One of the latest trends in gardening is raising backyard chickens. Many people appreciate having fresh, locally grown eggs. And gardeners like chickens because they can help manage insect pests and aerate the soil in vegetable gardens.
Many cities allow residents to keep only a certain number of hens, and often exclude roosters, so be sure to check your local laws.
You can buy chicks in the spring at most feed and seed stores or from mail order sources. You’ll need to build a coop and an enclosed run to protect your chickens from predators and bad weather. During cold snaps, provide a heat lamp to keep them warm. Feed your chickens a well-balanced commercial feed, and be sure to give them access to clean water.
- The Araucana Chicken
- Basic Guide for the Backyard Chicken Flock
- Care of Baby Chicks
- Factors Affecting Egg Production in Backyard Chicken Flocks
- Intestinal Parasites in Backyard Chicken Flocks
- Prevention and Control of Fowl Pox in Backyard Chicken Flocks
- Vaccination of Small Poultry Flocks
Also on Gardening in a Minute
- Backyard Chickens May Provide Happiness But Not Cost Savings--Alabama Cooperative Extension Service
- Backyard Chickens Provide Fun Way to Enjoy Fresh Eggs--Mississippi State University Cooperative Extension
- Housing Backyard Chickens--Utah State University Cooperative Extension (PDF)
- Keeping Garden Chickens in North Carolina--North Carolina Cooperative Extension (PDF)
- Selecting Chickens for Home Use--University of California Davis Extension Service (PDF)
- Tips on Raising Backyard Chickens--Utah State University Cooperative Extension
- Why Hens Stop Laying--University of California Davis Extension (PDF)