We added chickens to our little homestead this year and couldn’t be happier with our decision!
In this article, I’ll share with you best system practice tips to make owning chickens in a small suburban backyard as easy and maintenance-free as possible.
How hard is it to raise chickens in your backyard
Raising chickens in your backyard is a lot easier than you think. They are relatively low maintenance, breed easily and don’t require a lot of care (but they still do to a certain extent, of course!).
But there are a few things you need to know. First, you need to make sure your chickens have enough space. Chickens need about four square feet of space each.
Second, you need to protect your chickens from predators. Chickens are vulnerable to attacks from dogs, cats, raccoons, and other animals.
Finally, you need to make sure your chickens have access to food and water. Chickens need a steady supply of fresh water and grain. You can buy chicken feed at most pet stores.
Tips to raise chickens in your backyard
Some things that we’ve implemented into our chicken coop have made owning chickens super easy. I’m so excited about what we did to make the coop as maintenance-free as possible!
Here are our tried-and-tested tips on how to raise chickens in your backyard:
1. Choose the right breed of chicken
Some breeds are better suited for egg production, while others are better for meat production.
One of the best chicken breed to raise in a backyard is the Rhode Island Red. It’s a versatile chicken that can be used for both egg production and meat.
Other good choices include the Jersey Giant, Plymouth Rock, and Wyandotte. These breeds are all hardy and can withstand cold weather. They also don’t require a lot of space, so they are ideal for smaller yards.
2. Build (or buy) a coop
Get a coop that’s spacious and well-ventilated. Your chickens will need a place to sleep, lay their eggs, and stay safe from predators.
You’ll also need to keep them contained while you’re away at work or on vacation. The last thing you want is to have your chicken loitering about and pooping everywhere in your lawn!
3. Place the coop under a shade
Another thing we love about the coop is the placement. It’s under a tree tucked up real close to the house.
This tree provides a lot of shade and shelter from the sun and rain. Because we live in Michigan and it gets cold, it also makes it really easy to care for them in any weather.
4. Use a chicken run
We love having chickens in the backyard, but living in a small suburban neighborhood doesn’t allow for free-range chickens or a rooster. So keeping them clean and contained and using a chicken run instead makes things much easier.
5. Install an automatic watering and feeding system
We installed a homemade automatic feeding system. The feeders they sold at TSC were not cutting it. There were times that it became very frustrating because they were tipping over and very messy so we were having to clean them daily.
This feeding system has been amazing. It stays very clean and only needs refilling every 4 to 5 days. We keep the feeder full and it automatically empties into the reservoirs as the chickens eat the food.
Another thing that’s been wonderful to have is the Automatic Watering System, they have Chicken Nipples which are a lot like the water systems you see in hamster cages.
The standard water dishes were making a mess, getting tipped over, and needing daily cleaning and refilling.
With the Automatic Watering System, it stays clean, and we only have to refill it every other day. We just fill up the pipes until they overflow, and that provides water to the chickens both inside and outside.
Owning chicken can be a breeze. They’re low maintenance and will probably provide you with more free-range eggs than you can eat in a week!
But they still need careful care. Take stock of our tips, try them yourself and you’ll be able to manage to raise chickens in your backyard with fewer challenges.
If you’ve ever wondered why you should raise chickens, well, there are so many reasons!
One benefit of having chickens is that they’re like living garbage disposals. We do have a small compost pile, but we have found that they love to eat scraps and peels, so nothing goes to waste.
When they hear the door open, they approach us and wait like little dogs for their treats. It’s really fun to feed them, and they enjoy it too.
Thank you for reading our tips on owning and raising simple suburban backyard chickens.