The Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Backyard Chickens
Updated: May 14, 2020
Raising backyard chickens has been one of my very best decisions. It’s way more than just yummy eggs whenever we want. Our flock has become family, and we have all learned so much along the way.
I’ve talked to many people who would love to get into backyard chickens but are a little apprehensive because they don’t really know the day to day needs and responsibilities of them. I always encourage these people that chickens are super sustainable for most schedules and lifestyles. We make it work and we are BUSY people!
Today, I’m going to show you my backyard chicken journey along with a sneak peak of our everyday life with chickens. If you’re thinking about raising chickens, or perhaps, you’ve already taken the plunge, here are some basic things to keep in mind as you get started.
STEP 1: SETTING UP A CHICK BROODER
Chickens just need a few things to stay healthy and happy. First, they need safe shelter, food, water. When they’re little, chicks need heat for the first few weeks of life. Watch this short video below on how to set up a chick brooder before you bring your baby chicks home.
STEP 2: SETTING UP A CHICKEN COOP
I'm sure you're curious about what you'll need after your chicks outgrow your brooder. Maybe you're curious about what you'll need for your chicken coop. To help with this, I've made a video of all of my friends' chicken coops so you can tour them and see some different options. Check out this video below to see different water setups, nest boxes, roosting polls and more!
Additionally, check out the video on my chicken coop below. We've set up our coop and run so it's surrounded by hardware cloth to keep it very secure and keep out predators. Our run is large, and while you certainly can cover it, ours is uncovered. We haven’t had any trouble with predators this far, and I’d like to keep it that way! So, remember to keep predators in mind when setting up your coop as well.
A little tip, we also put up large fabric shades in the summer and that seems to keep the hawks and eagles at bay. I am planting marigolds around my run this year as well to keep out rodents and other pests.
STEP 3: HOW TO INTEGRATE YOUR FLOCKS
If your chicks have outgrown your brooder or you've bought new chickens recently, you might be ready to add them to your flock. Before you do, make sure to watch this video on how to integrate your flock safely. Pecking order is a REAL thing!
STEP 4: CHICKEN MAINTENANCE
There are a few things I do every day for my chickens. We check their water to make sure it’s fresh and make sure their feeder of food is full. We also collect our eggs each day.
Now, I'm sure you're wondering about the not so fun part; coop cleaning and chicken poop. But have no fear! I have the EASIEST coop cleaning method for you. Watch this video below on the Deep Litter Method + Coop Recuperate™!
Coop Recuperate™ is available now on Amazon
STEP 5: CHICKEN HEALTH
I haven’t lost a chicken to disease or predator attack yet. I know that most of the credit for the health of my flock is because of all the wonderful products by Strong Animals Chicken Essentials.
These products are safe, healthy, and all natural and something I can feel good about giving my flock. Check out the products below that I use to keep my chickens healthy:
STEP 6: LOVE ON YOUR CHICKENS & TUCK THEM IN AT NIGHT
Honestly, I spend a lot of time with my chickens because it’s really relaxing for me! Chickens are curious, hilarious, and full of life and their own personalities. Every day I hold them and check them over to make sure they’re healthy as well as talk to them a little. At night before we go to bed, I go out and shut their coop and run up safely.
And that my friends is honestly all that we do each day. Raising chickens is so easy and does not need to be time consuming.
ANNIE'S FINAL WORDS OF ADVICE
Lastly, can I encourage you with something? This backyard chicken world is full of opinions and different ways of doing things, and sometimes it can be completely overwhelming! You will hear so many “do’s and don’ts” and sometimes they contradict.
Raising chickens is not hard, but it is a learning journey. You will quickly learn what to do and what not to do. You will also make some mistakes, but you will have more victories too! Don’t feel like you have to know everything before you get started. And, if you need some help or advice, that’s what we’re here for! Send me your questions and if I don’t have an answer, there is an amazing team of poultry nutritionists and veterinarians who I can ask on the Strong Animals team!
I never dreamed that those 10 little chicks that moved into our coop would move right into my heart as well. Now, I have 31 chickens! I blame that on chicken math. It’s a real thing! And if you don’t know what it is, I promise you will find out really quick on your own! Haha!
Good luck on your backyard chicken journey!
Until next time,
- The Wing Lady