Considerations when deciding whether to raise chickens:
- Zoning, covenants, and neighbor relations. Is your property located in an area where there are legal restrictions from the county or your local housing development? Are there neighbors that will be offended by the possible noise, smell, and flies?
- Type of Chicken. There are 3 basic types of chickens. Meat production broilers grow to 6 to 8 pounds in 6-8 weeks of age. Laying hens begin producing eggs between 5 to 6 months of age and produce about 300 eggs per year. Exotic chickens are mainly grown for their bright colored or strange feathers and for exhibition.
- Purpose. You can produce wholesome, grain-fed, home-raised meat for your family or to sell for profit to increase your income. You can produce eggs for your family or sell for a profit. Chicken raising can provide a job for the family to teach youth responsibilities about animal care and respect, and the food production cycle.
- Facilities. Baby chicks need supplemental heat and protection. Older birds can tolerate cold conditions if they have protection from precipitation and wind. Pens must have protection from predators such as cats, dogs, hawks, owls, possums, and raccoons.
- Time and/or Labor Supply. Chickens require regular feeding and watering once or twice a day. There is a big labor requirement when meat birds are processed and marketed.