“If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail”
Bet you have heard that one before. Such a true philosophy to live by governing everything we do.
OK, so you have made the decision to raise a few chickens. You should do a wee bit of homework before investing in a backyard chicken house or any live chickens. Here are a couple of things you should look into:
1. Location, Location. No, I am not talking about where you want to physically build your hen house. At least, not yet. The very first thing you need to do is make sure there are no governmental or home owner association rules or restrictions or ordinances against keeping a few hens at your home. As government keeps inserting itself into our personal lives, not doing this research could end up costing you time, materials and general frustration. If you live in a country or urban setting with no home owner association, you are probably go to go, but checking on this is important.
2. Type of Chicken. What do you want to do with your chickens? The type of chicken you decide to buy will depend on what you want your chickens to do. Some breeds are better layers than others. Brown eggs or white eggs or fancy colorful eggs. Other chickens are poor layers, but great on the grill.
- Do your kids want a couple of pets? They actually make wonderful pets.
- Do you want fresh eggs? Who doesn’t?
- Do you want to sell eggs?
- Do you want broilers for the bar-b-que?
- Do you want to raise fancy hens to breed, sell and show? There are some incredibly beautiful and unusual breeds of chickens which lay some very different looking and colorful eggs.
3. Type of Chicken Coop. Once you know the government won’t interfere with your Poultry enterprise and the type of chicken you want to raise, it’s time to plan your Backyard Chicken House.
- Chicken House Size. This will depend on how many chickens you plan to have. Always plan to accommodate more than you start with. Just in case.
- Stationary or Portable Coop. If you are only planning on a couple of chickens and have limited land, you may find the Portable Chicken Coop more desirable. Some of these are larger and called Tractor Chicken Coops which are on wheels and can be moved about easily. Smaller ones have long poles on each side so they can be carried to different locations.
- Buy or Build. Here you have about 3 options.
1. Pre-manufactured hen houses that are delivered to your house on a trailer. A bit on the expensive side, but if that isn’t an issue, then presto…instant hen house.
2. Chicken Coop Kits. These are pretty cool. You pick your design, buy the kit and put it together. Kind of a happy medium. Backyard Poultry Coops
3. DIY – Build Your Own Poultry House. My personal favorite. Buy the plans, the materials and gather your kids and neighbors for an old fashion Hen House Raising Party! This is the cheapest and the most fun.