To be a chicken keeper or not to be, that is the question

| 3/15/2013 8:54:58 AM

Tags: chicken, chick, hen, egg, rooster, chicken care, homestead, garden, farm, poultry, The Homestead Redhead,

As the winter slowly fades into Spring, I have heard quite a few inquiries and questions on keeping chickens.  For the next few blogs, I am going to share some of what I have learned in the last year of keeping these delightful, feathered friends.  I happily welcome any questions or feedback.  The following recommendations are for keeping chickens as an egg source and not as dinner.

Where to Start 

The first place to start is to see if it is legal for you to have chickens on your property.  You will need to find out what zoning laws exist for where you live.  To find this information, you need to look on your city/town’s website, contact city hall, or contact the local zoning office if there is one.  Due to the recent heightened interest in backyard chicken keeping, many cities have become accepting of backyard flocks (yay!).  Most neighborhoods also have their own rules about backyard chickens-check into your homeowner’s association.  Hens are obviously much more accepted in a city setting than roosters since they are quieter.

Gathering the Supplies 

If you have found out you are legally allowed to keep chickens, that’s exciting news!  If you aren’t allowed, it’s time to start a petition to get those laws changed!

A medical word of advice: chickens do put off a dander so if you or someone in your family has a lot of animal allergies, asthma or COPD, make sure this will not aggravate their conditions before you go through the time and expense of getting everything established.

Laura Pankey
3/18/2013 2:20:22 PM

Yes, chicks still come through the mail. I worked at the USPS for 27 years, (changed departments last year) and there were chicks, ducklings, gooslings, you name it on the dock every night! Loved going over and looking, but never feed or water. That's a huge no-no!

3/18/2013 1:54:42 PM

Redhead, great information about starting with little chics. They are so fragile at that age, aren't they. Or at least they look fragile. I was always amazed when that box with cheeping sounds coming from the holes in the box came in the mail. They were never delivered but the mailman would let us know they were at the post office and come get them. I don't think chics come through the mail any more. I haven't been involved with chickens for quite some time (50 years). My city will allow three chickens as pets but no one that I know has chickens in the urban area that I live. A rooster would definitely be frowned upon in my neighborhood. At this point in my life line, I'm just sticking to gardening and letting the wild life be my urban homestead animals. So the fences in my case are build to keep animals out and not in. :0) Have a great chicken keeper day.

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