For most people, the noise and mess of chickens would be a huge hassle. However, more and more suburban dwellers are finding that the benefits of having a supply of fresh, organic, and antibiotic free eggs are well worth the effort. They like knowing where their eggs are coming from; happy chickens that have plenty of room to move as opposed to commercial egg producers who usually keep their stressed-out birds in small cages. By having a coop on a property, household farmers can regulate the health of the birds as well as ensure a balanced diet. If you are looking into building your own coop, there are few things to keep in mind. Here are some tips on raising backyard chickens in Colorado.
Cost of Raising Chickens
So many would be chicken farmers think that they will be saving money on their grocery bill. Unfortunately, as most experts agree, this isn’t the case unless you are in it for the long haul. Set up costs can run upwards of $500 and, since most grocery store poultry is pretty cheap anyway, it will take some time to make up the initial cost. Here are some costs you will have to research when contemplating the idea of raising backyard chickens:
- Chicken Coop
- Heat lamps
Chickens As Pets?
Most breeds of chickens make great pets and most farmers use them to teach children lessons about responsibility and the cycle of life. By most accounts, keeping chickens often improve the owner’s sense of well being and raises general quality of life as well.
If Your Thinking About Raising Backyard Chickens, Be a Respectful Neighbor
Before you start investing in coops, chicks, and feed, have a heart to heart with the people who live around you. Since most counties in Colorado have regulations against keeping noisy roosters, you can assure your neighbors that the noise will be low. That being said, chickens kick up a ruckus from time to time. Be respectful and a good neighbor yourself.
Check Your Local Ordinances
Some counties have very strict rules about property size, the number of chickens that you can keep, and even home harvesting. For example, Northglenn requires that someone owning chickens apply for and receive a license for their property, own no more than 6 chickens, keep only hens, may not kill on the property, and must stay on top of excrement removal. It also mandates the size of chicken runs and that the birds are kept in the coop from dusk until dawn. Being aware of your local laws will save you a lot of time, hassle, and money if you find that your property doesn’t conform.
Research Breed Choices and Rearing Methods
Certainly, it may take an afternoon to build and set up the coop, but how much practice do you have raising chickens? If the answer is “not a lot”, then it’s time to look further than Youtube. Some areas have classes on backyard chicken farming that will keep you from making more mistakes than necessary.
So are you ready for fresh eggs? Are you ready for new pets for the family? Are you ready for the commitment of raising your own chickens? Great! They can be a great addition to your family as well as your table. Keeping chickens is rewarding on many different levels as long as you have the right mindset and are as prepared as possible. Good luck and enjoy your healthy choice!