More tips on how to raise healthy chickens in your own backyard.
By Shannon Somers-Mueller
For fans of good old-fashioned home cluckin’, here are some tips on raising a backyard flock:
• Check out local ordinances. Some cities outlaw owning chickens, limit flock size or require a permit.
• Evaluate costs. Call the nearest feed mill for feed prices, and decide how many chickens you can maintain.
• Get the scoop on coops. Each chicken needs about 2 square feet to itself inside. Be sure the coop can be closed at night so a fox or hawk can’t snatch the chickens.
• Ready the range. Prepare a wire-fenced grassy area where chickens can graze.
• Consult a chick expert. Baby chicks require special care in order to grow into productive adults.
• Reconsider keeping roosters. These cocky guys can be aggressive and noisy. Some cities prohibit them.
• Be a mother hen. Make sure your chickens have fresh water at all times, but don’t overfeed.
• Spruce up the roost. A clean coop helps prevent soiled eggs and guarantees happy, healthy hens.
• Get crackin’. Collect the fresh eggs daily.