Who should raise their own chickens? Why, you obviously! Raising chickens is not hard– in fact, it is extremely pleasurable and very rewarding. Lots of people, urban and suburban, are re-discovering the delight of raising their own produce and meat/dairy products. Of course, you should check into zoning laws for your county, town or city, to make sure having your feathered friends around is all above board. You must also decide if your surroundings are suitable to raise these harried hens and cackling cockerels (little boy chickens)!
Why raise your own chickens? Ask not what you can do for your chickens, but what your chickens can do for you! First off, chickens give YOU something in return for all your efforts… good, great tasting eggs. You may never can go back to ” outlet” bought eggs again as soon as you have had your own eggs–they have TASTE! And, since you feed and care for your own chickens, you can have the relief that your eggs are hormone, chemical, and bacteria free. (Have you ever noticed the warning message on your carton of outlet bought eggs???) Additionally having your own supply of great tasting eggs, you will benefit from having your own recycling center. Chickens love table scraps! They eat just about any thing! From there, you will marvel at the next spin-off from your brooding beauties…nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Your back-yard garden will simply love you for all the foods you are putting back into the soil. Additionally all of this, you will more than likely have a natural pest- controls, as chickens will hunt and peck out slugs, grasshoppers, ants, and lots of other unwanted bugs in the garden, or around the house! But possibly the greatest pleasures of raising chickens is that chickens are in reality very entertaining and a delight to watch!
When should you set about raising chickens? Well, that is part of the reason I am writing this article. Now is the time to start thinking, planning and organising your new chicken “operation.” You’ll ought to be prepared to acquire your chickens starting anywhere from March to mid-June, depending on where you reside and where you get your chickens. Most mail-order hatcheries start mailing their chicks during this occasion, and you can also find chicks at your local “feed” stores during this same period.
Where should you purchase your chickens? There are many on-line hatcheries, or mail-order hatcheries across the United States. I recommend that you locate a hatchery that is nearest to your house, as these chicks must travel through the postal service. If you use a mail-order hatchery, you should be aware that there is usually a minimum order of 25 chicks. If you do not want that lots of pullets (girl chicks) or cockerels (see previous definition), you have a number of options. Alternative one would be to separate the order with a pal. Alternative two would be to go to a feed outlet and choose the number of chicks you want. The nicest thing about going through a mail-order hatchery is that you are sure to get the strain of chicken you want, the sex of the chicken, and you can also mix and match your order to include other “fowl” type birds, like turkeys, ducks, or exotic type chickens if you so choose!