Unfortunately, there seems to be a common misconception; you have to live in the country to raise chickens. Fortunately for city dwelling folks, raising chickens in the city is as doable as raising them in the country. Of course, there are certain steps that have to be taken that wouldn’t have to dealt with if in the country, but overall, raising chickens in the city is hassle free and fun. In fact, there are numerous advantages to have chickens in the city; manure for the garden, fresh eggs, and fun pets. Below are a few helpful tips if you plan on raising chickens in the city.
Choose Breeds Wisely:
Unlike in the country, your chickens won’t have acres to roam around on. Because of this, you don’t want to choose breeds of chickens that need a lot of space. Do not rush into buying your chickens. Although there may be numerous sales, you may end up with the wrong breed or possibly only roosters. Before you buy your chickens, do research and order them from a reputable source; a quick online source will yield plenty of results.
Care & Housing:
Don’t be fooled, even if you live in the city, there are predators out there that would still love to prey on your chickens. Chickens, no matter where they live, need a coop that can be opened and closed, roosts, and laying boxes. Your chicken house doesn’t have to be very big, it just needs to have roosting poles and a door that can close. If you decide to get chicks, you will need to only let them out in a chicken pen for a short period of time. Hawks and other prey seeking birds can and will easily swoop down and snatch your chicks; don’t let that happen, keep your chicks safe. A chicken pen needs to be constructed so that your little ones will have enough room. Most importantly, until your chicks become of size, it needs to have a roof to protect them from flying predators.
The less room your chickens have, the more maintenance you’ll need to do. The chicken house should be cleaned out as often as possible, as should the area that the chickens have to roam in. Just like humans, chickens don’t want to sleep or live with tons of their own manure around. Your chicken house will also need to have bedding; in most cases, chickens will be happiest in straw. Be sure to change your bedding as needed so that it remains fresh.
If the area you allow your chickens to roam is lucrative, they’ll be able to find plenty of bugs and worms. Regardless, you’ll still need to feed your chickens. Chicken feed can be found at most feed stores and the type of feed you’ll need to feed your chickens will vary depending on their age.
If your chickens do not have access to grass or an area where they could potentially dig up bugs, you’ll want to supplement their diet with foods such as fresh greens, crushed egg shells, warm oatmeal mash, weeds, and if you can, snails and or slugs.
Raising chickens in the city is perfectly reasonable as long as you’re willing to take the time to provide your chickens with excellent tender loving care.