Raising Chickens 101

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Do you have chickens? I have a friend who has a flock of backyard chickens, and she asked me to care for them for a few days. It was a little exciting at times-she has 8 biddies, 2 medium-sized chickens(do they have a special name too?), and 6 full grown chickens. It was a neat experience to see them and to see what was involved in their care.

I have been considering getting chickens for my backyard. They could help me by eating kitchen scraps, producing manure, and even clearing areas for gardening. From what I know, they seem to be ideal garden helpers.

Have you been thinking about getting chickens? If you are in the Pensacola/Pace/Milton area, there will be a session on August 9 at the Pace Library about chickens. You don’t need to make a reservation; just show up at 9:30 am.

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According to their flyer, there will be information about what kind of breed to get, what you’ll need to take care of them, and how to find out if you are even permitted to own them at your home.

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Chickens seem to be a great addition to a household, especially if you have a garden too.

Do you have chickens? Are you glad that you have them or do you regret getting them?

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8 responses »

  1. I wish we were able to have chickens but in our subdivision/township it is not permitted. Maybe someday we’ll move to an area where we can have them, but for now I’m out of luck.

    • I was happy to find out that you can purchase 5 month old chickens for $10-15 dollars. That was good news to me because I don’t know if I want to raise them from chicks. Maybe we’ll get chickens next spring.

  2. I have indeed been thinking about getting chickens for my backyard. If you have any info or suggestions that you go from the meeting I would love to see it. Can you share? Oh by the way, We love Pensacola and go there every year! I see it is beginning to grow in ways I sure wish would not happen though.

    • I got the “Basic Guide for the Backyard Chicken Flock” from IFAS. Here is a link.. I learned that if you are buying chickens that are a few months old, the females tend to have rounded feathers Vs. the males with pointed feathers, and if a hen has started laying, her legs will be white. Apparently “the yellow is either in the legs or in the yolk.” Those buying tips were useful to me because I don’t think that I want to raise chicks. Also, it is recommended that you have at least 2 birds(because they are flocking animals), but they don’t have to be the same breed.

      • It seems like a lot of hassle- buy special incubator, keep them warm, special food and then hope you end up with females. If I can buy two hens at $15 bucks apiece, that seems much simpler. I want chickens yes, as pets, but more as garden helpers. I love the fact that they can help me recycle garden scraps, lay eggs, and make manure for fertilizer. Maybe I’ll change my mind and want to do the whole baby chick experience, but for now I’d prefer to let someone else handle the delicate and risky stage.

  3. I love my chickens, we used a dog run and built the coop inside. I bring the scraps to them. I am allergic to store bought eggs but not the organic ones which is why we raise ours. Farm World in Laurel Hill carries sexed chickens most of the year as well as Tractor Supply but they only carry them around Easter. They were setting up for them last week.

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