If you like the taste of farm-fresh eggs but are miles from the farm, consider raising a few chickens yourself.
Step 1: Count your chickens Decide how many chickens you want. Most hens in full production will lay an egg every day. If you have too many chickens you may not be able to use all the eggs.
TIP: Acquire your chickens from a reputable supplier to ensure the health of the birds.
Step 2: Build a coop Build a chicken coop large enough to accommodate your flock. The coop should protect the chickens from rain, wind, and temperature extremes.
Step 3: Add nesting boxes Place nesting boxes in the coop where the chickens can lay their eggs. The boxes should be enclosed and nest-like.
TIP: Boxes fitted with rear trap doors make it easier to gather eggs.
Step 4: Add perches Add adequately spaced and arranged perches to the coop so that the chickens can roost at night. Perches can be made from small tree branches, wooden poles, dowels, or even an old wooden ladder. Place litter under the perches, removing it when it gets soiled.
Step 5: Feed chickens Feed the chickens layer pellets or grain to maintain egg production. They will eat almost anything, including table scraps.
Step 6: Provide water Provide fresh water in a bowl, checked daily in hot weather.
Step 7: Install a heat lamp Install a heat lamp in the coop if you live where winters are cold. This will keep the chickens' water from freezing.
FACT: Chickens have played a central role in cancer research and were instrumental in the discovery of the first tumor viruses.