You don't need a whole lot of room to raise chickens. We actually kept them on an enclosed porch while they were young before the coop was made. They
are really fun to have, and do a lot of silly things. Chicks cost about $3 each, and although coops can be expensive, people are always selling used
ones or you can just build one yourself. Ours is privacy fence on three sides, and open on the side facing our house so we can watch them. Chicken
wire was purchased at Lowes, and although we used zipties to connect them together the chickenwire comes wrapped in a wire that you can snip and use
the same as zip ties. I dug a one foot trench around the perimeter and buried chicken wire underneath to prevent animals from digging in. The ceiling
is a green netting found in the same section at Lowes, which was draped over and stapled, with some ties connecting. Hawks are the number one predator
of chickens (in cities) so a roof is necessary. It also kept our cat out and no other predators have gotten in yet.
The house was built using an already put together small fence. I cemented six posts into the ground and a few boards, then laid a section of fence,
leaving a foot space underneath for shade. The walls were also fence sections, and although it didn't fit perfectly I nailed some boards to fill the
gaps. The roof is three sheets of metal roofing, not very expensive, nailed into the fence posts. The gate opens a whole section for easy cleanout,
and there is a ramp with steps leading to an opening they can go in. All in all the coop cost us about 500 dollars, that's a rough estimate, but now
that we have it we only have to buy chicks and feed.
The chickens like beams to sit on, so we have multiple beams coming off the house and inside the house. Hay is good food for them and it covers up the
smell, and they huddle in it while its cold or to lay eggs. There is also a baby pool filled with sand because they eat sand and tiny pebbles to help
They say you need a box for them to lay eggs in, but we have multiple boxes but they just lay in the open or in the house.
It takes about five months before they start laying eggs but when they do they lay about every other day. In about a month and a half, I got about 50
eggs with only three chickens. The yolks are slightly darker than store bought, and are tastier. We aren't planning to butcher them, but if society
collapses, well sorry...
Some breeds are a bit more aggressive than others, this light feathered one is always hen pecking me. The black one and red ones are more laid back,
at least ours are that way. You shouldn't get roosters for backyard chickens, only hens. They make a lot of noise when they lay eggs, the "egg
song", but they usually only do that between 10 am and early afternoon. We haven't gotten any complaints yet, and it's not even as loud as a
barking dog which no one seems to care about. And at night time, they don't make a peep, so no worries there.
Backyard chickens are a great way of being self sufficient while still living in an urban environment. I haven't needed to buy eggs since they
started laying, and I hope I never have to!