How to Raise Chickens in an Urban Setting

Country folks are not the only ones who have the privilege to raise chickens. Even if you live in the city, you can raise chickens, too. Jordan Walker, the lead content curator of the Coops And Cages blog, shares with us on how to raise chickens in an urban setting.  Enjoy!

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In this modern day and age where everything almost seems to be instant and within your reach, it is best to know that you can save money and have food straight from your own backyard. The big question is, “How is this possible?”

You can raise your own backyard flock and get to keep chickens with you with comfort. You would actually be surprised to know that chickens can adapt well in an urban setting.

Hens are easy to grow and even inexpensive to maintain. Chickens will also provide you fresh and nutritious eggs. If you have weeds or bugs at home, you will no longer have to worry about getting rid of them as the chickens will do it for you. They even provide nitrogen-rich fertilizer, and serve as great pets.

Chk Collage 1

On the other hand, you would probably worry about a lot of things when it comes to raising chickens in your backyard. There isn’t really that much to worry about when it comes to doing this. It is possible for you to raise chickens. But it would be wise to know the important basics first on how to do it.

Know the local laws and city ordinances. Check for local laws and regulations in your city. Know whether it is legal for you to own chickens in your location. Contact your local municipality, homeowners’ association, or the local animal control department just to check what the laws are in your place. Some cities limit the number of chickens you can raise in your own land. There are other areas; however, that wouldn’t require permits in growing chickens in one’s backyard especially if these areas have a strong farming culture.

Figure out what breed and how many chickens you should buy. Before buying chickens, you should know first the role of the chickens you want to breed. Do you want the meat-producing or the egg-producing type, or both? Discover first what you want to help you determine which kind of breed you should buy, or what kind of coop you will need.

Build or buy a sturdy coop. In case you don’t know yet what a coop is, it is a cage or a pen where you can confine the chickens. When it comes to preparing an outside chicken coop, you must consider some important factors. Number one is the chickens’ safety. Set a 4 sq. ft. space inside the coop per chicken and 10 sq. ft. for the outdoor space. There should be no cracks or loose space where other animals could get in. To secure the chickens better, surround the coop with a wire cage. Just check if there are protruding wires or nails from the coop. Make sure that the coop has good air flow in it too.

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Every once in a week or two, clean out the whole coop. This way, you get to keep your chickens from being sick and getting parasites. If you find your place a safe area for the chickens to roam, let them do it freely during the day. Just make sure that you can watch them and that they don’t go off too far.

Build a nest box for the chickens to lay their eggs on. You should also pay attention to your chickens’ nesting boxes because these are the special areas your chickens will lay eggs. Eggs are a great source of protein and eggs can be made into any kind of dish. When building a nest box, it should be large enough to hold a hen (around 12 inches) and with a small lip at the end of it to stop the egg from rolling out. The nest may consist of straw, pine needles, or wood shavings. Keep the nest box dark, and have 4 of these for every six chickens. You can set up dropping boards to catch the chicken litter and turn them into garden compost later.

Provide the right feed. Look out for a nearby feed supply store and buy a bag ahead so you won’t have any trouble of running out of stock. You should give your chickens a good amount of protein and carbohydrates into their diet. Corn, barley, and wheat are good sources of protein for your chickens. They also need calcium so feed them egg shells. Avoid giving them onions, garlic, chocolate, raw potatoes, avocados, or any damp feed because these might poison them. Keep the insecticides and other chemicals out of the chickens’ reach.

Now that you know the basics in raising chickens in the city, it’s about time you consider doing it and start the work. Count your chickens and check if they are eating and drinking well, if their food are clean and fresh, if they are having trouble breathing, if they are losing feathers, or have any other signs of disease. If they are sick and left unsupervised, your chickens will die. Hence, you should also keep a first aid kit for your chickens. You may have them dewormed and vaccinated too.

There are so many ways of growing chicken breeds and taking care of them. All it takes is that you don’t chicken out and you do your plan well.

Image Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

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Author: Jordan Walker


Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops And Cages as well as a couple of other pet related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for ‘attempting’ to play the guitar. If you would like to catch him, you can via Google+ or Twitter: @CoopsAndCages

 

4 thoughts on “How to Raise Chickens in an Urban Setting

  1. This is so awesome! I’ve always wanted to have chickens and eat fresh eggs but I definitely do not want to have to move to the country for it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Melissa. Even though I live in a rural area, I am still in town. I love my chickens and turkeys!

    • I don’t eat eggs either, but my family loves them. I do alot of baking so fresh eggs is so great for us!

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