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How to Raise Chickens: Start Your Backyard Flock

how to raise chickensWondering how to raise chickens or if it’s right for you? Check out these tips on what you need to know before purchasing chicks!

Poultry breeds come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Families interested in eggs or meat typically choose chickens. But show birds, game birds, waterfowl and turkeys are becoming increasingly popular for people who simply enjoy watching colorful, unique birds in their backyards.

If you’re looking to get fresh eggs, consider these chicken breeds: White Leghorn hybrids, Rhode Island Reds, Andalusians or Ameraucanas.

For meat production, consider Cornish Cross chickens, which grow rapidly. For dual-purpose production, consider Plymouth Rock, Sussex, Buff Orpingtons or sex-linked hybrid chickens.

For show or pets, consider Silkie, White Crested Polish, Japanese or bantam chickens.

Be sure to thoroughly research the needs of individual poultry breeds before purchasing them. Some have very specific environmental needs and may not mix well with the average backyard flock. Be sure you have all necessary supplies before the chickens arrive at your home.

Any chicks you purchase should be from a U.S. Pullorum-Typhoid Clean hatchery to enhance livability and decrease potential disease problems. Chicks should be vaccinated against Marek’s disease soon after hatching. Good sources for purchasing chicks include your local Purina dealer or a reputable hatchery that ships straight to your home. Consult your veterinarian before purchasing chicks.

Source: Purina Poultry