feed 12 chickens and 2 ducks. Finally, you have to decide if you are going to look for older adult or teenage chickens or if you want to start from chicks. If you are going for teenage or adult chickens, they can go right into the coop. However, if you start with chicks, you have to have somewhere warm to keep them until they are at least 12 weeks old.
Baby chicks are adorable! But, they take a lot of work to get them big enough to move outside. We started the first set with the help of a rabbit cage. We kept them in the house with a warming light on them for the first few weeks. As they got bigger, I started turning the light on less and less. This was our set-up for the first set of chicks we brought home.
Now they look like this:
I will say one thing: Fresh eggs taste so much better than store bought eggs. Even the duck eggs are good. I will not go back to store bought eggs if I can avoid it. It is hard work to get them though.
I am slowly learning all that it takes to care for chickens and this post is just the bare basics for starting. This is simply some of things I wish I had known before buying my first set of chicks. If you have any question feel free to drop them in the comment box or send me an email. I will answer every one. I hope this was helpful for anyone who is currently raising chickens or thinking about starting. The benefits far outweigh the work involved in getting started.
Have a great day!