Raising Chickens


About this Blog

Interested in raising chickens? Here’s our Raising Chickens 101 series—a beginner’s guide in 6 chapters. We’ll talk about how to get started raising chickens, choosing a chicken breed, building a coop, raising chicks, chicken care, collecting and storing eggs, and more. The author, Elizabeth Creith, has fifteen years of experience keeping chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys on her farm in Northern Ontario. She currently dreams of a new flock of fancy chickens!

May 10, 2017

So, you’d like to get started raising chickens? Be sure you’re ready to commit! Here’s the first post of a six-part beginner’s guide to raising chickens. Let’s “start from scratch,” so to speak. There’s a lot to like about raising chickens. The eggs are a real temptation—tastier and fresher than any store eggs and better for baking, too. The shells, along with the chicken poop, can be tossed right into the compost pile. Much of the day, the birds entertain themselves, picking at grass, worms,... more

May 10, 2017

Raising chickens for eggs? Let’s talk about how to collect, clean, store, and hatch chicken eggs in this fifth installment of our Raising Chickens 101 series. Once you’ve eaten farm eggs, it’s hard to go back to grocery store eggs. Fresh farm eggs, free-range or not, are delicious, with bright yolks and firm whites. Give your hens ground oyster shell or a similar calcium supplement, available at farm suppliers, for strong eggshells. Collecting Eggs You’ll collect eggs every morning; hens... more

May 10, 2017

The final chapter in our Raising Chickens series is what to do when your chicken stop laying eggs or suffers from illness and pain. Yes, this is a cycle of life and a responsibility that comes with the job. If you are interested in how to get started, click here for the full 6-part Raising Chickens series. How Long Do Chickens Lay Eggs? Sooner or later, your chickens will stop laying eggs. When depends on the chicken. Most of ours went “off lay” as the days grew shorter. They laid fewer and... more

May 9, 2017

Want to learn how to raise baby chicks? Here’s a beginner’s guide to bringing up baby! (This is the fourth post in our Raising Chickens 101 series.) You can purchase chickens at several stages of development—it all depends on how long you’re willing to wait for eggs. Day-old chicks are available from hatcheries. Most farm suppliers do one or two chick orders a year, so you can get your chickens where you plan to get your feed. They’re usually under $3 each. You’ll have to wait about 6 months... more

April 19, 2017

Learn how to build a chicken coop for your backyard. Here’s a beginner’s guide to building a DIY chicken coop! (This is the third post in our Raising Chickens 101 series.) How to Build a Backyard Chicken Coop The housing for your chickens can be as simple or fancy as your imagination and budget permit. The basic criteria will be dictated by the birds. DIY Chicken Coop Plans and Designs First, decide on the size. You will need 2 square feet of floor space per chicken, and one nest box for every... more

June 15, 2016

Choosing a chicken breed is important when raising chickens. Here’s the second post in a beginner’s guide series to finding the right chicken breed for you. See the first post: How to Get Started Raising Chickens What Types of Chickens Should You Get? When it comes to choosing your chickens, there are more breeds than you can shake an eggbeater at. One of the delights of this step is learning some of the types of chickens and their names: Silkie, Showgirl, Silver-Laced Wyandotte, Rosecomb,... more

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