Thinking of starting my own chicken coop and hand raising some chicks?

Filed under: Poultry |

Question by Charlotte: Thinking of starting my own chicken coop and hand raising some chicks?
I was thinking of getting some chickens in my garden as pets and for their eggs.
I was thinking of getting abut 2 or 3 chickens and raising them from chicks.
I have a few questions

1) Am I best getting them as a egg or as a chick?
2) How do I take care of the egg?
3) where do I get the egg from?
4) How do I take care of a chick?
5) Where do I get the chick from?
6) Where do I keep the chick?
7) Is it hard?
8) What should I feed the chick?
9) How long do chickens live for?

Plus any other information you think might be helpful


Can you help? Leave your own answer in the comments!

Have something to add? Please consider leaving a comment, or if you want to stay updated you can subscribe to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

5 Responses to Thinking of starting my own chicken coop and hand raising some chicks?

  1. Get the chicks already made from a local farm store. They come around in the spring. Leghorns or Rhode Island reds are good choice.They can sell you chick feed for the age of the chick and the appropriate food as they age. It is not hard. Get appropriate housing /barn /roosting places. Make sure snakes and rats can’t get in from underneath.

    Clay O'Way
    March 22, 2014 at 9:29 am

  2. I used to keep chickens – they are fantastic pets!
    Raising from a chick can be tricky, we used to get ex-battery hens.
    For an inexperienced owner I’d recommend getting them from the sort of Chicken rehabs – the survival rate is pretty low so the rehab places feed them up and get them used to the outdoor life, the shock of it kills many of them, poor things.
    Give it a quick google, there are loads so I’m sure there’ll be one near you.
    The shelf life for a battery hen is only a year or so, so when you get them they still have plenty of life left in them.
    If the fox doesn’t get them, they will live many more years (ours managed about 5 years).
    They will still lay at least one egg a day in the summer so are well worth the investment.
    Try getting an egglu or the like, they are far easier to keep clean and look pretty funky too.
    You should feed the hens layers pellets – you can get them from places like Countrywide and other outdoor shops, I think even Wilkinson does some now.
    Corn is good as a treat but if you feed it too much the chickens can get fat!
    They will also need to be fed grit (you can get from pet stores) to make the eggs.
    And they love kitchen scraps!
    Good luck!

    March 22, 2014 at 10:28 am

  3. Good question I tried to answer and 15 minutes in lost the entire thing. As a country girl I’d rather have Chickens than technology.

    This link provides valid information.

    Yes do your homework, yes buy chicks not eggs, yes realize not every egg a chicken sits will be fertile, yes you need a coop and nesting boxes and a method of temperature control, contact an Avian specialist, check out breeds most local to you.

    These animals, while they not be domesticated pets, are still living beings, depending on you, or someone to care for and about them.

    March 22, 2014 at 10:37 am

  4. As chicks, but better as hens. But if you want them cute as chicks then do so. If eggs, you’ll have to buy an incubator, kind of expensive and not a good idea cuz they want their mama.
    For chicks under 5 months old, they’ll need baby chicken feed. From then on just seeds and grits. Chickens are easy to raise and are good tame pets if you treat them as pets. Chickens can live up to 10 years average. It’s best to raise a few hens for eggs. Males crow too loud and can bother nieghbors. If getting chicks, you won’t know if they are male or hen. Shouldn’t mate brother and sister ever. Maybe get half grown chickens, 3-5 months old, so you’d know the gender. Start with 2-4 hens for beginners.
    To get healthy eggs to eat or healthy chicks, keep coop dry from water spills and eggs cracking, and during the fall and winter you should keep lights on for 14-16 hours per day to simulate summer if you want to keep getting eggs during those seasons.
    For a good cheap chicken coop, best to build small coop with good vents with a big walk-in aviary especially if u have hawks in your area, otherwise just a coop is needed with no aviary. See on youtube videos, ” Backyard chicken coop and aviary designs.”
    Chickens eat corn, wheat, bird seeds, rabbit pellets, and better get grits for healthy egg laying. For dessert/ treats once in a while, they can eat alot of things, such as diced tomatoes, banana, salad, cabbage, spinache, cooked rice, slices of carrots, bread, etc…etc…
    If u want chicks, get 1 male and 1-2 hens and once they are done laying all 10-15 of their eggs and begin to start sitting on the eggs, get rid of male if he’s too loud. Hens will rear their own youngs and walk around with them to find mineral, worms and feed etc. Very nice to see them following their mom around.

    March 22, 2014 at 10:46 am

  5. Check out It is a large online community of people who love chickens, many of whom keep just a few in their urban/suburban backyards as pets with the added benefit of getting eggs.

    1) Definitely as a chick. Hatching eggs can be wonderful fun, but it is certainly not without risk and would be ridiculously expensive for just 2-3 pet hens. There’s no guarantee that any of the eggs will hatch. I’ve had hatches where nearly all of 18 fertile eggs have hatched and I’ve had hatches only two or three have hatched. There’s also no guarantee that the eggs that do hatch won’t have horrible deformities that would cause them to suffer for their whole lives. It’s unpleasant business, but anyone who’s hatched eggs long enough (and for some people sadly “long enough” is just once) will tell you that sometimes you have to make touch choices and kill baby chicks. And if you want hens, there’s no guarantee that any of the eggs that do hatch will be female, there’s equal chance that the majority or all of them that hatch will be male. Then you need to decide what to do with the extra males. Some people have no problems raising them up to eat them, but if you’re looking for pet chickens I’m guessing that once you’ve grown attached to the little cockerels it will be difficult parting with them knowing that the person who is taking them plans to kill them. Sadly, there are ALWAYS more males than there are homes and the chances of any little roosters going to live out long lives on someone’s farm are very slim. So, definitely get chicks.

    As to the specifics of caring for chicks and where to get them, that website I told you about has all the answers and more. You can find local sources for chicks, brooding supplies, food, and more. Some people get their chickens from breeders, others from hatcheries, and with the increase in popularity of backyard chicken keeping there are sadly an increasing number of chickens finding their way into shelters and rescue groups. Brooding chicks is fairly simple, you need clean water that is shallow enough the chicks won’t drown, food (commercial chick feed is the norm and easy to come by), non-slip bedding (usually wood chips, but there are a number of other options), a heat source (usually a heat lamp, but there are a few other options out there), and a draft-free place to keep them confined as they grow.

    How long chickens live depends on their lifestyle. Most chickens don’t live more than 2-4 years, mostly because people eat them when they stop laying very well. There are also a large number of chickens that die from predators (after all, everyone loves a chicken dinner) especially in set ups where they free range. But chickens have the potential to live well into their teens, and there are even some reports of chickens that have reached 20 years old.

    March 22, 2014 at 11:08 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *