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How to Keep Backyard Chickens - A Straightforward Beginner's Guide

How to Keep Backyard Chickens - A Straightforward Beginner's Guide

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How to Keep Backyard Chickens - A Straightforward Beginner's Guide

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114 Seiten
44 Minuten
Oct 14, 2014


Are You Thinking of Keeping Chickens But Don't Know Where to Start?

This Beginner’s Chicken-Keeping Guide Will Help You:

Get Started - Who to Talk to Before You Get Chickens.
Decide Which Chicken Breed or Breeds To Get Based On the Characteristics That You Are Looking For In A Chicken.
To Find Or Purchase Your First Flock
To Find Feed Dealers
To Find Everything You Need To Set Up Your Brooder and Your Coop.
To Care for Your Chicks
Integrate Your Chicks If You Already Have An Existing Flock.
To Manage Your Chicken Litter and More!

Special Section With Tips On Deterring Predators:
The author’s homestead is also home to abundant wildlife including: foxes, bears, raccoons, hawks and even mountain lions. While no method is 100% fool-proof, the author includes tips and ideas on how to you can help to protect your chickens from predators.

Special Section On Egg Preservation:
What do you do when you have an abundance of eggs? The book includes preservation techniques such as pickling, brining, freezing and waxing.

Get started today!

Oct 14, 2014

Über den Autor

Self-Reliance -- One Step at a Time Get free e-books at Reliance on one job. Reliance on the agri-industrial food system. Are you ready to break free, take control and to rely on yourself? With a no-nonsense style,  Jill Bong draws from her own homesteading experiences and mistakes, and writes books focusing on maximizing output with minimal input to save you time and money. Jill was born and raised in a country with one of highest population densities in the world. Dreaming of chickens and fruit trees, she left the trappings of the big city and is setting up her homestead in an American town with a population of less than 300. Jill writes under the pen name Jill b. She is an author, entrepreneur, homesteader and is the co-inventor and co-founder of Chicken Armor (, an affordable, low maintenance chicken saddle. She has also written over a dozen books on homesteading and self-reliance. Jill has been mentioned/quoted in various publications including The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Denver Post and ABC News. She has written for various magazines including Countryside and Small Stock Journal, Molly Green, Farm Show Magazine and Backyard Poultry Magazine. She holds an Engineering degree from an Ivy League from a previous life. At its height, her previous homestead included over 100 chickens, geese and ducks, as well as cats, a dog, bees and a donkey named Elvis. She currently learning permaculture techniques to apply to her homestead in rural Oregon. Learn more by visiting her site

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How to Keep Backyard Chickens - A Straightforward Beginner's Guide - Jill b.



Why keep chickens? Chicken keeping has now grown beyond something that only country-folk do; more and more urban dwellers are delving into the the wonderful world of chicken-keeping. The trend is expected to continue to swing upwards with more and more cities relaxing their laws and ordinances. So why have chickens become so popular?

The benefits of backyard chickens include having relatively inexpensive and low maintenance livestock, the perk of having fresh, nutritious eggs (and meat, if you choose to raise them for meat), and taking some responsibility for raising your own food. Chickens are surprisingly entertaining and make good pets for the family. If you have a garden, they also offer a supply of excellent fertilizer in the form of (composted) manure and bug control.

On the negative side, chickens can be dirty. While they are low maintenance, they do still need to be maintained. Their living areas need to be cleaned, and they need to be provided with fresh food and water. They also need to be protected from predators. One point to note, however, that most sources do not mention is, raising your own eggs may be some of the most expensive eggs you’ll ever eat, depending on how much you are able to free-range them, cost of living in your area, and how much you put into miscellaneous other inputs like care and housing. Regardless, in my 6 years of raising chickens, I’ve found that the benefits of keeping them far outweigh the costs. While a lot of information is applicable to chicken-keepers in general, this book mainly covers resources for keeping chickens in the US. is an excellent free website full of UK-based information.

Before you acquire your first chicks, there are many things to consider to ensure proper care of your chickens.


Chicken Laws and Ordinances

Housing and space are the first things you should consider before getting chickens. In the United States, in general, you must first ensure that your county’s zoning (and Home Owners Association, or HOA, if applicable,) allows for chickens, especially if you live in a residential area. Laws vary widely. Different municipalities may have other restrictions such as:

●  Restricting the number of chickens you can have

●  Requiring a minimum land size you need to have before you can keep chickens

●  Requiring a permit

●  Have coop restrictions

●  Restricting the keeping of roosters

In dry regions, you should also consider any water restrictions your locality may have with regards to watering livestock before embarking on your chicken adventure.

The list is not exhaustive. Always check with the local authorities on zoning and permits. Other sources who can point you to the proper authorities would be the local county extension office (, the local 4-H chapter (, or the Future Farmers of America ( In fact, we like to talk to different people in the county zoning department because in a number of instances, different people have given us different answers. Having accurate information will keep you from being hit with unnecessary expenses and fines.

If you are not allowed to keep backyard chickens, an option would be to get the law changed. You will need supporters and have to attend local government meetings to submit your petition. Changing the law goes beyond the scope of this book but is an option to consider if you really want to have some chickens. Of course, it never hurts to soften up neighbors with gifts of farm-fresh eggs!

Some people opt to become chicken outlaws, keeping undocumented chickens. This is not an option that I endorse, however, for the sake of completeness, I will include this possibility. Bear in mind that having undocumented chickens can lead to problems with neighbors, your Home Owners’ Association, the county, additional expenses, fines or potentially needing to have your chickens re-homed or removed.


Once you have covered any zoning or water restrictions, you will need to set up an environment that is as stress-free as possible for your chickens. Stress can affect chickens in various ways including a temporary decrease in egg production or worse, death.

Chickens can be stressed by:

●  Their living conditions

●  Lack of space per chicken

●  Too many roosters present

●  Lack of food and/or water

●  Extreme temperatures

●  Other pets and predators

●  Children

●  Being at the bottom of the pecking order

●  Molting

Stresses from Children and Other Pets

The coop and run should be built securely, protecting the birds from predators, and away from the stresses of young children or other pets like aggressive dogs. Children, especially young children, and other pets should always be supervised around chickens, for the safety of both parties. Never allow children or other pets to chase

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