Raising your own chicks can be a rewarding experience for everyone in the family and offer you the chance to produce your own eggs or chicken meat. Before you buy your first chick, here are some things you should know.
Know Your Laws: If you are wanting to raise chickens in your backyard, make sure you check with local laws and ordinances. Some cities or states have restrictions for certain areas and you will want to make sure you are complying with the laws before you build your chicken coop!
Where To Buy Your Chicks: Some feed stores will sell young chicks during certain seasons, but to ensure you know where you chicks came from and its specific needs you may want to ask local farms if you could buy some chicks from them or eggs that you can use to incubate and hatch your own.
Decide What You Want To Raise Chicks For: Raising chicks can give you easy access to fresh eggs and/or fresh meat. You will want to decide early on what you want because you will have to consider how you will slaughter the chickens when they are adults. You will also have to consider owning a rooster or hiring one from a local farm to fertilize the eggs your chickens lay so that you can keep your supply of meat going.
Plan A Space: You will want to take time to consider where you will set up your chicks new home. Not only will they need a coop that isn’t too hot in summer and warm in winter, but they will need some yard space to run and roam in good whether. Temperature control is especially important for young chicks, so know your climate and check on them regularly. When building a coop you will want to make sure there is 3-4 square feet per chicken and about 10 square feet of room per chicken in an outside pen. Make sure you fence the outside pen in or fence in your yard to keep predators out.
Know The Initial Costs: You will need to calculate the start up costs for your chicken farm. Ask local farmers about the best feed for your chicks and add the cost of feed each month to your cost. Don’t forget you will need to buy or build a coop, add fencing, and cool or heat the coop.