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Beginner’s Guide: How to Raise Backyard Chickens

Raising backyard chickens. How to get started.

Our guide for beginners will show you how to raise backyard chickens in no time with a few expert tips from our Dothan store manager, Michael Ward. Michael has been raising chickens most of his life and has some suggestions for chicken newbies.

Since the price of eggs is more than twice what it was a year ago. Between inflation and the avian flu, many people can’t afford to buy eggs in the grocery store. Let us help you get started with your own backyard chickens and have fresh, organic eggs that are much more flavorful than the ones in stores. 

Make a plan

Before you run out and buy those cute little baby chicks, be sure you have the proper area to contain them. Babies must be kept in a brooder for at least a few weeks. They need to stay warm and cozy to thrive. Get all your chicken supplies ready for their arrival. You can buy a coop or build one to your preference.

Choose your chicks 

Every breed of chicken produces eggs, but sizes and production numbers will vary. Find a hatchery or go to a local farm and feed store to ensure you get the right chickens for your egg- producing needs. Be sure you’re buying from someone NIP certified to know they regularly test the birds for any health problems. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit. There are more breeds than you can shake an egg beater at, and different ones typically get along fine. A bonus is that your egg basket will be colorful!

Raising chickens

Your chickens will need fresh water and food. When you get baby chicks, they’ll need a medicated chick starter. They’ll get this feed until they’ve feathered out, around six weeks old. It’s also a good idea to give the babies electrolytes and probiotics to keep them healthy. Once the chicks have feathered out, it’s time to put them in your chicken coop. Make sure you put some nesting boxes in the chicken coop. That will provide them with a safe and secure space to lay eggs. Most of the year, chickens will lay eggs every day. Don’t forget the chicken feed. Chickens are omnivores, so they eat insects, fruits, and veggies to get a balanced diet of vitamins and minerals. There are numerous feed and treat items available. You’ll also need to change out their water every day to keep it as fresh as possible. 

Daily care

Chickens raised in backyards usually stay healthy and don’t get diseases as easy as mass-produced chickens. If possible, let them out some during the day so they can move around and stay active. You might even hear them singing as they scavenge for bugs! Keep them contained at night, safe from any predators. Always keep your chicken coop clean to maintain proper sanitation and odor control. If you have any questions about supplies for your backyard feathered friends, call us for help. We have tons of poultry supplies that will fit almost any need.