New to raising chickens? If you are, then there are a couple basic requirements you should know. First I want to say it is awesome that you are wanting to raise chickens on your own.
I remember when I got my first chicks in the mail, yes you can order chicks through the mail. Crazy right? It gets me excited every time I hear about new chicken owners or people that want to learn about backyard chicken raising.
So lets get started on the basic things you need to know before getting chickens and building or buying a chicken coop.
Time: How Much Will You Need to Put In
Like with any animal you raise you are going to have to put in time to care for them. It is no different with raising chickens. It is recommended that you check your chickens at least twice a day. You can check on them in the morning and the evening, which should take a total of 15 minutes for each session.
If you have chickens or hens that lay eggs, you should collect them at least once a day. So you can collect the eggs in the evening when you check on them for the second time.
Now the for the fun part, cleaning the coop. Not really my favorite, but it has to be done. This will take up more time and should be done at least once a week. You will need to remove the chicken poop, add clean litter, clean the water containers, and refill the feed bins.
This will easily take up an hour, so plan out a day of the week you will be able to do some cleaning chores. Also, plan on doing this when your chickens are up, doing it when they are sleeping will put stress on them. We all want happy chicken right?
Space: What is Adequate?
Just as we need our space, chicken need their space also. If you place chicken in a coop that is too small, they often will fight each other. This can lead to some nasty wounds. Some that can even cause death, if they get infected. So what is the solution?
Chickens need at least 3 square feet between each other inside the coop and another 4 for the run. So if you plan on getting four chickens, then the coop should be (2 x 6) or (3 x4) and other 4 x4 for the outside run. You can be more flexible with the dimensions. The height of the chicken coop doesn’t have to be larger than 3 feet unless you want to be able to stand inside the coop for easier access while cleaning it.
Money: How much will it Cost You?
Price of Chickens – So this is one of the biggest question I get all the time, how much will it cost to raise backyard chickens? Well this depends on a lot of different factors. First what type of chickens do you plan on getting? You can find rare breeds that can be pretty pricey, but if you are just looking for a good egg layer, they run around $10.
Price of Chicken Coop – As for the coop, this is where it can get really pricey. If you are planing on buying a pre-built chicken coop, expect to pay at least a couple hundred dollars. If you like to build stuff, then I would suggest building your own coop.
When you build your own coop, you can customize it the way you want. You will feel happy that you built it, and of course, save money. I’m a do it yourself type of person and decided to build my own coop.