Raising backyard chickens is the popular thing to do lately, but how do you know if it’s right for you? Any time you bring an animal to your home you are taking on a responsibility to care for that animal. Here are some things to think about before you bring your birds home.
Should you get backyard chickens?
I’m a huge fan of backyard chickens and I think that they can be a great pet or livestock for many people, however there are some things you need to consider.
First, do you have time to care for them? Backyard chickens do not take very much time to raise, but they do require attention. You will need to feed and water them. You will need to collect eggs daily. Depending on what kind of coop you have, you may need to let them in and out every morning and night. And occasionally you will need to clean their chicken coop as well.
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Second, do you have enough space? Chickens are happiest if they are able to wander about and eat grass. They will do okay in a pen if you bring them plenty of treats for entertainment, but they will need at LEAST 10 square feet of space per chicken of outdoor space and 3 square feet per chicken of indoor space. If you can’t provide at least that much, it’s kind for the birds if you don’t bring them home.
And third, can you take care of emergencies? Like all animals, chickens can get sick. They can have accidents. They may need to be put down. Can you handle treating them yourself if something happens? Do you have access to a vet who will treat chickens if you don’t want to put them down yourself?
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Chickens are a wonderful addition to almost any yard and I love keeping mine. If you are new to chickens, make sure you have realistic expectations before you bring your birds home.
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