Do You Have What it Takes to Raise Backyard Chickens?
Raising your own chickens is an easy way to provide eggs and meat for your family diet. They can be a source of income, too. If self-sufficiency is your goal, chickens will be a big boost. – Shorty Dawkins
This article comes from PreppingToSurvive.com
The following article has been contributed by Nate Smith, a backyard chicken enthusiast and blogger. It has been published with permission of the author. It does not necessarily represent the views of PreppingToSurvive.com.
The simple fact that you even find yourself reading this article probably means that you satisfy the first requirement of raising backyard chickens: desire. Obviously, without a strong desire to keep chickens the occasional hassles and burdens of doing so would quickly become overwhelming, leaving you wondering why you ever got started with such a silly idea in the first place! So let’s go back to assuming that you do at least want to have and raise chickens, whatever your reason may be (and the reasons can be many). There are a few more requirements that cannot be overlooked in this hobby, so let’s take a look at each one and hopefully that will help you to determine personally where you stand.
Do I Have the Time I Need To Devote to My Chickens?
Time is something that you will need to continually have in order to effectively raise chickens. I’m not simply referring to the time it takes to properly set up before getting your first few chicks, although that is something to consider as well. If you are contemplating the idea of building your own chicken coop you will want to make sure you have allotted enough time to have your coop completely finished before the first birds arrive. If you aren’t going to be building your own chicken coop, but instead will be purchasing one that comes already assembled, there are options for that as well.
The real time commitment comes, however in the daily chores and tasks that it takes to simply keep your chickens happy and healthy. Depending on a few different things, you should plan to devote somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes each morning to care for your small flock. If you have automatic feeders and waterers you’ll probably be toward the lower side of that time commitment, and the higher end if you don’t have those things. Still, you might simply have a desire to sit and watch your chickens for a bit, just to observe their behavior and make sure everything looks fine. No matter what, try and make sure you take care of any of your chickens’ needs, or anything in the area of the chickens, before they are going to sleep for the night. Lights coming on after they have already been sleeping can cause them undue stress; it’s simply not healthy for them. Most experts agree that chickens need roughly 14 hours of light and 10 hours of darkness so you might need to look into artificial lighting during the winter months, depending especially on where you live.