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Raising Chickens for Eggs

Ujwal Deshmukh
Provided the local authorities allow it, raising chickens is certainly a good way to get a constant supply of fresh eggs at a low cost. This article provides tips for those who are planning to do so.
Ever-increasing inflation of food products is a matter of great concern for many. This has compelled many people to take certain steps. For instance, many homeowners try to save money by growing vegetables in their garden.
If the local authorities allow you to raise chickens, you can raise them for eggs. In fact, some people do it to get a nitrogen-rich manure, while some do it for pest control and weed control.

Things to Consider

There are certain aspects that you need to consider so as to pursue this activity successfully.

Check Out the Law

This is the first and the foremost consideration. It is necessary that you check the local law pertaining to breeding chickens at home. Some councils might not allow you to keep roosters, however, they may allow you to keep hens.
Some might not allow raising chickens for eggs in the city, so you may be asked to do it in suburbs or a place away from residential areas. Nonetheless, it's better to check it out and seek legal permission for the same.
Choosing the right breed is another important factor. Now, if your sole purpose is to get eggs, then it would be best to buy chickens that are ready to lay. 
However, if you are raising them for meat, then opt for larger chicken breeds. But remember that larger breeds create more mess, so be careful and ready to deal with it.
While buying chickens, see to it that they are healthy and free of diseases. Find out a reputed supplier for this purpose. 
Some popular chicken breeds for eggs include Dominique, Plymouth Rock, Delaware, Brahma, etc. But see that you contact the local supplier and get a detailed information about these breeds before buying any of them.

Count the Number

If you are raising chickens for household purpose, then 3-4 chickens would be enough for a medium-sized family. With this number, you can gather about 7 eggs per chicken in a week.
However, if you are a large family and all are egg lovers, or if you also have some business in mind, then you need to buy more chickens. Starting with a small number is always advisable, as it is easy and also would give you a better idea of caring for chickens.

Choose their Shelter

While selecting the coop, consider the number of chickens you have. If you are going to increase their number in the future, then make sure that the coop is big enough to accommodate all of them.
Chickens also need a place to roost, which is protected from weather, and they even require a nesting box to lay their eggs.
So, the coop should have a watering trough, feed trough, nesting boxes, and roosting bars. Also, consider the price and durability of the coop. You can purchase 'ready to use' chicken coops from the market. You can build the coop all by yourself. This would bring down your investment cost.

Feed them Right

To gain maximum yield, chickens need to be fed regularly and at the right time. Give them fresh food and water. You can purchase chicken feed and chicken scratch from the local farm stores. Feed them bugs, grains, grass, weeds, worms, etc., to get tasty eggs.
Follow the aforementioned instructions to get fresh, nutritious, and great-tasting eggs. As far as the cost of raising chickens is concerned, it would depend on the scale of your activity. But, the major factors that contribute to the cost is the chicken breed. Healthier and more productive chicken breeds would certainly cost you more.
The cost will also depend on the number of chickens, the chicken coop (ready to use coop 'might' cost you more than a homemade one), and finally the legal formalities (charges if any).