To Raise or Not to Raise Chickens in the City
Chicken coop plan
For everyone that cannot decide whether or not to raise chickens in the city, let me assure you, it is not only beneficial in that you can get free eggs and other things, that I will cover later, it is tons of fun as well as easier than one might think. All it takes is a little bit of research and some pre planning. One of the first things that should be kept in mind and considered is that chickens are social animals and require the company of other chickens so, if you do decide to raise chickens in the city, you should get at least two chickens.
Here are some of the questions that you will need to answer first, and probably the most important, do the city ordinances, in the city I live in, allow me to raise chickens in the city limits? If the ordinances do not allow for chickens you will end up having to try to get rid of the chickens you purchased so, before you buy check the ordinances before buying.
The next question, which will determine along with your local ordinances (some limit the amount of chickens you can have), will determine how large a coop you can build or purchase. If you haven't guessed it, the question is "How much space, do I have for a chicken coop?" The size of your coop will partially determine how many chickens you can keep because, overcrowding your chickens will adversely affect them, especially if you are raising chickens in the city for their eggs, unhappy or crowded chicken will not lay eggs on a regular basis.
Speaking of eggs brings us to the next question, "Why, do I want to raise chickens in the city to begin with, is it for their eggs or is it for meat?" This question is important when determining what breed of chicken is best for you. Chickens bred for meat will reach slaughter weight in about twelve weeks and as with most chickens, will lay eggs at around six months old however, since bred for their meet the egg production may be spotty at best. Now on the other hand a chicken bred for her eggs will begin to produce around six months old and if kept happy and stress free, will lay at least one egg a day for many years.
Now you are probably asking yourself do I really have the time to care for chickens if I do decide to raise chickens in the city? Well, let me tell you, it does not take any more time to care for chickens than it does to care for a dog. If you allow your chickens to roam freely in your backyard, they will keep the yard bug free so, between feeders that will have to be refilled every two to three days and the bugs in the backyard, feeding is fairly easing. The only thing left is to make sure they have plenty of water and are secured at night to keep them safe from predators which by the way, will determine the style of chicken coop that will be best to fit your needs.
If you want to know how feasible it is to raise chickens in the city or just want more information on raising chickens, click here. I was very hesitant to get chickens but, it turned out to be great fun for the whole family and the chickens make great pets for the kids as well.
by Miriam Rolling – poultry farmer