There is nothing better than using a fresh egg in your morning omelet. An egg that you gathered just 10 minutes earlier from your backyard chicken coop, no less. Plenty of homeowners are raising chickens in their backyard so they can enjoy those fresh eggs daily.
If you’re interested in establishing a flock of your own, keep these tips in mind:
- City codes/ordinances – Cities often establish ordinances regulating how many chickens you can keep in your yard. For example, Annapolis allows homeowners to have up to five chickens and requires homeowners to apply for a permit first.
- Purchasing chickens – You have several options for purchasing the birds. You can purchase chicks from Homestead Gardens and carefully raise them yourself to be full-grown, healthy adult birds. Or you can purchase chickens that are ready to lay for a bit more. Before making your purchase, check that the birds are in good health and not too old.
- Build/purchase a coop – Chickens need a place to roost where they can hide from predators and the elements. You can find plenty of designs for building your own coop, or you can purchase one that’s ready-made to help speed up the process for getting fresh eggs.
- Food – Chickens are living recyclers, meaning they can turn your table scraps into fresh and delicious eggs. They also eat grains, grass and garden waste. What might come at a surprise is how much calcium hens need to lay eggs. The best source of calcium can be provided in layer rations, such as mash, pellets or crumbles.
Once you get your brood established, you can turn the egg collection into a fun family affair. And you can start putting omelets on your daily breakfast menu; you won’t want to eat anything else!