Backyard Chickens Basics
Similar to many other crop or livestock activities, if you possess the triangle “Land – Time – Energy”, then you should feel the joy of raising your own chickens in your backyard, whether you plan to raise them for their eggs or for their meat. The first year of involvement is introductory and an inexperienced farmer shall start with maximum 4-5 chickens, in order to test his/her commitment.
First of all, to clear things out, you don’t need a rooster (an adult male chicken) if you are interested only in collecting eggs. Female chickens can produce eggs without the presence of a rooster. A rooster is needed only if you raise chickens for their meat. In that case, you need a rooster to get fertile eggs and of course you will also need a broody hen.
Local regulations are stricter for coops that accommodate a rooster rather than those having just female chickens. You should first check the local authority to see the complete framework, but in most cases you won’t face any problem if you raise just female chickens (the noise is much lower) in a semirural area.
The lifespan of a healthy chicken ranges from 8 to 12 years. There are of course striking exceptions to these age limits. Hens start producing eggs from 5-6 months old till the last years of their life. However, most chickens stop producing eggs at a good rate when they become 3 years old. During the first years of their life, most chickens produce 180-270 eggs annually.
1. Raising Chickens Basics
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