How to Raise Happy Chickens- Frequently Asked Questions
A chicken egg a day keeps the doctor away! Depending on your breed, your chickens will behave differently. More broody and guarding chicken breeds tend to be more stubborn and reluctant, such as the cochin, orpington, brahma and Sussex. While other breeds are more friendly and docile, such as the rhode island red, easter egger, black australorp, and jersey giant. Depending on your desired egg quality and production, we recommend selecting a chicken breed that meets your interest. Here are a few helpful answers to some frequently asked questions to guide you through chicken breed selection.
Can I Have Chickens if I Have a Dog and Cat?
Yes! Although you will need to keep your chicks separate from family pets until they are adults, many proud backyard chicken owners also have dogs, cats, horses, llamas, cows, and more! Although we do recommend that you keep dogs on a leash when introducing them to your new backyard chickens, a slow process until they recognize each other will help to reduce social anxiety.
Can chickens ship safely?
Yes, day old chicks ordered through californiahatchery.com are shipped via USPS and are shipped with packaging to survive for several days to anywhere in the continental United States. Believe it or not, day old chicks thrive in warmer temperatures, so you don’t need to worry if the summertime temperatures are high, you’re chicks will be just fine during transit. Additionally, we include instructions for your local post office to call you when you’re chicks arrive, so you can pick them up immediately. We advise that you provide them with sugar water upon arrival, as this really helps them rejuvenate after their journey.
Is it hard to raise chickens?
Raising backyard chickens requires a small time commitment, to anything from feeding, watering, and cleaning, although the work is worth the effort. In the end, the health benefits from fresh backyard eggs goes way beyond the work. In the morning, you will need to let your chickens out of their coop, and provide them with fresh water and feed. At night, we recommend that you lock your chickens inside their coop to protect them from predators. We highly recommend cleaning your chick bedding from their coop once a week, and also that your rinse their feed and water dishes as well.
How much does it cost to have chickens?
Believe it or not, chickens are less expensive than most typical household pets. A 50 lbs. bag of chick layer developed feed costs $65 (including shipping) through californiahatchery.com, which provide enough feed for six chickens for one month. Chicken maintenance is fairly easy, as long as you provide your chickens with shelter, food, and water, you can enjoy fresh chicken eggs every morning. By far, the biggest investment will be your chicken coop, which is more affordable when you build on your own, or you can purchase a chicken coop for as low as $200. On rare occasions, you may need to provide veterinary care to your chickens (a listing of avian vets can be found on tillysnest.com).
Do I need a rooster?
No, you do not need a rooster for your hens to lay eggs. Generally, you will only need a rooster if you want your eggs to hatch. However, if you’re looking for the morning ‘cock a doodle doooooo’ at sunrise, then you may want a rooster to have a traditional farm experience. Fortunately, we offer a guarantee when you select the sex of your breed, so you can be assured that 99% of chicks shipped are sexed accurately.
How Many Days do Backyard Chicken Eggs Stay Fresh?
We recommend that you collect your backyard hens eggs daily, although the eggs should be considered fresh even after several days. After you wash chicken eggs, we recommend that you refrigerate them immediately.