Raising Chickens for Beginners

Many homesteaders keep chickens on their homestead for good reason. They are a gateway animal to other livestock, because they are generally easy to care for, and don't cost a lot.

It is easiest to begin with chicks, as they are usually abundant in the spring time.

4-H Poultry programs are an excellent way to learn about chickens hands on. And it's not just for your kids, trust me! You will learn just as much, if not more, as they study.

It is important to consider what you want out of your chickens, before deciding on which breed to get.

Bantam breeds are small size chickens that were originally bred or used for show.

You do not need a rooster for your hen to lay eggs. Hens do not lay eggs every single day.

Best Egg Laying Breeds

Different breeds of chickens lay a different amount of eggs each year, for example: White Leghorns - 280 Barred Plymouth Rock -280 Rhode Island Red - 260 Australorp - 250 Speckled Sussex - 250-300

Hens lay less eggs as they get older, With their peak egg laying happening at 2 yrs old, and then declining. For peak egg production, it is common to replace your egg layers every few years.

If you are wanting to raise birds for both meat and eggs, consider dual purpose breeds. This way, you get to keep the females as your egg layers, and the males can fill your freezer.

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