The Hen House
Chickens are a "win, win" for anyone not just for the farmer or homesteader. It is no surprise that raising chickens is a popular subject on YouTube channels. YouTube channels and some survival shows however may NOT be the best source of information on raising these bug eating, egg laying friends. When looking for information it is important to find people that are "successfully" experienced at raising chickens. Channels and shows where the host is video recording a skill for the first time should be viewed as entertainment until the information being shared can be verified.
Below are 4 sources for information on raising chickens. These 4 sources will provide the most accurate information on raising chickens by modern methods. Information and advice may vary between resources.
Local 4-H club.
USDA, State and County Department of Agriculture, go to the HOME page.
Neighborhood and community residents raising healthy, productive chickens.
Mis-information could mean the difference between success and failure, financial loss, or giving up. All information should be verified. Keep in mind that there are many different ways to reach the same goal and many different opinions as to the correct goal. Do enough research and you will soon be able to recognize when something does not sound right. If it does not sound right it most likely is not.
Chickens are a good investment. They can live many years providing eggs with a minimal amount of expense and labor. But like everything else, chickens are not free. The method by which chickens are raised will determine actual cost. Common methods are commercial feedlots, pen raised, pasture fed, trash fed, and naturally raised.
Chickens grazing at Root Cellar Farm, the Maker's Pantry.
Questions to consider before building the hen house and gathering chickens. Butchering the chickens for a food source is not a qualifying answer to any of these questions. Unless, you have previously, personally done so.
Who will tend the chickens when I can not?
What will I do with my hens when they stop laying eggs?
The hatching chicks are roosters and no one wants them!
Where can I advertise free chickens?
The chickens are much noisier then I thought, neighbors are complaining.
Name at least 2 backups for each answer to the questions above.
Read running a business for the farm (available April 2017).
It is not my intention to discourage the raising of chickens but to nurture successful long term small farms. An honest approach to sharing the dedication that is needed is very important. A determined spirit can take you through some hard years but determination is not contentment. I have always said that there are options for obstacles. Obstacle however, will slow you down and lead to stress. By not rushing into anything much stress can be avoided.
Consider my motto " THINK BIG, start small, keep going..." Lj