What you need to know before you buy chickens


Paulina Allure

November 22, 2023

Buying chickens can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s important to understand the basics before making a purchase.

Here’s what you need to know before buying chickens:

  1. Space and Housing: Chickens need adequate space to roam around and exercise, so it’s important to have a spacious coop for them to live in. The coop should be well-ventilated, predator-proof, and have nesting boxes for laying eggs. Your chickens will also need an outdoor area to scratch and peck, so make sure you have a secure run for them as well.
  2. Breed Selection: There are many breeds of chickens to choose from, each with their own unique personalities and characteristics. Consider factors such as egg production, temperament, and cold hardiness when selecting a breed. Do some research to find a breed that fits your needs and lifestyle. We love our silkies, polish hens, easter eggers, & olive eggers to name a few.
  3. Feeding and Watering: Chickens need access to clean water and a balanced diet to stay healthy. They can eat a variety of foods, including commercial chicken feed, fruits, vegetables, and insects. Make sure to provide your chickens with fresh water daily and monitor their feeding habits to ensure they are getting the necessary nutrients.
  4. Health and Care: Chickens are susceptible to a variety of health issues, from parasites to respiratory infections. It’s important to monitor your chickens’ health regularly, and seek veterinary care if necessary. Regular cleaning of the coop and nesting boxes can also help prevent the spread of disease.
  5. Protection: Chickens are vulnerable to predators such as raccoons, foxes, and hawks. Make sure their coop is secure and consider using fencing or netting to protect them when they are outside.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can ensure that your chickens are happy, healthy, and thriving in their new home.

Since buying our chickens, there are a few things we probably would have done differently if we had to start all over again. This includes building a different kind of coop. Even though I LOVE our coop, there are definitely some flaws to it. I also think we would pick out certain breeds from the beginning. We didn’t know how many existed until we really got into being chicken owners and wanted all the cute ones and good egg layers.

Most importantly, when you buy chicks, do it in early spring like April/May so you can keep them outside in the shed or garage. They will make a HUGE mess. There is lots of dust that will take place if you keep them inside. Trust me on this because we did it in our gym room that we don’t use and let’s just say, we had to take a leaf blower AND wipe everything down. They grow pretty quickly so as it gets warmer out, you can place them in their coop. Then in the fall, your chickens should start laying eggs! It takes them anywhere between 16-24 weeks of age to start laying so keep an eye out.

But overall, we love having our chickens! We have lost 2. One to sickness and one to a predator. But it is all a part of being chicken owners.

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Paulina Allure     Author

Wife and mama, modern day homemaker, mother hen, future goat owner, professional meal prepper and your new friend for exploring a self sufficient life. Follow her on instagram @paulina_allure

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