Today we have a post by our sweet contributor, Jenny, from The Sweet Stuff:
I always romanticized the pioneer days. I dream of gingham dresses, log cabins, vegetable gardens, horses, and fresh chicken eggs every day.
Well, I live on a 6,000 square foot lot, in 816 square feet of home (which may actually be a pioneer-esque size), so many of my dreams have yet to come to fruition.
However, about four years ago, my dream of collecting eggs in a basket each day finally came true. We began raising chickens in our suburban backyard. Chickens may seem like a daunting task or something that is only for those who live on acreage, but owning chickens in your suburban or urban area is not only possible, it is easy!
The joy of needing two eggs for a recipe and simply walking into your backyard to get them is well worth the effort of caring for chickens! I also find that the more “work” I have to do in the yard, the more my children and myself get outdoors.
My oldest daughter began taking over sole control of egg collection by age four. Now, at almost five she can also feed the chickens on her own!
Here are a few of my tips for getting started with backyard chickens:
1. Find out the laws about chickens in your county.
Some areas may limit the number of chickens you are permitted to have.
2. Create a coop.
Chicken coops can easily be built from purchased or scrap lumber and many companies sell pre-made coops. We purchased ours online for about $100 and it is still in great condition.
3. Find a farm supply company.
This is where you can purchase materials and food for your chickens: Sawdust for their nesting boxes (shredded newspaper can also work), feed (lay pellets in generic brands are cheapest), water and food containers (larger ones mean you have to change them less).
4. Purchase your chickens.
There are two ways to go about this. You can either purchase hens that are already laying from someone or you can purchase chicks. Chicks require a little more work up front as they must be kept warm and won’t lay for about 6 months (but they sure are cute).
Follow these steps and soon you will be enjoying fresh eggs from your own backyard! There are other benefits to chickens as well!
You can feed them your kitchen scraps!
They can fertilize your garden!
You can finally feel like a true pioneer!
I have never looked back on our decision to raise chickens and I look forward to adding more members to our flock this spring. Don’t wait until your purchase a farm, start your homesteading dreams now!
Jenny is a wanna-be homesteader living in California with her husband, 3 daughters (and a baby on the way). She enjoys raising suburban chickens, baking bread, homeschooling her children, and adventuring in the outdoors. Her family is committed to living small in square footage, but living large and full lives!