If you are planning on raising chickens in the city, the first thing you have to know is, is it legal. It may not be legal either because some cities and towns do not have such law on the books. My town does.
Not everyone smiles at the sound of a rooster crowing in the morning. He’s awake and wants the world to know. As strange as it seems, everyone doesn’t adore the sound of a chicken clucking that she has just laid the perfect egg. Some people get highly motivated to complain about the noise when a rooster announces another dawn.
The city ordinance states that chickens have to be kept 150 feet from the nearest residence and can’t be noisy. That leaves the rooster out of the hen house because he can’t keep silent in the morning.
My town didn’t put a limit on the number of chickens one could raise. I guess they figured no one could meet the 150 foot requirement. They were definite about having no roosters.
Now that you have discovered the legality of raising backyard chickens, you will have to have a place to put them. Assuming that you are going to have two or three hens to care for, here are some things you should know about raising them.
If you have an old building that is already on the property, it may be the perfect place for a chicken to reside. If you have to build one, the internet has hundreds of chicken house ideas. If you don’t want to build, you can buy one that is already constructed that looks like a castle. There are even those that look like a log cabin.
Most areas of the country where you can legally raise chickens will have a feed and seed store where you can buy baby chicks. If they don’t have them in stock you can order them.
Bringing the newly hatched chicks’ home, you will have to have a cardboard box or something similar for them to live in for a few weeks until they are ready for the chicken coop.
Baby chicks need lots of fresh, clean water. Keep their habitat clean and dry, that is essential because the can get a myriad of diseases from damp litter. Keep them warm. A hundred watt bulb should be enough to keep them warm. For the first week or so they will have to be watched closely because newborn chicks are very fragile.
Once you and the chicks have survived that part of their lives, they next move into the chicken phase of their lives. By now they should require only the normal amount of attention: feed, give them plenty of water and keep their surroundings clean.
You don’t have to give chickens a bath. They clean themselves by rolling around in the dirt. You should locate the chicken coop to a place where they have an abundance of dirt and grit.
If you are going to consider raising a couple of chickens, here are a few really important items to think about: Forget about the chicken if you are looking for nice pet to cuddle. They don’t like to be hugged and they are not easy to house train. Their poop is generally of the liquid and it is extremely hard to clean up.
Make sure the enclosure around the coop doesn’t have holes big enough for the chickens to get out or the varmints to get inside. Dogs, big cats, raccoons, skunks and coyotes love a good chicken dinner. Protect your brood by taking care of the fence.
If you want to make a pet of a chicken, think about how it would look on a leash. It is not a pretty image.
Bob Alexander is well experienced in outdoor cooking, fishing and leisure living. Bob is also the author and owner of this article. Visit his sites at: http://www.redfishbob.com http://www.bluemarlinbob.com
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