It will be a year in 6 weeks since I got chickens. I have loved having them. And have added to our flock over the year. Nothing can beat collecting your eggs for breakfast. However there are a few things I wish I had known before getting them. So I thought it would be a good idea to share some things to think about if you are planning on getting chickens.
1. To free range or not to free range that is the question..
I had this idea before I got my hens that I’d let them have free range of the garden. In reality this only lasted a week. They eat everything in their path and so within a few hours my veggie patch was decimated. Also they poop everywhere and chicken poop and my children don’t mix. So my lovely husband built them a huge run. They have a fenced in area to do what they want. In addition to their hen house.
2. Chickens cost money.
My husband says the eggs we get are the most expensive eggs he had ever eaten. As mentioned above you need a hen house and a fenced area. In addition they need special feed, you can give them kitchen scraps but that is in addition to their special feed. They also need a supply of grit to peck. ( it helps with the forming of the egg shell) together with lice powder which need to be applied to each chicken. Finally there is also hay and wood chip for the hen house.
3. Council Restrictions
You need to check with your local council to see what they’re regulations are. Where I live (Auckland, New Zealand) you can have up to 6 chickens and no roosters. I have 4 chickens.
4. Chickens don’t lay all year round.
Chickens stop laying in the winter and start up again in the Spring. You can get them to lay if you put artificial lighting in their hen house, however for me I’d rather leave my girls alone and let them have the rest.
One final note I love my chickens and so do my children they enjoy collecting the eggs every morning. I hope the above hasn’t put you off. Keeping chickens can be very rewarding. Should you have any questions regarding keeping chickens drop me a line.