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Quick Guide To Raising Backyard Chickens

Chickens are a wonderful addition to any backyard homestead, providing eggs and endless entertainment. Cracking open a golden-yolked egg from your own flock is enormously satisfying. And you better believe that each one of those birds will end up with its own name — and a distinct personality. But how do you get started raising backyard chickens?

our Ruby showing off her hearts
Photo Credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Browse our library of helpful articles to learn how to prepare for chicks, which breed to choose, what type of coop to set up, how to care for your flock, and how to prevent and treat common diseases. There are even some fun posts on different colored eggs! Whether you’re new to backyard chickens or have been raising them for years, you’ll learn something in this treasure trove of information.

chickens chilling in the shade
Photo Credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Raising Backyard Chickens

snuggling baby chicks
Photo Credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Raising backyard chickens is extremely rewarding but also takes some work and know-how. We’ve got that last part covered! From which breeds to choose to how to treat bumblefoot, the guides below provide an A to Z guide for raising backyard chickens.

What you need to know before getting chickens

To raise backyard chickens, you need more than just, well, chickens. First, you should answer a few questions (Are chickens legal in your neighborhood?), learn a few basics, and make some decisions. Then, you’ll need to gather supplies and finally bring home your chicks. The cost of raising backyard chickens will vary depending on many of these factors, but we have some tips for how to save money.

Chicken breeds

Our beautiful (always frazzled) golden laced Polish chicken
Photo Credit: Backyard Garden Lover

There are so many fun chicken breeds to choose from! Like other animals, chickens vary in size, coloring, and disposition. The guides below highlight some excellent breeds that you might consider for your flock and offer tips on how to care for them.

Here are a few pictures from our own flock.

easter egger chickiens eating shredded red cabbage
Photo Credit: Backyard Garden Lover

These are our Easter eggers: Mel, Ollie, and Georgie (from left to right).  Mel lays the most beautiful blue-green egg, Ollie lays a light brown egg, and Georgie lays a grayish egg with hints of green.

old English bantam rooster
Photo Credit: Backyard Garden Lover

This is Stormy, our Old English bantam rooster. So tiny! Yet so careful with his girls! He finds goodies (worms and bugs) and calls them, never eats any of the treats we give the chickens until all his ladies had their fill, and is the sweetest boy ever. But if he perceives you’re trouble to one of his girls, he’ll attack to protect her.

I love this little boy to pieces! We used to call him half-an-egg. Take a look at him below, at 3 or 4 days old: taking up just about a quarter of my hand.

tiny old English Bantam chicken in my palm
Old English Bantam Rooster. Check out his “eyeliner” 😉 – Photo Credit: Backyard Garden Lover
chickens scratching in the garden
Photo Credit: Backyard Garden Lover

The brown chicken in the center is a Golden Comet. We have 2, and they are the friendliest ones: as soon as they see us, they run to greet us. They are also great layers, producing around 320 brown eggs a year.

black Asian chicken, with a tan chest filled with brown hearts
Photo Credit: Backyard Garden Lover

This is Ruby, a black Asian chicken. She’s gorgeous! And I LOVE her heart-filled chest. She lays around 300 light brown-pinkish, pointed eggs a year.

white silkie chicken
Photo Credit: Backyard Garden Lover

This is Miss Sage, our Silkie chicken. At nine months old, she decided to get broody. She is the sweetest girl ever, but also full of attitude! She lays the cutest cream-colored tiny egg.

Resources for new chicken owners

a mommy chicken and her first baby chick
Photo Credit: Backyard Garden Lover

So you did your research, made all the necessary preparations, and brought your chickens home — now what? Learn how to differentiate between male and female chicks, what to do with molting chickens and broody hens, and tips on caring for your new feathered friends.

The chicken coop and run

young chickens in their coop for the night
Our 6 weeks baby chicks are in the coop for the first time! – Photo Credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Chicken coops come in all shapes and sizes and range from simple DIY options to fancy store-bought digs with all the bells and whistles. The articles below lay out what you need and what might be nice to have, along with other handy tips for keeping your flock safe and comfortable in their housing.

brand new chicken coop: red with white trim
Photo Credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Chicken diseases

Does Henrietta seem a little off today? Learn how to prevent common chicken diseases from plaguing your flock and identify and treat illnesses if they do occur, from coccidiosis to worms.

Chickens that lay different colored eggs

a dozen of colorful eggs
Photo Credit: Backyard Garden Lover

I love opening a full carton to find a rainbow of eggs. White, brown, green, blue, speckled… even pink! Whether you want to gather a satisfying monochrome of brown eggs or a vibrantly varied palette from your coop, these articles will steer you toward the breeds you want.

Raising backyard chickens is fun and rewarding! After browsing the articles above, you should have all the mental tools you need to pamper your feathered flock properly. Enjoy your backyard chickens!

Quick guide to raising backyard chickens
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Adriana Copaceanu is a passionate nature lover living in the country on her dream property where she grows vegetables, lavender, and wildflowers that she shares with the wildlife they attract. When she's not in the garden, she loves spending time with her chickens and planning her next nature project. Check out her books below:

How to Grow Lavender for Fun and Profit: Lessons Learned from Planting Three Hundred Lavender Plants

How to Raise Chickens for Eggs: A Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens for Nutritious, Organic Eggs at Home

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