Here are a few important things you need to first consider before you bring your first chickens home:
It is important to check your local town ordinances and find out if raising chickens at home is allowed in the neighborhood you live in. Find out also if there is a limit to the number of birds you can rear at any given time. You wouldn’t want to invest money and time into a chickens project only to discover that you are not allowed to do so in your neighborhood.
Size & Space
Another important thing to consider is the amount of space you have for the project. You need to have enough space for a hen house at the very least or space for a full-size chicken coop as well as an ample backyard for roaming. The space you have available should be large enough to hold a feeder, water containers, a nest box for the hens, and a sufficient roosting area. Be ready to build a good chicken coop with enough room to stand in when you’re gathering eggs or shoveling manure. More importantly, the chickens housing should be strong and sturdy enough to ensure that your chickens are well protected from predators.
Time & Money
Make sure that you’ve budgeted time and money to care for the birds. The last thing you need is to do all the work to set up your operation, and then starve your birds. They will need food and water on a daily basis. Find out how much chicken feed costs from your local feed store, and prepare a budget for at least 3 months of feeding in advance.
Your hens will lay eggs throughout spring and summer and even into fall. All they need is to be fed well and at least 12 to 14 hours of daylight. On some days you will even collect eggs twice a day.
Chores & Cleaning
Chickens do poop a lot so be prepared to clean manure all year round. Make preparations for a chicken-sitter or helper whenever you leave home for an extended period of time, like when you go away on vacation.