Suggestions: Going to Raise couple Chickens in My Backyard

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BlackCock, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. BlackCock

    BlackCock Hatching

    Jun 16, 2007
    PA, USA
    Hi Guys,
    I have an half acre backyard with a garden and a fanatstic idea came to be today: raise couple chickens! I'm not totally new to this as i have raised 1 chicken for 1 week or so before slaughtering it. But now i want to keep one from chick form totally as a free-roaming chiken, i think the kids would love it.

    i have done my resarch and everything is fine except: What do i do when winter comes? I dont want it in my house.


    anyother advice? is it a good idea to let the chickens into my garden? (which is fenced) Also: Since i have a 4 year old, i was wondering if full grown chickens peck? can they be dangerouse to kids? And how do i keep my chickens from running away?
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  2. Jezebelle

    Jezebelle In the Brooder

    Jun 6, 2007
    Pinnacle, NC
    aww you have to get 2, having just one isnt enough and just one would get so lonely

    beware the garden, they will eat the stuff you are growing!! If you raise a sweet chick it will be an excellent chick for children dominique's and silkes are VERY sweet in nature! they love to be cuddled with. Silkies are small and i guess you could say kid sized chicken.

    for winter you put up a heat lamp and cover the sides of a coop to keep cold harsh winds away from them.

    careful with free roaming, depending on were you live you have various critters that would love the walking meal you now have in your back yard.

    after my chickens became out door chickens i would let them in the house, they never made any messes, and i guess you could say they pottied trained themselves!!

    but your at the perfect place for chicky questions!!

    good luck with the babies and be sure to post some pics!!
  3. 4myHennyPenny

    4myHennyPenny Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    This site is a great place to start your search for info on keeping pet chickens. Other good sources of info and links are the the chicken & egg page at and books at your local library. I would HIGHLY recommend Keep Chickens! by Kilarski. Her book is aimed specifically at people wanting to keep a few pet chickens in their backyard. There are many other great books (Raising Chickens in Your Backyard, Storey's Guide, Chicken Tractor...), this just happens to be my favorite.

    When you are ready to select your chickens, check out the Handy Dandy Chicken Chart at Because chickens are social creatures, you really should plan to have at least 2.

    A coop is needed both to protect your chickens from the elements and from predators. It gives them a safe place to go back and roost at night, plus an easier way to find your eggs (unless you want to track them down in the yard!). There are wonderful coop ideas on this site (check the coops page and the coop forum).

    As far as letting your chickens into the garden: They can help with pest control, add great compost, and eat the weeds... but they'll also munch and stomp on your other greens! Some people have curbed this by not allowing their chickens around their very young greens, moving them from one area to another each day, only allowing them into the garden for an hour or less before dusk, using netting to keep them out of areas where they'd do too much damage, etc. Books and posts on this site will help answer many of your questions regarding this.

    There is plenty to learn about before you get your chickens, but you've come to the right spot. Check out the posts on this forum as well as their basic tips for caring for your chickens (start at the home page). And as you come across questions, ask! The members here are wonderful about helping all of us new to the chicken craze.

    Welcome, and I hope you enjoy learning about the joy of keeping pet chickens. [​IMG]
  4. BlackCock

    BlackCock Hatching

    Jun 16, 2007
    PA, USA
    thanks for the replies.

    My other question for now is how do i make sure the chickend don't wonder out of my yard and get lost? ( i dont want to fence them in)

    i assume if i raise them from young and keep in same coop they will always return?
  5. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    Exactly--they will stay pretty close. My Rhode Island Reds stay the closest. But you do have to get two.....they will always stay together.
  6. cookinmom

    cookinmom Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    Um, I would not say that your chickens will always stay right near your coop. We see people's chickens out in the street sometimes, and some have been hit by cars. True that they will most always come home to their coop at night, but I would not trust them to stay within a 1/2 acre all the time with no fence. Chickens just don't understand property lines. [​IMG]

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