Farm fresh eggs of your own, from your own chickens – that’s the motivation for many people who plan for their own poultry in their own backyards.
Others keep chickens because they remember the taste of eggs from farm-raised chickens from days gone by.
At home, we had our own eggs at various points over the years. I’ll put up with the size variations, as well as the occasional shell in need of cleaning, in exchange for the quality of the eggs from a backyard flock.
For others, the primary motivation is the wish to have more control of their food supply. When you feed your own chickens, you know what goes into the product.
- Fresh eggs regularly
- Best quality eggs
- Control of the chicken feed and range of the birds
- Enjoyment of keeping a few chickens of your own
Elements to consider early in your planning for chickens:
- Zoning in your community. Some cities have restrictions, whether you can have chickens and if so, how many, whether you can have roosters or only hens, and other criteria. Daily and regular feeding and care. Your chickens need to be fed and watered.
- Vacation care for your chickens. Is there someone who can tend your animals if you go away for a few days, or longer, or other arrangements for the birds.
- Sources of chicken feed and other supplies. You will need a source for cracked corn or other types of feed, as well as dry storage secure from pests.
- Waste disposal. Composting is one possibility, but how you will handle the waste products of your birds will need to be included in your plans.
There are a number of other elements for you to consider when thinking about having chickens in your yard, such as protection from winter weather and predators.
Nevertheless, it can be very satisfying to keep your own hens, with some prior planning based on your goals.