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Cracking the Egg-Ception: the Truth About Raising Backyard Chickens

By Tom Seest

Are Backyard Chickens Worth the Hassle?

At BackyardChickenNews, we help people who want to raise backyard chickens by collating information and news blended with our own personal experiences.

There are several advantages to raising backyard chickens. For starters, you would have local eggs instead of relying on a third-party provider. Also, chickens will eat a lot of insects, which will keep unwanted critters from invading your land. They will also improve your soil!

Are Backyard Chickens Worth the Hassle?

Are Backyard Chickens Worth the Hassle?

Are Backyard Chickens Really Worth the Expense?

There are several factors that determine the cost of raising a flock of backyard chickens. The first factor is the number of chickens you want to raise. While it may seem like an expensive option, the costs are actually fairly low. While a flock of four chickens can cost $346 in year one, this figure does not include the cost of a hen house or the time it takes to raise replacement layers. You should expect to spend about an hour a day raising and caring for your chickens. It is also important to research possible challenges and problems associated with raising chickens. Some of these challenges include predators, illness, and pests. You can learn more about the specific threats and solutions to these issues by talking to local farmers.
A flock of five hens will cost around $69 a month. This cost includes the birds, feed, bedding, and a brand-new, high-quality coop. In addition to food, you will need to spend on the chickens’ health and vaccinations. Depending on the breed of chickens you choose, the price will vary.
In addition to laying eggs, you will also need to purchase incubators for the eggs. Incubators are expensive and require a lot of care. An incubator can cost $100 or more. These costs do not include the time involved in caring for the chicks.

Are Backyard Chickens Really Worth the Expense?

Are Backyard Chickens Really Worth the Expense?

Are Backyard Chickens Really Worth the Expense? of housing

The cost of housing your backyard flock of chickens varies. Depending on breed, it can range anywhere from $1.50 per day to over $700 per year. Other costs can include feeding, bedding, health care, and vaccinations. Feeding can be expensive, but if you have the space, feeding your flock of chickens can be very inexpensive.
Besides the cost of food, you will also need to provide your chickens with supplements. These supplements will be mixed into their layer feed and will help them fight off diseases. You can use pine shavings to create a bed for your chickens. In addition, you can buy a bale of hay for about $5, which will last for a couple of weeks.
The cost of food and housing is calculated per coop. One pound of food will feed about 15 hens, which will lay approximately ten dozen eggs per month. This is enough to make a profit of about $20 per month. A dozen chicks will lay up to 60 eggs a month, so a coop with five to seven hens will pay for itself in less than two years.
Besides feeding the chickens, you will also need to buy a chicken coop and other accessories. Chicken coops are not cheap, so make sure you compare prices before making a purchase. A day-old chick can cost about $5 per bird, so you should budget about $100 for the coop and other essentials.

Are Backyard Chickens Really Worth the Expense? of housing

Are Backyard Chickens Really Worth the Expense? of housing

Is Feeding Your Flock Breaking the Bank?

One of the most costly parts of raising backyard chickens is the cost of feed. A large portion of this cost is recurring. Other costs are one-time, such as water bowls and feed, grit and bedding, and lighting. It is important to choose quality supplies because if you use low-quality feed and bedding, your chickens will be unhealthy, which can lead to expensive vet bills. In addition, healthier chickens produce healthier eggs.
Feeding a flock of 25 chickens can cost up to $1,700 a year. The amount depends on the breed and age of the chickens. A hen’s diet should contain about seven to fifteen pounds of feed per kilogram. It is recommended to use organic feed, which costs almost twice as much as conventional feed.
The best way to minimize costs is to choose a smaller breed. Compared to other types of chicken, bantams consume less food. They also require less space, so their cost of feeding is lower. The benefits of raising these smaller chickens may outweigh the costs. In addition to reducing your expenses, these chickens also eat insects. One of the biggest gobblers I’ve seen ate 300 bloodsuckers.
You can choose from commercial feed or homemade feed for your chickens. Commercial feed is made from cereal grains and fortified with protein sources. It’s often sold in pellet form, making it easy to feed and prevent spoilage. Feeding your chickens can cost anywhere from $10 to $30 a month, depending on the quality. The cost of feed may not be an issue if you only need to feed your chickens once or twice a month.

Is Feeding Your Flock Breaking the Bank?

Is Feeding Your Flock Breaking the Bank?

How Does Manure Production Impact Your Backyard and Beyond?

One disadvantage of raising backyard chickens is manure production. The fresh manure from a chicken can contain pathogens that can cause food poisoning. To avoid this risk, you should compost the manure or wait three months before using it. Manure from a chicken can also be beneficial for your garden, as it contains nitrogen.
To use manure for crops, you need to collect samples from your flock, mix them up, and send them to a laboratory. The purpose of this sampling is to assess the suitability of the manure for your specific crop and soil conditions. Besides, you can use this information to plan for the best time to apply the manure to your crop.
If you plan to use manure on your crops, you should first determine how much you’ll need for the fields. Using the worksheet below, calculate the amount of manure needed for each field. For example, if you have a hen house that can accommodate nine hundred birds, you’ll need nine hundred and seventy tons of manure per month.
Manure produced by backyard chickens is a significant source of nutrients needed by crops and plants. It can help reduce fertilizer costs by as much as $50 per acre. However, if you choose to raise chickens for food, you’ll need to manage the manure in a manner that protects your environment and maximizes your profit potential. You’ll need to plan how to manage the manure properly and follow best management practices to reduce the risk of contamination.

How Does Manure Production Impact Your Backyard and Beyond?

How Does Manure Production Impact Your Backyard and Beyond?

Are Your Neighbors Complaining About Your Backyard Chickens?

Raising backyard chickens can be noisy, especially if you have a rooster. This crow can wake your neighbors up in the morning and can last all day. Hens are also known to sing, which can be very annoying if your neighbors have to live near your flock.
Backyard chickens can also cause noise to neighboring homes, and many communities prohibit poultry on residential property. The purpose is to protect neighbors from noise-producing animals. Common restrictions include a limit on the number of chickens, establishing a setback from neighbors, and prohibiting male chickens. Most restrictions prohibit the free range of chickens, but some may allow an exemption if the poultry is used as part of an educational project.
A major disadvantage of backyard chickens is noise. Both roosters and hens can be noisy, especially if you have young chickens. Some hens can even sing egg songs nonstop. Keeping chickens in your backyard requires the same care as any other animal, and noise is no exception.
Another disadvantage of raising backyard chickens is the smell. While backyard chickens can produce a foul odor, it will not be nearly as bad as keeping commercial chickens. In fact, backyard chickens often produce less mess than a medium-sized dog.

Are Your Neighbors Complaining About Your Backyard Chickens?

Are Your Neighbors Complaining About Your Backyard Chickens?

Are You Breaking the Law by Raising Chickens in Your Backyard?

While the movement towards backyard chickens has grown in popularity, it is important to check with local zoning regulations to ensure your operation is legal. Some cities have restrictions regarding the number of chickens allowed on a property, the size of the lot, and the distance between the hen house and neighbors. It is your responsibility to comply with these regulations, or you could be facing a large fine.
In addition to local laws, you will need to get your town’s support. It is important to educate local lawmakers on the fact that backyard chickens are not meat birds. Many people still associate chickens with horror movies like Frank Purdue’s Meat Birds, so it’s important to educate local legislators about this fact and why you are raising backyard chickens.
Chicken-keeping regulations vary by location, so you should contact your local attorney to find out the rules in your area. Be sure to check municipal codes and zoning regulations, as well as noise ordinances. Likewise, check with your landlord for permission to keep chickens on your property. If your property is rented, you may need permission from your landlord before allowing chickens on your property.
Chicken keeping is generally permissible in rural and urban areas. However, if a neighbor complains about your chickens, you should discuss it with them. If you live in a rural area, there may be a local council that can negotiate solutions. The Department of Agriculture oversees poultry matters nationally, but local councils can impose by-laws.

Are You Breaking the Law by Raising Chickens in Your Backyard?

Are You Breaking the Law by Raising Chickens in Your Backyard?

Be sure to read our other related stories at BackyardChickenNews to learn more about raising chickens in your backyard.


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