We can sometimes hear a rooster crow from our office here in Yuba City. The community chickens that wander around our neighborhood near highway 99 got us interested in raising some chicks this spring. Here’s the basics on raising chickens in any area.
Why Raise Chickens?
- Easy and inexpensive to maintain (when compared to most other pets)
- Eggs that are fresh, great-tasting & nutritious
- Chemical-free bug and weed control
- Manufacture the worlds best fertilizer
- Fun & friendly pets with personality (yes, you read that right)
Are Backyard Chickens Legal in your city?
- Search our database of local chicken laws & ordinances
- Double check your local city / town ordinances and homeowner’s association
- Make sure you have a good relationship with your neighbors (the promise of no roosters and free eggs helps!)
Where to Get Baby Chicks and Chickens
- Local Feed Stores often carry a variety of day old chicks from February to June
- Learn how to hatch chicks from eggs, and learn how to make a HomeMade Chicken Incubator
- More information in our article regarding where to get chicks and chicken
Chick Care: The First 60 Days
- You’ll need a chick brooder – See our list of homemade brooders
- Flooring – Pine shavings & corn cob bedding are best. Stay clear of newspaper since it doesn’t absorb well and can be slippery.
- Temperature – 90 to 100 deg. for the first week, decrease 5 deg. per week. Be VERY careful of fire hazards!
- Food & water – chick crumbles / starter & a chick waterer (see our list of homemade feeders & waterers)
- Play time – Play with your chicks when young to get the use to being around people.
Chicken Care: After the First 60 Days
- Chicken Coops – Once feathered out you’ll want to move your chickens into a chicken coop! Rule of thumb is about 2-3 square feet per chicken inside the henhouse and 4-5 sq/ft per chicken in an outside run. Keep local chicken predators in mind and make a safe home for your flock!
- Flooring – Pine shavings work best. You can even try the deep litter method for even less maintenance.
- Food & Water – Most people go with formulated chicken layer feed / pellets. You can even make a homemade chicken feeder / waterer
- Treats – Vegetables, bread, bugs, chicken scratch (cracked corn, milo, wheat)
Have Fun and Send us your Chick Pics if you end up raising some!