Raising Chickens for Eggs

Raising Chickens for EggsFor many of us, raising chickens for eggs is one of the most common reasons we decide to bring these birds into our backyards.

If this is your objective, there are a few things that you will need to know before getting started...

Avoid breeds that are "good sitters". These breeds have a tendency to go broody, which means they are more inclined to sit on a batch of eggs, waiting for them to hatch. During this time, which may last several months, the chicken will not produce any eggs. If raising chickens for eggs is your main goal, you will want to avoid breeds that have this natural inclination.

Select breeds that are hardy for your climate. If you have harsh, cold winters, with short days, realize that production will decrease regardless of what types of chickens you own. However, certain birds adapt better to this type of environment, and will continue laying eggs even in the short, bitter cold months.

Consider the age of the bird. Most will not start laying eggs until they are five or six months. When they do start, chickens produce the most eggs during their first laying season. Expect them to reduce their output by twenty percent annually in the second and third seasons. After four years, their ability to lay eggs will significantly decrease.

When raising chickens for eggs, also make sure you provide a quality diet, as well as a fresh supply of water.

photo credit: Ludie Cochrane

Back to Basics with Backyard Chicken Coops

DSC03394Backyard chicken coops are becoming a common sight in neighborhoods, as people begin to realize that chickens are not just for farms.  Before you start drawing up your chicken coop plans, though, there are a couple of matters you will need to look into first:

What are your local laws?

Surprisingly, many cities do allow hens within city limits, although for obvious reasons, roosters are not as welcome.  Make sure your plans do not violate local laws before proceeding.

What are your neighborhood rules and covenants?

Even if local laws allow chickens, make sure your neighborhood association does not have any rules that present obstacles.

How do your neighbors feel?

Make sure your neighbors are on board with your plans.  If you get their consent from the beginning, this should prevent running into problems down the road.  If necessary, bribe them with the promise of a few fresh eggs.

What size structure do you plan to build?

Small structures, such as chicken tractors or converted dog houses, should pose no problem.  However, larger structures, such as a garden shed, may require a building permit.

How to you plan to incorporate your backyard chicken coop into your landscaping?

Make sure you think about aesthetics.  Farmers can hide an unsightly structure behind the barn.  However, with backyard chicken coops, you will need to put a little more thought into how it will look.

photo credit: RJL20

Welcome to DIY Chicken Coop Plans

DIY Chicken Coop Plans

Thank you for stopping by DIY Chicken Coop Plans!

Here's a little bit about this site...

Chickens are not too fussy.  With a safe, dry roof over their heads, plenty of fresh water, full bellies, a place to get some exercise, and a bit of TLC, most will reward you with an abundant supply of tasty eggs (and more!).

Chicken coops and runs, arks and tractors, eglus and kits - it can be a little overwhelming trying to determine which type of structure will provide the best environment for your birds.  I know.  I was once in your position, scratching my head, wondering just where to start.

It is important to me that you are successful.  That is why I will regularly be posting here, to give you the information you need to get off on the right foot.

Finally, I will try not to go on my soapbox too much.  However, if you have ever read about the living conditions of animals raised in commercial facilities, it's heartbreaking.  The abuse they endure is not healthy - for us or for them.   By erecting a chicken coop in your backyard, you are doing more than you know to help overcome this problem, while at the same time, providing your family with a source of natural, healthy eggs, your gardens with free fertilizer.

photo credit: thievingjoker