<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://ct.pinterest.com/v3/?event=init&tid=2613148594771&pd[em]=&noscript=1" /> Skip to Content

Get Started Raising Chickens

Get Started Keeping ChickensChickens are what most people think about when they start considering urban homesteading.  There’s a good reason for that, chickens can be an easy livestock to start raising, and they don’t take a lot of space.   Raising chickens is a quick way to start producing all the eggs your family will need.  Chickens can also be raised just part time for meat, or even as dual purpose birds!

They do have a little bit of learning curve, and there are things you can do to help your chickens have a happy life.  If you are thinking about getting chickens, but aren’t sure if they are right for you, please download my free e-guide Baby Steps To Backyard Chickens.

Baby Steps To Backyard Chickens comes with a free companion, a printable checklist to help you get ready for chickens.  It’s also packaged as a free email course! Sign up for your downloadable checklist and email course right here:

You don’t have to live in the country to have chickens

Chickens are one of the most versatile livestock.  They can be raised even on small city lots!  I had a small flock of birds on our 1/10th of an acre lot in Portland, Oregon.  If you choose to raise bantam chickens you could keep them in virtually any yard!  Chickens are much quieter than a dog, (as long as you don’t have a rooster).  And don’t worry, you don’t need a rooster to get eggs!

Chickens are also very easy to take care of.  They need clean water and food, and a safe place to live.  Even kids can take care of pet chickens.  What other pet out there produces breakfast for you?

On the other hand, if you do have the space, it’s totally possible to raise a self-sufficient flock of chickens.  With just one or two roosters you can hatch out chicks in the spring to replace your laying birds or to raise for meat.  With a little extra garden space you can start growing some of their own feed in order to save money.

If you have enough grass, or don’t mind setting up a rotating pasture you can even raise grass fed chickens.  Eggs from chickens that are allowed to eat their natural diet of grass, plants, and bugs are vibrant and have colorful yolks.  They are much more nutritious than eggs that come from factory farms.

Plus they just taste better!

If you are sure you want to start raising chickens, or if you already have chickens, feel free to look through the available resources below!

Backyard chickens are one of the best pets that you can keep.  They are easy to keep and require very little attention compared to most pets such as dogs.  Plus, they give you eggs in return for a little bit of care and attention!

If you want the best of the Farming My Backyard’s chicken wisdom featured below , but compiled into one easy to read source, check out my book, Backyard Chickens: How To Have A Happy Flock.

You can order kindle or paperback versions on Amazon by clicking here. 

And of course you are always welcome to browse the free posts below!

Chickens need constant access to clean water, but they can be messy! Here are some ideas on how you can keep chickens' water clean.

How To Keep Chickens’ Water Clean

Chickens need constant access to fresh, clean water, but sometimes they can make a real mess of it! Here are ...
One of the fun parts of getting chickens is deciding where to put a chicken coop in your yard. Here's how to decide on the right location!

Where To Put A Chicken Coop In Your Yard

One of the fun parts of getting chickens is deciding where to put a chicken coop in your yard. Depending ...
Chicken roosts are a crucial part of the coop. Your flock needs to feel safe at night. Here are the best sizes and styles for you to use!

Chicken Roosts That Rock

Chicken roosts are a crucial part of the coop. Your flock relies on them to feel safe while sleeping, and ...
Chickens molting or mites are the two most common causes of feather loss in backyard flocks. Here's how to know which is which!

Are My Chickens Molting Or Have Mites?

If you notice feathers all over your coop or bald spots on your bird, you may wonder are my chickens ...
How long do chickens live? They won't lay eggs their whole life, so make sure you have a plan for your chicken's lifespan.

How Long Do Chickens Live?

Before you bring home chickens, you may be wondering how long do chickens live? Knowing your chicken's life expectancy is ...
5 Tips For Chickens Eating Their Own Eggs

5 Tips For Chickens Eating Their Own Eggs

When you raise chickens, you're excited to gather your own fresh eggs, but what do you do if chickens are ...
When you keep your own chickens you can pick breeds that lay a variety of colors. Here are what chickens lay blue eggs!

What Chickens Lay Blue Eggs?

Eggs are not just white or brown, they actually come in many different shades! When you keep your own chickens ...
Even though chickens with fluffy feet are not always the top layers, they are fun and unique breeds and deserve a place in your coop!

6 Little Known Facts About Chickens With Fluffy Feet

Chickens with fluffy feet are some of the cutest chickens you can raise on your backyard farm. There are several ...
Chickens are pretty hard birds, but they do need some protection. How much do you need to worry about chickens in the rain?

Do You Need To Worry About Chickens In The Rain?

Chickens are pretty hardy birds, but they do need some protection. How much do you need to worry about chickens ...
If you are thinking about getting chickens, but are worried about chickens attracting rats, here are some things you need to know!

4 Things You Need To Know About Chickens Attracting Rats

If you are thinking about getting chickens, but are worried about chickens attracting rats, here are some things you need ...
Here are a few things I've since figured out from my chickens not laying in their nesting box both about my birds and myself!

What I Learned From Chickens Not Laying In Nesting Box

When we first got chickens, I had vague imaginations of walking out to the coop every day and gathering fresh ...
When chickens go broody, they want to hatch eggs. Here's how to "break" it so your chicken doesn't lose weight or get mites.

Top 5 Tools For When Chickens Go Broody

Spring time is an exciting time of the year on the homestead. The garden is growing, trees are leafing out, ...
When you have chickens, don't accidentally feed something chickens should not eat. I don't feed my chickens bread, but I DO feed them lots of other things!

Why I Don’t Feed My Chickens Bread

When you have chickens, it's nice to be able to feed them kitchen scraps, but you don't want to accidentally ...
You may be curious how chickens were domesticated and where they came from. Here are some fascinating details about the history of chickens!

The History Of How Chickens Were Domesticated

We love our chickens and we love having their fresh eggs, but how long have humans been raising chickens? You ...
Everyone says chickens can't fly, but obviously these people have never had a chicken well versed in the art of roosting in trees.

The Art Of Chickens Roosting In Trees

Everyone says chickens can't fly, but obviously these people have never had a chicken well versed in the art of ...
Did you know you that chickens can do tricks? With the right motivation and time and patience on your part, you can train chickens!

How To Train Your Chickens

Have you ever wondered if you can train your chickens? Can they learn tricks or to come when called? With ...
If you are planning to keep chickens in your backyard, you may be wondering, are chickens noisy? Have no fear! You don’t need to be the noisy neighbor on the block!

Are Chickens Noisy?

If you are planning to keep chickens in your backyard, you may be wondering, are chickens noisy? Have no fear! ...

Are Chickens Related To Dinosaurs?

Sometimes you hear people talk about chickens as if they are little dinosaurs. Is your chicken really a tiny T-Rex? ...
Are chickens good pets? With chickens becoming more popular even in city backyards, you may be wondering. However, chickens make great pets!

Why Chickens Make Great Pets

Are chickens good pets? With chickens becoming more popular even in city backyards, some people may have visions of large ...
If you want your chickens to raise their own babies, you will need to understand a few basics about chicken reproduction, plus what you should do for your chickens hatching eggs. Taking good care of your hens will help them take good care of their chicks.

The Most Important Things You Should Do For Chickens Hatching Eggs

If you want your chickens to raise their own babies, you will need to understand a few basics about chicken ...
If you want to hatch out your own chicks it can be really useful to know which chickens are autosexing. Here's how to tell them apart.

Here’s a Quick Way To Know Which Chickens Are Autosexing 

If you want to hatch out your own chicks it can be really useful to know which chickens are autosexing ...
While chickens can be hard on a lawn, they don't necessarily have to destroy it. Here are three ways to keep chickens from ruining your lawn.

3 Ways To Keep Chickens From Ruining Your Lawn

"Will chickens ruin my lawn?" This is a common question from new chicken owners. While chickens can be hard on ...
Chickens' pecking order is an integral part to chicken socialization. You may wish your chickens were kinder to each other, but it's normal!

The Truth About Chickens’ Pecking Order

Chickens' pecking order may seem a little viscous to us humans, but it is an integral part to chicken socialization ...
Having your chickens in the garden SOUNDS lovely. However, chickens can quickly destroy a garden. Here are some tips on how to have both!

How To Have Chickens AND A Garden

Having your chickens free range in the garden SOUNDS lovely. They can eat weeds and obnoxious bugs, all while leaving ...
Foot problems can be common in chickens, but what do you do? Here are 7 common foot problems in backyard chickens and how to take care of them.

Common Foot Problems In Backyard Chickens And How To Handle Them

Uh oh, your chicken is limping! Foot problems can be common in chickens, but what is wrong and what do ...
Most chicken owners will want to keep their flock contained and protected. Here's how to set up a chicken run for your backyard chickens!

How To Set Up A Chicken Run For Your Backyard Chickens

If you have chickens, they are going to want space in the daytime to run around and do their chicken ...
Chickens make great pets, but if you are new to backyard chickens make sure you have realistic expectations before you bring your birds home.

Are Backyard Chickens Right For You?

Raising backyard chickens is the popular thing to do lately, but how do you know if it's right for you? ...
Raising chickens has many benefits, but if you are new to backyard flocks you may want to know what are the most popular chicken breeds!

Popular Chicken Breeds For Backyard Homesteaders

Raising chickens has many benefits, but if you are new to backyard flocks you may be wondering what are the ...
Do you really have to refrigerate farm fresh eggs? How come they won't go bad on the counter? Why do store bought eggs have to be refrigerated? Here's why!

Do You Have To Refrigerate Farm Fresh Eggs?

Do you really have to refrigerate farm fresh eggs? How come they won't go bad on the counter? Why do ...
Most chicken coops are designed to keep your birds warm. But what if yours need to stay cool in the heat? Here is the best chicken coop for hot climates!

The Best Chicken Coop For Hot Climates

Most chicken coops are designed to keep your birds warm in the cold. But what if your birds need to ...
When you have a broody hen, raising chicks even easier! Here's how to set up a brooder box that will accommodate mom AND chicks!

How To Set Up A Brooder Box For A Hen And Chicks

Raising chicks is one of the best parts of having backyard chickens. When you have a broody hen, it's all ...
Keeping a backyard flock can help protect heritage and rare chicken breeds. Here are the best rare breeds for urban homesteaders.

3+ Rare Chicken Breeds You Need To Raise

Keeping a backyard flock means you can be a vital part of protecting heritage and rare chicken breeds. (There are ...
Chickens molting may look like a disaster, and cause a drop in egg production, but there are some things you can do to help them get through it.

Are Your Chickens Molting? Here’s What You Need To Know

It looked like chicken carnage in the coop. There were feathers everywhere, and my heart sunk. I quickly did head ...
The best way to protect your chickens from the heat is by prevention, but sometimes you need to cool down chickens quickly. Here's how!

How To Cool Down Chickens

Despite our best efforts to keep our chickens cool and comfortable, you may need to cool down chickens quickly in ...
Can you keep chickens cool in extreme heat? What do you do when the temperature gauge is in the triple digits and climbing? Here are some ways to prepare.

How To Keep Chickens Cool In Extreme Heat

Texas in August is hot. Like crazy hot! We had "feels like 110" for about a week straight! I know ...
Can backyard chickens give you salmonella? Find out how to protect yourself from this potentially deadly bacteria with a few simple steps.

Can Backyard Chickens Give You Salmonella?

Why yes, yes they can. You can absolutely catch salmonella from your backyard chickens or from eating eggs from infected ...
Growing herbs for chickens is an easy way to save money on feed, become more self reliant, and support a healthy flock.

Growing Herbs for Chickens

Many people know how useful herbs can be both for cooking and wellness, but did you know that you can ...
Part of your responsibility as a chicken keeper is to keep them safe during extreme weather.  Thankfully, keeping chickens cool doesn't have to be difficult, and they sure will appreciate you for it! 

8 Tips For Keeping Chickens Cool In The Summer

When the weather gets hot, it can mean trouble for your birds. Whenever the temperature gets above 90 degrees it ...
Mealworms are a great addition to any flock’s diet.  Here's how to raise mealworms to supplement your hen's feed!

How To Raise Mealworms For Chickens

If you are looking for a quick and delicious source of protein, you may crack an egg into a pan ...
Choosing the best chicken breeds for eggs can make a big difference in how many eggs you get. Here are some of the best egg laying chickens.

What Are The Best Chicken Breeds For Eggs?

There are many reasons to keep backyard chickens, but the most popular one is for eggs. If you want to ...
Chickens eating eggs is an obnoxious habit. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to discourage your hens from eating their own eggs!

What To Do About Obnoxious Chickens Eating Eggs

Raising a laying flock can be very rewarding, but it also comes with its fair share of frustrations. Your chickens ...
Don't buy something that's just going to get tossed into a closet and forgotten!  Here are some ideas for the most important gifts for chicken lovers!

The Most Important Gifts for Chicken Lovers You Should Buy

When you are buying gifts you don't want to buy something that's just going to tossed into a closet and ...
Can you take a vacation when you have chickens? Here are some tips to help you go on vacation even if you have backyard chickens.

How To Take A Vacation When You Have Chickens

Planning a vacation can be a bit of pain, especially if you have pets. Can you take a vacation even ...
Chicken illnesses can be caused by a number of different factors such as bacteria, protozoa, viruses, or problems in their environment.  By setting up your flock to be their healthiest you can avoid many potential problems right from the start. 

How Can You Help Avoid Chicken Illnesses?

Even though backyard flocks tend to be exceptionally healthy, there are things that you can do to avoid chicken illnesses ...
One of the inescapable facts of keeping chickens is that they produce waste.  Here's how to find the best chicken bedding for your coop!

What Is The Best Chicken Bedding To Use In Your Coop?

One of the inescapable facts of keeping chickens is that they produce waste. One of the best reasons for raising ...
You don't actually NEED to wash farm fresh eggs, although there are some circumstances where you may want to. 

Do You Need To Wash Farm Fresh Eggs?

One of the most popular questions new chicken keepers ask is, should I wash my eggs? Commercial eggs are required ...
Guinea fowl are among the most misunderstood of all the birds you might own on your homestead. They have received a bad rap over the years, but they also host a considerable amount of benefits. If you’re thinking about raising guinea fowl, you should consider the following pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Raising Guinea Fowl

A Guest Post by Rebekah It’s a chicken--no, it’s a turkey--wait...it’s a guinea fowl! Guinea fowl are among the most ...
Often people start to raise chickens to save money on eggs, but does it really save you money?  How much do chickens cost, anyway? 

How Much Do Chickens Cost?

Raising your own food is often considered a good way to cut down on costs, but is that always the ...
Do you know these common chicken diseases? Your flock may never have a problem, but it's good to know how to handle them if they pop up!

Chicken Diseases You Need To Know About

One of the best things about small residential flocks of chickens is that they tend to be exceptionally healthy. Many ...
Ever found a funny looking egg from your backyard hens? Maybe they aren't laying as much? Here are your questions about chicken eggs answered!

Everything You Wanted To Know About Chicken Eggs

The whoooooole point of raising chickens is for the awesome chicken eggs.  Home grown chicken eggs are more colorful and ...
Whaaaat? Chickens have worms? Do I need to worry about this in my backyard flock? What should I DO about deworming chickens?

Deworming Chickens: Do You Need To Worry About It?

Most chickens have some worms, but it isn't a problem until the chicken becomes overwhelmed with too many.  Then it ...
Chicken mites, lice, and other obnoxious bugs can harm your flock. Here's how to ruthlessly get rid of and discourage them.

Be Ruthless With Chicken Mites And Obnoxious Bugs

Eww! My chicken's feathers are dirty in the back. These feathers are broken, but it's not time for a molt ...
If you have kept chickens for any length of time you may find yourself wondering, how do I know if I have a sick chicken?

How Do You Know If You Have A Sick Chicken?

If you have kept chickens for any length of time you may find yourself wondering, how do I know if ...
Did you know chickens can kill each other? Make sure you are introducing new chickens safely by following these simple tips.

Introducing New Chickens Without Causing a Bloodbath

Thinking about adding more chickens to your backyard flock?  Make sure you know how to properly integrate new birds into ...
Time to buy chicks and you're not sure how many to get. Or maybe you are thinking about breeding your own. How many chickens do you need?

How Many Chickens Do I Need In A Successful Flock?

You are standing in the feed store starting at all the adorable fluffy chicks, wondering how many you should bring ...
Where are the best places to get chicks when starting a flock? Here are four excellent places for you to buy chicks this spring.

3 Excellent Places To Buy Chicks For A Healthy Flock

It's chick season! If you want to start your flock with chicks, or maybe add to an existing one, now ...
Raising chicks in a brooder isn't difficult; give your new flock the best care and attention! Here are four tips for baby chickens.

New To Raising Chicks? Give Them The Best Care.

It didn't take long after walking into the feed store just to look at the chicks before I fell in ...
You need chickens in your life!  Here are three reasons why you should consider starting your own flock of chickens.

3 Reasons Why You Need Chickens

You need chickens. You really do. Why? Because chickens are awesome. Why are they awesome? They eat bugs, lay eggs, ...
Can you raise meat chickens even if you live in the city? Here's how our very first flocked worked out on our 1/10th of an acre lot.

Can You Raise Meat Chickens In The City To Be More Self-Reliant?

We had laying hens for a bit before I wondered if it was possible to raise meat chickens and be ...
Clean your chicken coop the right way to make your chickens happy, prevent disease, discourage flies and appease the neighbors.

How To Clean Your Chicken Coop The Right Way

You may think how to clean your chicken coop is pretty self explanatory. Well it is, sort of. But the ...
Getting chickens, but not sure you can build a fancy coop?  Here is a mega list of design ideas for chicken coops you can build yourself.

55 Best Chicken Coops for Practical People

One of the first things you need if you are thinking about getting chickens is some kind of housing for ...
You can raise your own pastured meat chickens in the city even if you don't have a pasture! Here's how to manage your flock.

Pastured Meat Chickens In The City

Raising meat chickens in the city can be a quick and easy way to provide some meat for yourself even ...
Make an automatic chicken waterer to keep your chickens' water clean and full with minimal effort. It's easy to make and use!

How To Make An Automatic Chicken Waterer

Making an automatic chicken waterer has been on my to do list for an embarrassingly long time. For some reason ...
If your chickens flop down onto the ground writhing, don't panic, they're probably taking dust baths. These are good for their health!

Chickens Take Dust Baths (But It Looks Like A Frenzy)!

The first time I saw my chickens laying on the ground in little fluffy chicken heaps my heart skipped a ...
Will chickens eating compost make them sick? Will it hurt or help the compost? Find out if a compost bin in the chicken run is right for you.

Should You Put Your Compost Bin in the Chicken Run?

Want to know a secret? It will improve the quality of your compost, speed up composting time, and aerate your ...
Chickens are so awesome, even the raccoons want some. Here's how to keep the predators out by making predator proof chicken coops.

Predator Proof Chicken Coops: A Simple Way To Protect Your Flock

There's nothing more devastating than waking up to chicken carnage. Chickens are so wonderful, sometimes it seems like every creature ...
Doing it yourself is always cheaper, right?  Right? So, will raising meat chickens save money? Continue reading to find out!

Will Raising Meat Chickens Save Money?

As I forked over $15 for small organic chicken at the grocery store a few years ago I had this ...
Are you guilty of these 15 chicken keeping mistakes? Get started on the right foot and make sure you don't commit the worst one of all.

15 Chicken Keeping Mistakes to Avoid

In general chickens are pretty easy. Even if you have no experience taking care of an animal a little reading ...
Can you have a dog AND chickens? Can they be trained to protect your flock or will they just chase your birds?

Can You Have a Dog AND Chickens?

Can you have a dog AND chickens? Will the dog eat the chickens? Can they be trained to protect your ...
Trimming flight feathers on your chickens is an easy, painless way of discouraging them from hopping the fence and keeps them safer.

Trimming Flight Feathers Is A Quick And Easy Skill

Did you know that trimming flight feathers on your backyard flock is a good idea? It's simple to learn and ...
Here are tips for winter chicken care that you need you to do. They will keep your hens happy even when it's cold and icy outdoors.

8 Tips For Winter Chicken Care That Will Keep Your Birds Happy

Usually when people think of keeping chickens they envision spring, with lots of cute chicks and delicious eggs. But once ...
You can make your own animal feeds for your goats, rabbits, or chickens!  You can also supplement your purchased feeds for more nutrition!

How To Make Your Own Animal Feeds

Once you've had chickens for a while you may want to experiment with making your own animal feeds. Making your ...
Here's how to make an easy DIY chick brooder box for a small backyard flock just by using chicken wire and a plastic tub.

Here’s How To Make Your Own Chick Brooder Box

If you're going to raise your own chicks, you definitely will need a chick brooder box!  Under NO circumstances use ...
Letting my hens roam on our property is so fun to watch! Here are some things to consider before letting your chickens free range.

Is Letting Your Chickens Free Range Right For You?

One of my favorite part of keeping hens is watching them free range throughout the day. They are so fun ...
Fodder feeding sprouted grains to your backyard livestock is a great way to decrease feed costs while giving your chickens, goats, or rabbits a yummy treat.

Fodder Feeding: How To Get Healthy Livestock AND Save Money

Fodder feeding sprouted grains to your backyard livestock is a great way to decrease feed costs while giving your chickens, ...
Want to be an urban homesteader but don't have enough space for traditional livestock? Try raising Coturnix Quail for meat or eggs.

Here’s Why You Should Absolutely Think About Coturnix Quail

Living in the city or on a smaller property means that keeping a breeding flock of chickens is difficult.  Often ...
In a small space the common lawn can double as the urban pasture. Let you chickens eat this bounty for the best pastured eggs!

How To Raise Your Chickens On An Urban Pasture For The Best Eggs

When people think about backyard chickens, usually they imagine keeping them in a coop and run enclosure. There can be ...
Want to know the secret trick to the best nest box ever? This nest box is great for both rabbits and chickens. Your chickens will love it!

The Secret Trick To The Best Nest Box Ever

A couple years ago I desperately wanted to get rabbits. My husband most certainly did not want rabbits. So I ...
There are advantages and disadvantages to raising heritage meat chickens instead of the popular Cornish Cross broilers.

Are Heritage Meat Chickens The Best?

We had the first of our first heritage meat chickens for dinner this week. He was yummy, very chicken-y, but ...

 

Want To Raise Happy Chickens?

Subscribe for our newsletter and get the free email course Intro To Backyard Chickens as well as a free printable checklist to walk you through step by step!

Powered by ConvertKit