In recent years, raising backyard chickens has become a popular outdoor hobby.
Spending leisure time watching the chicks as they play and peck around can help you unwind from a long, stressful day.
Rearing backyard chickens as a hobby pays itself off as you sell the eggs produced.
Hence, Is Backyard Chicken Raising an Expensive Hobby?
Raising backyard chickens is a relatively cheaper hobby on your homestead. Chickens require very little care compared to other animals like raising cattle. Keeping chicken is not that expensive, especially if you consider the perks of the venture. Raising backyard chicken can be carried out in all outdoor spaces ranging from urban rooftop settings to suburban backyards.
As much as raising backyard chickens as a hobby may be deemed easy, it is crucial to have a better understand of exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
Is Rearing Backyard Chickens Beneficial?
Keeping backyard chickens comes with both mental and physical benefits.
Keeping numerous chickens within your backyard is an ideal hobby, especially for those who want to know where their food comes from.
Let’s get into some specific pros associated with this hobby:
1. Readily Available Eggs
Eggs from your own chickens are the most nutritious and delicious.
This can result from a healthy diet.
They usually feed on bugs and weeds within the yard; thus, passing the benefits onto you.
Backyard chickens are imperative in that you can sell the eggs produced to help recoup the money invested in the hobby, plus regular chicken feed.
Depending on the number of hens reared, you can expect to have at least four to six eggs each week.
The more chickens kept, the more eggs produced.
2. Natural Pest Control
Chicken use their beaks to eat bugs and peck out grasshoppers, worms, flies, slugs, spiders, beetles, and other insects.
Moreover, backyard chickens are known to keep your homestead free of any mice, frogs, and snakes whenever they come into contact.
3. Compost and Fertilizer
Chicken manure is one of the most nutritious additives for most gardens.
If you want to boost nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, you can easily compost the manure with other organic materials.
4. Pet Love
Keeping chickens as a hobby will help you experience different personalities which can be therapeutic.
You can easily spend and share a good time with the chicken for mental health.
Just like other pets, chickens will find their way into your heart as they are very lovable.
How Much Is The Startup For Backyard Chicken Rearing?
Raising chickens is not an easy endeavor.
The difficulty depends on the total number of chickens you plan to raise.
More so, the cost of raising backyard chicken can skyrocket depending on how it’s carried out.
It is always tough to startup rearing backyard chickens as it will cost more on setup costs, house, feed, and water.
If you want to keep your chickens happy and healthy, you may be expected to spend $25 to $30 per month on feed and water.
Depending on your chicken demands, you can offset these costs by selling extra eggs in the local market.
Which Essentials Do I Need To Raise Backyard Chickens?
Chickens require chicken-keeping equipment to facilitate their growth.
These pieces of equipment include;
It must be perfectly placed in a warm, dry space free from predators and must contain either straw, rice hulls or wood shavings.
2. Coop/ Chicken Tractor
The tool moves the chicks from the brooder (about 2-3 weeks old).
An ideal coop should be large enough to gather eggs and shovel manure easily.
Rather than feeding the chicken on the floor, it is crucial to use the feeder to reduce feed waste and prevent the chicken from eating the bedding.
How Much Are Chicks?
Baby chicks are readily available from different sources and can cost between $3 – $5 per chick.
If you want egg-laying hens, they can cost between $20 to $50 per hen.
Fancy chicken breeds are more expensive compared to indigenous breeds.
Rearing backyard chicken is an inexpensive investment, especially with an ideal chicken breed.
Prices depend on size and breeds. Fancier breeds can cost up to $20 per hen.
If you want a cheaper chicken breed, roosters are cheaper, with a price range of between $5 – $15.
The downside is that they don’t lay eggs. However, for the venture to yield, time is a key factor in caring for and watching the baby chicks as they constantly require fresh water.
You will need to give them fresh feeds and let them out to roam.
What Are Some Of The Best Chicken Breeds?
Backyard chickens are available in different breeds with distinct growth rates, muscle development, and egg production.
These breeds can naturally mate and have a long outdoor lifespan.
Here are some backyard chicken breeds for beginners;
Six Beginners Chicken Rearing Steps
1. Select The Right Breed For You
Chicken breeds are available in different shapes, sizes, and colors.
2. Determine How Many You’ll Need
The number and gender of your chicken depend on your flock goals.
3. Obtain Them From A Reputable Supplier
Buying chicks from credible sources helps prevent potential disease problems.
4. Prep Your Brooder
Keep baby chicks in a well-enclosed brooder with bedding and a heating lamp.
5. Sanitize Everything
Baby chicks are susceptible to health risks; hence, disinfect all materials and equipment before usage.
6. Develop A Feeding Program
Create a nutrition plan to help identify when to give a particular type of feed.
With the fact that backyard chicken can be raised in most outdoor spaces, the biggest expenditure for this chicks is time.
The hobby of raising backyard chickens comes with amazing benefits to reap directly and indirectly.
Despite the minimal care, backyard chickens will need proper shelter and adequate space to play around and thrive in.