Backyard chickens: a complete care guide
Backyard chickens have been rising in popularity over the past several years. Once viewed as farm animals, chickens are now gracing the backyard of many families living in suburban areas. If you’ve been curious about starting your own backyard flock of chickens, we’re here to equip you with knowledge and products to make keeping chickens a success.
4 reasons to keep backyard chickens
Keeping backyard chickens is a great hobby that can be shared with the entire family. The relationship between hens and humans is very symbiotic. Chickens are prey animals that need protection from predators, and when provided with care and shelter can thrive in virtually any setting. Hens offer humans companionship, backyard pest control, and of course – fresh eggs.
Having chickens in your backyard will:
- Provide your family with fresh eggs year-round
- Reduce stress through more screen-free time spent outdoors
- Be a unique pet experience for you and your family
- Teach the value of work and responsibility to children
Backyard chicken keepers enjoy watching their flock simply peck the ground and go about their daily routine. You’ll be amazed by how even a small flock of hens can decimate the population of pests like ants, spiders, snails, and even scorpions. All that added protein gets converted into delicious and nutritious eggs for you to collect from your chickens’ coop daily.
How to choose your backyard chicken coop
Backyard chicken coops are the most important component of owning hens. Your hens’ home will need to shelter them from the elements and predators, offer a safe place to lay their eggs, and keep them comfortable in all seasons. And as their caretaker, you’ll be spending time cleaning and maintaining your flock’s coop. Your choice of a chicken coop can be the difference between backyard chicken keeping being an either enjoyable hobby or a dreaded chore.
When choosing your chicken coop, determine:
- Whether a wooden or plastic chicken coop will suit you best
- Whether or not you need a mobile chicken coop
- How much space you have
- How much time you’d like to spend cleaning and maintaining your coop
- The amount of time you’d be willing to spend assembling a chicken coop
Find your perfect backyard coop with Omlet
Omlet chicken coops: what backyard chicken keepers’ dreams are made of. Truly incredible hen houses, our coops keep your flock healthy and happy, while cutting down on your workload. Omlet chicken coops:
- Can be converted into mobile chicken coops
- Feature twin-insulated walls to keep your hens warm in the winter and cool in the summer
- Have unique safety features like a pull-and-twist coop door opening mechanism and predator-resistant access door handles
- Are made from heavy-duty plastic that will never rot
- Take only a few minutes to clean thoroughly
The best chicken coops are those that bring joy to both flocks and their keepers. From our chicken tractors to our large chicken coops, there’s an Omlet coop for everyone to start enjoying raising backyard chickens.
What chicken run should I get for my flock?
Flocks forage and roam by nature, but having a backyard chicken run will not only help keep your hens close to home, but also away from potential danger. From plants toxic to chickens to neighborhood dogs and cats, containing your chickens in a run is the best way to keep them out of harm’s way.
When choosing a run for your chickens, aim to offer the most space possible. Omlet’s walk in chicken runs provide full protection from predators with roof panels and anti-dig skirting. Our runs can also be extended as your flock grows to give them plenty of room.
If a chicken run isn’t feasible for your space, chicken fencing is another option to contain your flock. Our flexible chicken fencing can be adjusted to any shape and can be attached to a wall or with repositionable posts. And, with easy-access gates, you can enter and tend to your flock.
Is it legal to keep hens in the backyard?
Laws vary between states regarding keeping backyard chickens, but most states leave the decision up to individual cities or homeowners associations (HOAs). Before you buy a backyard chicken coop and obtain hens, you’ll need to check with your city zoning office or HOA to get permission. Any laws about keeping chickens will likely be in regard to:
- The number of chickens you can keep
- Your backyard chicken coop location, size, or type
- Restrictions on owning roosters
Your chickens’ coop will most likely need to be kept a certain distance from your house or other homes. Ask if this restriction applies to your backyard, and keep the distances in mind even with mobile chicken coops.
The best backyard chicken breeds
The best backyard chicken breeds are those that are able to best tolerate your climate and lifestyle. Chicken breeds vary widely, and have tendencies such as temperament and behavior specific to their breed. Breeds to consider keeping in your backyard include:
Once you’ve decided on the breeds you’re interested in keeping, you’ll need to see where you can find your chickens. You can find a local breeder to help you obtain your chicks or hens. Chicks can also be obtained from most feed stores in the spring and summer months.
Tips for caring for & protecting your new flock
Keeping backyard chickens healthy and happy can be accomplished by caring for your hens on a daily basis, and providing them with protection, entertainment, and enrichment. The care that your backyard chickens will need includes:
- Feeding them a high-quality layer pellet diet
- Keeping fresh water available at all times
- Cleaning their coop thoroughly several times a week
- Protection from predators
It’s also good to offer opportunities for your hens to entertain themselves in an enriching way. Our line of chicken toys and accessories will ensure that your flock is never bored. Encouraging your flock to be active is particularly important during the colder months.
Seasonal changes are easy to prepare for with Omlet. Our chicken weather protection offers shade from the sun, shelter from wind, rain, and snow, and helps prevent hazardous living conditions for your backyard chickens. In sub-freezing weather, extreme temperature jackets for chicken coops can be added to your hens’ home for additional insulation.
How Omlet backyard coops defend against predators
Omlet’s chicken runs all come standard with anti-dig skirting to help prevent predators that aim to tunnel into the run. Our Eglu Cube chicken coop features t-lock handles on the exterior coop access doors and smaller mesh spacing along the bottom panels of the attached run to prevent reach from predators such as raccoons. Other chicken predators we’ve designed our coops to thwart include:
- Neighborhood cats or dogs
Installing an automatic chicken coop door adds an additional layer of security to your coop. The horizontal opening and closing mechanism is extremely difficult for prying paws to open. Securing your hens in their backyard chicken coop each night will bring them a better night’s rest – peace of mind for you.
What to avoid when backyard chicken keeping
Some additional thoughts to keep in mind:
- Never leave free-roaming hens unsupervised
- Don’t forget to find a chicken sitter if you’ll be away from home for more than a day or two
- Slowly introduce other pets like dogs or cats to your hens to prevent startling or injuring them
- Select a vet that treats poultry ahead of time in the event of illness or emergencies
Above all, don’t take the plunge into poultry before you’ve assembled your chickens’ coop and run and become familiar with using them. Omlet’s chicken coops and runs come with everything you need to safely keep chickens as soon as our products have been assembled – so be sure to follow our step-by-step instructions to completion before obtaining your hens.
Backyard chicken keeping with Omlet
Raising backyard chickens is a rewarding journey – start strong with products that will last a lifetime. Our chicken coops protect thousands of flocks in backyards all over the world. Customize your yard or chicken run with unique products like the Chicken Swing and PoleTree Customizable Chicken Perch for a truly one-of-a-kind experience. At Omlet, we’ve created the best products to make keeping chickens in your backyard not only a reality but a success.
This entry was posted in Chickens