University of Florida

Backyard Chickens

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.

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