What You Need To Know Raising Chickens In Your Backyard

April 16, 2020

For the last decade or so, backyard chickens have become much more common. Over the past few weeks, hatcheries have seen an increase in the number of people looking for backyard chickens. But before you add a chicken coop to your backyard garden, take note of these helpful tips. While most cities and municipalities allow residents to own chickens, you'll need to review your specific city's ordinance. The financial investment is high for feed, coop building and maintenance, and vet services. Initially around $550 with $25 each following month if you own three chickens. Keep in mind chickens live on average eight years, take a lot of care and cleaning, so plan accordingly. Hold off on your own chicken coup for families with children under 5, parents over 65 or with anyone with a weakened immune system due to the risk of salmonella. Speaking of salmonella, consider buying grown chickens over chicks as chicks have a greater risk of salmonella. Now that we're all washing our hands regularly, keep it up when handling chickens, their eggs, food and droppings. You should scoop up droppings once or twice a week, and aim to complete a deep clean twice a year to change the flooring material. Slip off your shoes before entering the house, and remember: don’t kiss, snuggle or cuddle your backyard chickens. Don’t wash warm fresh eggs since they’re porous, cold water on warm eggs can pull bacteria into the eggs. Instead, clean with fine sandpaper or a clean cloth, then be sure to cook your eggs to 160°F or warmer. Contact a local poultry veterinarian, and have him or her come out and check your set-up at the start. Vets can give you good advice about how to set up a backyard coop.

SOURCE: Better Homes & Gardens

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