People have been raising city chickens for many years. The reasons for doing this are as many as they are varied. Some do it as a hobby, others keep chickens for poultry produces – eggs and meat – while others keep chickens as pets.
Raising chickens in the city means the family can save on money that would have been spent purchasing eggs and meat. The eggs and meat can also be sold to supplement the family income. The white meat from chickens is low in fat and very nutritious. Many healthy conscious individual avoid red meat due to the health linked problems associated with it. Some of the problems attributed to high intake of red meat include high cholesterol levels, blood clots and stroke. Eggs are whole meals containing proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, essential fats and other nutrients. They reduce the risk of heart diseases and other diseases.
Chickens are also kept in the city because they make great pets. They do not need a lot of care and working on a chicken coop after a hard day at work is a good way of unwinding and releasing stress.
Keeping hens in the city gives the kids an opportunity to learn important life lessons such as the value of hard work and responsibility. It also brings the family together in that they have a common activity, it gives a sense of accomplishment and it teaches everybody, especially kids, valuable skills such as how to use different tools, how to market farm produce, etc.
Steps in Raising Chickens in the City
When you want to start raising city chickens, the first step should be checking the laws and regulations. This is because different city councils have different rules. You should visit the local council office for such information.
You should also check the building regulations on keeping chickens. Even if the city allows people to keep chickens and your building or home has no restriction, you should always check with your neighbors to avoid problems such as being sued for noise pollution, the structure being an eyesore or foul odor. You will also be able to incorporate their views and demands in the plan of your chicken coop.
After getting the go ahead from all the relevant authorities, proceed to build the chicken coop. The size should be determined by the number of chickens you want to keep, future expansion plans, the rules and regulations, the demands and views of the neighbors and your personal preferences.
Most cities have rules touching on chicken coop structures. These laws stipulate that the coops should have aesthetic value.
For cleaning ease, the chicken coop should be inclined at an angle and have large windows for ventilation and natural lighting because in most cases, it will be impossible to construct a chicken run due to limited space. The structure should also be secure enough to protect the chickens from predators and thieves.
After Building the Coop, then What?
After putting up a structure, determine the breed you want to keep and buy the chicks from a reputable chicken farm. Grown chickens are also available in most farms, but chicks are less expensive.
The decision on what breed to go for should be informed by the following:
1. Reason for raising city chickens, for meat or for eggs,
2. Amount of chicken feed consumed,
3. Climatic conditions in the city, etc.
Tip and Advice
When purchasing the chicks, you should make sure they are immunized against diseases such as Newcastle disease.