brown chickens gathering around coop

How To Get Started With Raising Chickens?

Are you considering adding a flock of chickens to your homestead or backyard? We created this guide to help you start this journey by learning all the benefits and advantages of raising chickens.

Whether you like the idea of fresh eggs or simply enjoy caring for animals, raising chickens can be an enriching experience.

However, with any new endeavor, raising chickens requires thorough planning, dedication, and knowledge, so let’s dive in and learn all you need to know before starting this new adventure. 

Happy woman chicken farmer with bucket feeding chickens at the farm

Why raise chickens?

Most people start raising chickens for the apparent reason—fresh eggs. These eggs taste better and are richer in nutrients than store-bought eggs. However, what many don’t realize is that this is by far the only advantage.

Chickens are amazing garden protectors. They keep insects and pests out of the garden while providing eggs. They come in different shapes, colors, and varieties, and not only they can feed you, they can also serve as a useful and beautiful addition to your backyard.

Benefits of raising chickens

For many reasons, chickens are preferred by beginner farmers, hobbyists, and even experienced livestock owners. These animals are self-sufficient and highly adaptable to the environment.

Contrary to other types of livestock, raising chickens is quite low-maintenance while still providing plenty of benefits, such as fresh eggs, natural pest protection, and organic fertilizer. 

  • Fresh egg supply—possibly the most commonly recognized benefit of raising chickens. Did you know that non-wild hens can lay 77.8 eggs per 100 chickens daily? This means you can easily get a constant supply of free-range, fresh eggs daily!
  • Low maintenance—chickens are relatively low-maintenance, but you will need to care for them every day just as you would for any other pet or livestock. However, they are easy to look after. You need to check up on them in the morning for fresh eggs and put them safely in their coop at night. One of the most demanding tasks is to keep the chicken coop clean and dry.
  • Natural fertilizer—the best byproduct chickens produce is manure, which contains essential vitamins and minerals. Chicken manure is a sustainable way to feed your soil, decreasing dependence on factory-made fertilizers. 
  • Sustainability—keeping chickens allows you to live sustainably. As we’ve read, they help produce natural fertilizer, remove garden pests, eliminate scraps, and provide fresh eggs daily!
  • Positive environmental impact—raising chickens in your backyard can also have a positive environmental impact. Using your chickens’ eggs means you will rely less on factory farming, which has serious environmental implications. By raising chickens, you can directly impact your food supply chain and reduce the exploitation of resources. 
  • Conservation of heritage breeds—by raising your chickens, you can breed and conserve rare heritage breeds at risk of extinction because of the large-scale, commercial breeds. It is also a way to preserve the unique traits of different breeds of chickens and promote biodiversity. 

Who can raise chickens?

Raising chickens is suitable for many individuals and different households. From urban homeowners to rural homesteaders, anyone with a desire and dedication to care for chickens can start raising chickens.

Families looking for a sustainable food source or other individuals who aim to foster a deeper connection with nature and fresh food can also start raising chickens easily. Additionally, schools tend to incorporate chicken keeping and teach children valuable lessons about biology, agriculture, and responsibility.

The beauty of raising chickens lies in the adaptability and welcomes people of all ages, cultures, backgrounds, and lifestyles. 

Identifying your purpose

If your goal is to have fresh eggs daily, you need to select a breed known for its laying capabilities as a priority. Alternatively, others embark on a chicken-raising journey to produce their meat, as chickens are renowned for their meat quality and fast growth rates. 

Budgeting for initial setup and ongoing costs

You will need to allocate an initial amount of funds for building a suitable coop, water and food source, fencing, and bedding materials. The cost of these items can vary depending on the materials you choose and whether you do it yourself or ask a professional to help you. 

You need to factor in one-time expenses like acquiring permits and additional costs for lighting fixtures, nesting boxes, and more that help optimize the coop’s functionality.

Building A Coop

If you have some chicken coup ideas for a new or an existing one, you are already one step ahead. If you don’t, there are plenty of chicken coup ideas that would work for your needs.  When creating the perfect environment for your chickens, remember these key considerations.

  • Determine the right size for your coop based on the number of chickens you plan on raising 
  • Consider the proper materials and design of the coop that will be weather-resistant and durable 
  • Include essential components such as secure ramps, doors, nesting boxes, and outdoor access 
  • Pay attention to flooring and bedding 
  • Carefully consider the location of your coop 

Caring for Your Chickens

Feeding and Watering

Feeding your chickens a balanced diet is vital for their overall health and productivity. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Choosing the right feed—Select the appropriate feed for your chickens depending on their age, breed, and purpose. The feeds need to contain the essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals needed for optimal growth, egg production, and overall health. Ensure that the feed you choose is fresh and free from contaminants.
  • Watering systems—Access to clean, fresh water is essential for your chickens’ well-being. Provide water in clean, sturdy containers designed to prevent spillage and contamination.

Health and Veterinary Care

  • Signs of common illnesses—Learn to recognize the signs of common chicken illnesses, such as respiratory infections, parasites, and egg-binding. Symptoms may include lethargy, decreased appetite, coughing, sneezing, diarrhea, abnormal droppings, and changes in behavior or appearance. Make sure you know the ideal number of chicken coops you’ll need by number of chickens, too.


In conclusion, raising chickens offers a multitude of benefits and rewards that extend far beyond the simple act of tending to a flock. So whether you’re a seasoned homesteader or a curious beginner, consider welcoming a flock of chickens into your life and discover the endless joys that come with the gentle clucking of contented hens and the promise of fresh eggs each morning.