It used to be common to see farm animals like backyard chickens roaming around a rural property. These multi-use birds are starting to make a popular comeback.
If you’ve thought about bringing chickens to your yard, there are a few things you need to know. Read on to start your journey to becoming a responsible chicken owner.
1. Know the Purpose
Chickens serve many purposes for a family. They are pets, food providers, and insect control.
As pets, chickens are adorable when they are little chicks. Your kids and guests will see the beauty and love in their eyes. Don’t worry about these birds needing lots of attention or care.
Chickens also provide delicious eggs for you to scramble in the morning. This has become their main purpose in America. In some instances, you might eat the chicken itself.
And during the day, backyard chickens will devour ticks, grasshoppers, and spiders.
2. Temper Expectations for Backyard Chickens
In a perfect world, you’ll buy chickens and the next day you’ll have eggs. Chickens have certain time frames when they lay eggs, and they won’t always follow the normal schedule.
It could be over 30 weeks before you see an egg. Don’t panic if eggs are laid early or late.
Do your own research to figure out the different breeds of chickens and their egg schedules. If you’re particularly impatient, the chickens may become a main course at the dinner table before laying an egg.
3. Buy a Coop Instead of Building One
Before you buy the chickens, you need to have lodgings ready to go. Don’t waste your time trying to build a coop.
Mistakes in your build could let the chickens escape, or worse, collapse on top of them.
Be sure to check out chicken tractor plans for safe designs that are easy to move. Buying a coop is the best investment a future backyard chicken owner can make.
4. Expect Consistent Death
The lifespan of a chicken is roughly three to twelve years. But there’s a good chance the birds meet their end sooner.
No one can deny how delicious chickens are. Unfortunately, every wild carnivore will try to get a taste.
Cats, dogs, coyotes, and wolves sniff out easy prey like chickens. Don’t be shocked if the family dog decides to rip into one. You don’t have to obsess over security, but keep a mindful eye and listening ear when the chickens are outside or asleep at night.
5. Roosters May Invade
Every now and then, one of the uneaten eggs turns into a rooster. Some people don’t mind, and others really care.
Roosters are a lot like their movie counterparts. Expect them to call early in the morning until everyone in the house is awake.
A lot of owners will eat the rooster or choose to spare his life and give him away for free.
Do the Chicken Dance
These must-know chicken facts will help you decide if you’re ready for the rural farm animal life. If you don’t mind stinky dirty backyard chickens that provide eggs and possibly meat, then start doing the chicken dance.
Your neighbors and friends will ask you tons of questions and always want to see the birds.
If you want to be more than a cool chicken owner, then check out the rest of our blog for unique articles.