Home » Poultry » Urban Chickens: The Ultimate Guide on Raising Backyard Chickens

Urban Chickens: The Ultimate Guide on Raising Backyard Chickens

Raising any animal whatsoever regardless of whether you’re looking to turn them into a hefty meal, a good profit or a life long companion, is extremely difficult to say the least. There are a ton of different variables that you need to keep in mind, before you even make that first step towards owning your very own animal, which is where we come in.

We have decided to bring you multiple guides showcasing how you can raise your own animals and make the best use out of them as time passes on.

For this article we decided to tackle urban chickens and everything that they entail. While they are definitely not the most popular nor the most profitable animal to take care of, you will soon learn just how important raising backyard chickens can really be and why you should do it in the near future.

So, for starters let’s jump right into our first step of the day that will help prepare you to start raising your very own urban chickens in the near future:

Plan Out the Coop Construction or Purchase

Colorful Chicken Coop
Colorful Chicken Coop / trevormade.com

Before we even get started with buying the chickens you need to see where they fit into your backyard, which is why you need to plan out the coop’s construction or just go to the nearest shop to get yourself a coop from there.

The funny thing here is that you can get your inspiration from the unlikeliest of places, for example you can see the exact coop that you will be constructing in your backyard in your dreams. It can be something as silly as that, just remember to always think twice before you start doing it.

There are so many people that get the chickens before they even measure out their coop, which results in them either having too many chickens for their coop, which is not exactly good, or to you having too much room for the few chickens you did get.

This is why you really need to take the time and weigh out the pros and cons of building a large coop. Use the materials that you can and if you can we recommend that you get a professional to do it for you so that you can skip out on any potential mistakes and save yourself a lot of money and effort in the process.

Become Friends with The Local Chicken Expert

Local Chicken Expert
Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi / pexels.com

Another very important part that many people tend to skip over is actually getting to know their local chicken expert. This is a detrimental part for you and your chicken coop’s future as the more you know about the craft the better you will be at it.

This is why you need to invest some time and effort into getting to know them and most importantly, you need to get any information you can from them before and after you get your chickens.

This will also save you a lot of time in the future as well since you will definitely need the help of an expert and since you two are acquainted with each other already you shouldn’t find it all that hard to come to a consensus over what you need to do about the problem you’re facing against.

Get Accustomed to Losing Your Chickens

Get Accustomed to Losing Your Chickens
Photo by laura_zz / freeimages.com

The saddest part about owning chickens is the fact that they will often times die before you actually get to enjoy their benefits. This is especially sad if you grew fond of the little flightless bird and you wanted to allow it to live its remaining days alongside you.

The fact of the matter though is that chickens are very fragile, to the point where throwing a rock at one mildly can always lead to them losing their lives and since they are pretty much everyone’s punching bag let’s just say that they won’t make it too far if they stray away from your coop.

Chickens are not the smartest creatures either, they will jump into incoming traffic, they will get close to dogs and they might stand in the sun for too long and die of insolation.

No matter how we twist this we can’t emphasize it enough, chickens are not going to be there for anywhere near as long as your cat or dog, they have a very limited lifespan and for the most part, they will be lucky to even make it past the first couple of years.

So, just remember to not take it to heart and move on when it does eventually happen. You will lose some of your chicken in horrible ways, and this will happen over and over again regardless of what you do, it’s a part of your life as a farmer.

You May Get a Rooster Instead of a Hen

You May Get a Rooster Instead of a Hen
Photo by Egor Myznik / unsplash.com

Even if the buyer that you are currently talking over with is promising you that he is giving you all hens and no roosters they cannot make sure that this is the case since chicken sexing is only 90 percent current during those early weeks.

This is especially a problem since if you live in a crowded city then chances are that you are not going to be allowed with a rooster in your coop because of how loud they can be.

Nobody wants to wake up to a couple of loud cock-a-doodle-doos in the early morning, especially not your neighbors so if you want to keep your windows brick-free then we recommend that you get ready to either bring the rooster back or to butcher him.

There won’t be any real meat on him but it is the more humane way to take care of him and it will save you a lot of hassle and paperwork in the near future if your neighbors do happen to have had enough of your rooster’s early morning antics.

Your Chickens Will Lay Eggs Irregularly

Your Chickens Will Lay Eggs Irregularly
Photo by Daniel Tuttle / unsplash.com

If you are the type of a person to really plan out your day right then chances are that you also have planned out how many eggs your chickens will leave you and thus you have written down exactly how much of a profit you can make within 20 or so weeks by now.

Well, our advice for you here is to take some time off to reflect on that piece of paper, only for you to have to ditch it altogether the day after because guess what, none of it is actually accurate.

Some chickens will have long breaks in between the first and the second time they lay eggs, there will even be chickens that will lay their eggs when they turn 26 weeks old, that’s how confusing these things can get.

So, don’t plan out your profits just yet and especially don’t plan out on how many eggs your chickens will leave for you to pick up. These things are never easy to understand but just remember that it doesn’t depend on what you do or what you feed them, it all depends on the chickens themselves.

Some will leave you with an egg a day while others will leave you eggless for many weeks, it’s never as simple as it seems which is why having more chickens is always for the better.

Always Research Any Symptoms Your Chickens Are Dealing With

Chicken Health Problems
Photo by Sarah Halliday / unsplash.com

Has your kid ever just started coughing randomly? Do you know what you did back then? You immediately tried to find out what was wrong with your baby, and you did so by either looking it up, or consulting an expert to get to the bottom of it. Well, as their owner, you will need to do the exact same thing to the chickens, because they are essentially your babies at the end of the day.

So, get your seatbelts strapped up and get them to the nearest vet. We also recommend pulling the “friend card” with the local expert that we talked about before, as they are more likely to actually know exactly what your chicken is currently dealing with, and they will know how to help them.

If you do take this part seriously you will be able to save a lot of chickens’ lives on the long run because the readier you are to tackle these sorts of problems, the faster you’ll blow through them. Just remember though that the chickens can’t talk, they can’t just tell you what they’re feeling so you will need to pay close attention to them in order to spot the symptoms for it.

The worst thing that can happen is they can contract some sort of a disease that they can spread amongst them, and if you’re not careful enough you can lose your whole coop because of it. 

So, always keep your eyes peeled on them and if anything happens get them to someone that can identify the problem and better yet, get them to someone that can help them.

Taking Care of Chickens is Hard, Smelly and Dirty

Taking Care of Chickens
Photo by Hà Cao / pixabay.com

Whenever you see chickens on social media all that you see is their happy faces and their shiny feathers, but what you can’t get a glimpse into is just how dirty these chickens can really be.

They walk around all day long and they don’t exactly shower twice a day either. They are very smelly and they will poop anywhere they see fit. You can reduce some of the smell by putting down more straw and some diatomaceous earth, but this will not completely eradicate the problem either.

Get used to smelling like dead fish and to always find poop everywhere you look. The fact of the matter is that chickens are not the cleanest animals to take care of and although cleaning after them regularly will prevent the place from stinking too bad, you just can’t get rid of the smell no matter how hard you try. Trust us, we tried a lot.

You Can Live off of Chickens

You Can Live off of Chickens
Photo by Jean P Mouffe / pixabay.com

We don’t mean necessarily off of their meat, although this is a very important aspect as well. We specifically wanted to refer to the chicken eggs over here, as there are so many different ways to prepare their eggs nowadays that it’s practically impossible to dislike eggs altogether.

The yolks are always tasty and the egg whites will always be the best part of your meal if you’re looking to get that much needed protein into your body.

You can also use them for decoration purposes during easter and we can’t forget about the fact that the warmer the eggs are, the fresher they are.

Rural vs. Urban Chicken Keeping

Rural vs. Urban Chicken Keeping
Photo by Michał Grosicki / stocksnap.io

Of course that we had to talk about the many key differences between living in the city versus living in the countryside as far as chicken raising is concerned.

We mentioned previously how your neighbors will not appreciate you having a bunch of roosters on your backyard singing them love songs at 5 AM, but if you do live in a rural area then chances are that you won’t have to deal with this.

Urban chicken keepers on the other hand always need to keep this in mind, and it doesn’t stop there. The smell is also very hard to get around when you own a bunch of chickens, and the more of them that you own, the higher the chances of your coop smelling like something out of a horror movie.

Finding yourself a chicken coop will never be difficult, but actually keeping loud chickens and having a stable relationship with your neighbors may be impossible if you live in the city.

Always Pick Your Breeds

Always Pick Your Breeds
Photo by Defret / freeimages.com

Considering the fact that there are currently well over 500 chicken breeds to choose from out there, let’s just say that finding the best one for you is not exactly going to be the easiest thing in the world.

Instead, what you need to take into consideration is the following questions since they will provide you with the answer that you need moving forwards:

  • Why did you buy the chickens in the first place? Is it their Eggs, their meat, etc.?
  • How hot or cold is your current climate? Will the chickens survive in it for longer periods of time?
  • Are my neighbors going to be okay with the smell and the noise that these chickens will be making?
  • Do I have room for the chicken coop and the chicken running area?
  • Does my state allow me to own chickens without a permit? How can I get a permit in the first place?

The Best Chicken Breeds to Invest Into

The Best Chicken Breeds to Invest Into
Photo by Adrian / stock.adobe.com

Now that we’re reaching the end of our post, we figured we’d give you a little insight into the top chicken breeds that you can get and most importantly, why they are such good picks to begin with. So, let’s start off with:

  • The Orpington – A very solid choice, not that loud of a chicken breed and they can be acquired from most shops
  • The Barred Rock – One of the most popular breeds in America for sure, they are very calm and easy to take care of and they make for great pets as well because of this
  • The Easter Egger – These are especially great if you want to make your coop stands out since their eggs come naturally colored
  • The Brahma – A staple of the chicken raising community, these are massive chickens that you can use either for their meat or for their large brown eggs
  • The Australorp – One of the best chicken breeds in the world especially thanks to their ability to lay a lot of eggs in a very short period of time
  • The Silkie – A very beautiful addition to your coop, very friendly as well which makes them great pets for anyone
  • The Sultan – Yet another beautiful crested breed, if you’re a fan of very distinct features such as long tails and a lot of feathers all around their feet then definitely get yourself a sultan chicken

Conclusion

Urban Chickens
Photo by klimkin / pixabay.com

Many people would probably be quick to believe that raising chickens is no problem, that it’s all just you dropping a couple of seeds on them and leaving it at that, when in fact there’s a lot more to it than just that.

In reality, there are a ton of different aspects to take into consideration before you can even think about buying your own chicken farm.

We hope that this short guide was helpful enough and that it made you realize whether you’re meant to own chickens in the near future or if this doesn’t seem like the right career choice for you just yet.

Just remember, the smell may be terrible and the constantly cock-a-doodle-doos at 5 AM are definitely not pleasant things to get accustomed to, but you can also really care about your little flightless bird, to the point where you may also end up like us, keeping them as pets as opposed to butchering them for their meat.

About Leah Shelton

Involved in the "green" arena for over 10 years, Leah has worn many hats due to her diverse experience and knowledge in the field. In addition to writing for Agronomag, she's also a sustainability consultant with a unique perspective on eco-friendly farming practices. Topics she loves to geek out about: regenerative food systems, chickens and cattle breeds, homesteading and green cities.

1 thought on “Urban Chickens: The Ultimate Guide on Raising Backyard Chickens”

  1. Just remember, the smell may be terrible and the constantly cock-a-doodle-doos at 5 AM are definitely not pleasant things to get accustomed to, but you can also really care about your little flightless bird, to the point where you may also end up like us, keeping them as pets as opposed to butchering them for their meat.

    Reply

Leave a Comment