We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Backyard barnyards are popping up in all types of neighborhoods. Many local communities will allow for a small chicken roost in the backyard. Before you venture out and buy many different types of chickens, check with your local zoning and HOA for rules and regulations.
So let’s say all works out and you can have chickens. If you’ve never had chickens it’s important to know that not all chickens are the same. So depending on what you want your chickens to do lay eggs or raise for food you will need to pick the right chickens.
Protect your Chickens
Before you head off to buy chickens you will need to do a little preparation in your backyard. When thinking about chickens be sure you have a secure hen house. Natural predators for chickens are raccoons, coyotes, birds of prey and snakes when they are chicks (don’t let this scare you away it’s just good to know so you can protect your birds). These predators will dig under coops to get inside so using chicken wire from bottom to about 12” down will deter most animals. Also, a motion sensitive light can help as a deterrent. Also, chickens are very adept at taking care of themselves, they are not shy when it comes to defending themselves.
It’s important that at night your chickens are put up safely in their chicken coop with all doors secured. When the chicks are young it’s good to socialize with them a lot. This will make gathering them up at night easier and more fun. Also, socialize with other family pets especially dogs who will attack chickens, if they’re not socialized with them. Dogs and chickens can live quite harmoniously, even with cats as well.
Also, make sure they have a good water source and shade during the day. You also want to provide as much area as possible for your chickens to forage. If you’re going to free range chickens make sure that you don’t live on a busy street. Chickens don’t fly but can fly over fences to get to the food sources outside your yard.
Here are some great egg laying types of chickens to consider:
- Rhode Island Reds, are very common and will lay around 250 eggs per year. They’re easy to care for and very common. These are also good chickens for both food and eggs.
- Leghorn, this is a great laying egg but they are shy and hard to tame. So if you’re someone that wants eggs this is a great choice. If you want a pet not so much.
- Sussex, these birds too are great egg layers but also good to eat. This is a great bread if you want social birds that are friendly. They are very happy to free range and won’t destroy gardens. Great with children.
- Plymouth Rock, this is a larger bird. Very tame and easy to work with. Should yield you about 200 eggs per year.
- Barnevelder, this is a great bird. They would do well in a garden area, not know for flying and if cared for will stay put. Should get about 200 eggs per year. Easy to tame and okay with children.
Keep in mind that you need to be able to provide veterinary care if needed. Most chickens are very low maintenance. Keep their area clean of waste and you will do fine.
This is a great way to bring families together for fun. If you have children this is a wonderful learning experience to take care of chickens. They will love to get up and gather eggs!