I live out in the country and am thinking about raising chickens for eggs. I'd like to know if other forum members are like minded. I live on twelve acres in west central Illinois and find I can't pull the trigger on this project. The way I see this project is probably too grand and there lies the hitch. I don't want to fork out a lot of money for both a coop and what I feel is the proper fencing. My question is, is there a way I can start off cheap to see if I like raising chickens and to provide a safe and secure home for initially just a few birds?
It depends more on your needs. Chickens are ground birds and can free range too. If you want them away from where you live or want the birds protected during the day then some kind of fencing is needed but alternatively you can let them just roam around for exercise.
For night time there is no real way around it, even for a few birds, you are going to need some kind of back house, out house or hen house within the twelve acre radius.
It's worth it to consider a reasonable building - you might want to expand your herd or if you decided not to have chickens some day in the future could use the building for a tool shed or something inventive.
A good building will be a secure, functional and a proud home for the foul. Use good fresh straw material on the floor and it will be a pleasure to perch in and watch the little ones.
Thank you Bluedoll, sound advice. I'll look into a generic "outbuilding" with lots of space to convert to a coop. It could be converted to use for sheep or rabbits or even aquaponics. But, knowing me, it would end up as storage.
I had pet chickens when I was a kid, because I was allergic to dogs.
I eventually outgrew the dog allergy, but never got over having pet chickens. If you have a yard, and pay attention to chickens, and handle them gently, they make funny, charming, affectionate pets, with tasty fresh eggs as a bonus.
Chickens aren't as stupid as they look. They can learn their names, and will come when called. If you're nice to them, and they like you, they will follow you around like a dog. They'll even get huffy puffy and angry if they think you're being threatened.
Of course, being defended by a chicken is pretty comical, but real chickens aren't really cowards, they just know when to run.
haha my uncle lives in New Jersey and owns a big piece of land and in the backyard he has a chicken coop. Its always fun to play with them as well as when we are getting ready for a meal. Amazing to see what you can do with you own eggs and chickens instead of just buying it from a store.
But damn raccoons need to stop stealing them chickens! lol
My sister randomly brought home 3 chicks one, and they just lived in a ferret cage at night, when they couldn't be supervised, then during they day they free roamed, eating bugs and leaves in the backyard. They're really great, low maintenance pets, and as said, they have really great personalities and are so cute if you treat them well!