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August
9

Backyard Chickens - Homeowners - Haring Realty

Our REALTORS® know raising chickens is a fun way to improve your diet and enjoy animal companionship.

Whether looking at Mansfield or Ashland homes for sale, there's plenty of potential to use your yard as a place for feathered friends. Just be aware of the zoning ordinances that may apply to you. Richland County has its own zoning requirements. Mansfield requires at least three acres of land and a permit.

Let's look at some of the most important things to know about raising chickens.

  • Choose the Right Breed for You
    Odds are good you already know why you want to raise chickens – eggs, meat, or just for the fun of it. There are hundreds of different chicken breeds, but they can all be broken down into four sorts:

    • Heritage: Heritage breeds have a slow growth rate and live a long and productive life outdoors.

    • Egg-Laying: Egg-laying chickens have a shorter productive lifespan but lay many more eggs.

    • Dual-Purpose: These chickens are prolific egg-layers and also grow large enough for meat.

    • Meat: These chickens grow very quickly and are ready to be eaten in just around nine weeks.

  • Choose the Lifecycle Option You Want
    You have four options for starting your chicken odyssey:

    • Eggs: These fertilized eggs require incubation. A basic egg incubator can cost $30-$200.

    • Chicks: Chicks are usually bought at about one day old. You choose the breed you want.

    • Pullets: Pullets are aged 4-6 months. They are usually within just days of laying an egg!

    • Adults: Adult hens eat more, so they are more likely to be found at a rescue or sanctuary.

Many homeowners go with raising their first chickens from eggs. It takes about 21 days for the egg to hatch. You will need to control the temperature and humidity throughout the incubation period. It is also necessary to turn the egg at least 4-6 times every day up until the last three days when turning stops completely.

  • Get Your Eggs from a Reputable Source
    It's a wise idea to choose eggs from a local farmer, a hatchery, or a farm supply store. The U.S. Postal Service supports shipping eggs and chicks, but it's best to see chickens from your source with your own eyes. Birds should be bright-eyed and energetic, displaying curiosity and moving about at a good clip.

  • Prepare Shelter for Your Hatchlings
    You have a home, so why not your chickens? Raising chickens without a coop is possible, but tends to take more effort, as you need to be sure your land is completely fenced in. Chickens outside a coop may also be vulnerable to predators. A chicken coop costs about $650 on average, as little as $300 and as much as $2,500.

    There are seven keys to a good coop:

    • It must be weatherproof and temperature-controlled.

    • It must have enough space.

    • It should have good ventilation.

    • It must have boxes for nesting hens.

    • It should have fitted roosts for sleeping.

    • It should have an outdoor roaming pen.

    • It should be secure.

  • Get Ready for Chicks
    Chicks require a large, draft-proof "brooding box" large enough for all your birds, their food dish, and water dish. Simple, soft bedding is best: Pine shavings are often sold in bales at farm stores. Since chicks don't have true feathers for 6-7 weeks, use a heat lamp or electric heat plate for chickens to meet their needs. Chicks need different ingredients in their feed at different ages, so talk to an expert before choosing food.

No matter what needs you have, Haring Realty can help. Contact us to learn about real estate opportunities.

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