5 Mistakes Raising Chickens
This is a list of 5 things NOT to do when raising chickens.We first started raising chickens when we lived in town. Disclaimer: It’s a very small town so it was ok…lots of people have chickens. Here are some things we learned along the way and the top mistakes made so you can avoid them!
1. Don’t build a ladder for the chickens to get out of the pen!
We actually made this mistake when we first got chickens. I came home from work one day and there were 16 chickens at my house! My husband is really great at building things and he built a really nice coop with a run on the outside of it. The fencing needed bracing so he put a two-by-four diagonally from the bottom of one end to the top of the other. Well, you guessed it! Those chickens climbed right up that board and got out. He fixed it by putting chicken wire over the end of the run. Worked like a charm!
2. Getting too many chickens to start with.
Well, you saw above that we started with 16 chickens. We knew that we needed a few chickens anyway to have eggs, but for our family of four, 16 was too many. We had more eggs than we could eat and we eat a LOT of eggs. Half that many chickens would have been enough for our family and a lot less work.
3. Not having a plan for excess eggs.
Like I said earlier, while we had talked a little bit about getting chickens, I came home from work one day and there they were! Therefore, we had plenty of chickens and plenty of eggs. I will say there is nothing like fresh eggs. Store bought doesn’t even compare. So since we had all these excess eggs, my husband decided my boys who were about ten and eleven at that time could go into the egg business. They had a few people buy from them, but they were not as enthused about this business as my husband was. Guess what? My husband got tired of being the only one selling eggs, so we had way too many eggs so we blessed our family with the eggs. They were pretty happy about that.
Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash
4. Underestimating the cost of raising chickens.
Feed is fairly inexpensive, but our chickens go through a lot of feed. Also, we feed our chickens (affiliate link) oyster shells in the winter to keep them laying. That stuff is not very cheap but it sure worked. I’m sure if we fed them all organic feed and such it would really increase the cost. No wonder organic eggs are so expensive.
Photo by Dušan Smetana on Unsplash
5. Thinking you need a rooster in your flock.
Now, this may sound silly to people used to chickens, but when we first got chickens this was a question a lot of people asked us. How do you get eggs if you don’t have a rooster? Well, we wouldn’t get fertilized eggs capable of having chicks, but it’s just like human females that produce an egg every month only they produce a lot more often. The breed of chickens we have are kind of like a mule, they couldn’t have fertilized eggs even if we had a rooster. They are a great docile chicken and perfect for beginners.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Getting Chickens
- Know your limitations and only get what you can manage. Don’t make the same mistakes we did! I probably should add one more mistake a beginner might make. Falling in love with the cute fluffy chicks they have at Easter and purchasing a lot! Those babies require a LOT of care and attention to survive. Also, they need special equipment so be prepared. A beginner should start with layers only and then expand as you’re able.
- Got any other mistakes? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!
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