Raising Chickens in your Backyard: a sustainable food source

Practicing permaculture & homesteading for urbanites: farming chicks, building a chicken coop, collecting hen’s eggs.

Note: Now fully closed captioned.

What you’ll learn

  • You will learn general information on ease of care, and creating your chicken lifestyle..
  • You will be able to decide how many chickens you need for your family’s needs, and whether or not to have a rooster..
  • You will understand the life cycles of chickens, their habits, normal behaviors, and have your expectations set for raising chickens..
  • You will learn to recognize normal healthy chicken behavior, and some of the problems that you may face..
  • You will learn the key chicken coop factors to look for to house and protect your new flock..
  • You will have assistance in balancing the decisions you need to make to start raising chickens while still maintaining an acceptable lifestyle..

Course Content

  • Before you get (more) Chickens –> 6 lectures • 35min.
  • Housing Issues –> 3 lectures • 14min.
  • Chicken Care & Feeding –> 1 lecture • 4min.
  • DIY With Chickens –> 2 lectures • 21min.
  • Decisions –> 3 lectures • 11min.

Raising Chickens in your Backyard: a sustainable food source

Requirements

  • Bring your curiosity and a sense of humor to the course..
  • Understand that there are different ways to farm, and this course is not about judging what’s right or wrong for anyone else, just figuring out what is right for you..
  • An initial investment in a backyard flock can be anywhere from making do with what you have and buying some feed and making your own feeders and waterers from recycled materials for a rescued flock, through to purchasing a spacious and luxurious barn for show-worthy purebreeds..
  • If you want to do the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects, which are entirely optional and only a small portion of the course materials, you may need tools, supplies, and some experience in handling them, or a friend or neighbor who is willing to help you out. Most projects use supplies that are inexpensive or upcycle used items. Raising chickens shouldn’t be expensive..

Note: Now fully closed captioned.

Are you ready for chickens?  How do you know if you even want chickens?  What do you need to know, and what questions do you ask?  How do you make the decision?

How do you get set up for chickens?  How quickly do they grow up?  When will they lay eggs?  How do you take care of them?  How messy will they be?

In many parts of the world, people wouldn’t think of not having chickens!  They’ve been our companion animals for thousands of years, and no longer resemble their wild cousins.  But as we moved into cities, we lost our way and forgot to bring our fowl friends with us.  Factory farms produce our eggs, ship them in bulk into stores where we buy dozens of sterilized uniform sized and colored eggs completely disconnected from the miraculous and amazing animals that created them.

Now many of us have moved back out of the cities and we’re starting to pick up our ancestors wisdom and bring chickens back. Raising chickens is easy, and it makes sense for some families.  I raise chickens for their eggs, and some backyard farmers are even raising their own chickens for meat. As the world goes through a variety of changes, knowing our food suppliers has become an issue.  We can practice some small farming techniques by raising our own small flock of chickens.

Each hen provides 12 to 20 DOZEN eggs a year, for at least 3 years, depending on breed.

In this course, I take you on a behind-the-scenes look at real chickens and having a real life with chickens. I’ve decided to narrate while you watch my flock through most of the course, and I’m going to air all their dirty laundry.

What are some of the benefits of raising chickens?

  • They turn bugs (ticks, cutworms, mosquitoes) & weeds (grass, poison ivy, dandelion flowers) into eggs
  • Overnight composting machines — their diet is very close to a human diet, they eat my un-popped popcorn kernels, leftovers that are a little too old, toaster crumbs, etc.
  • You get an Easter egg hunt every day!  My 13 hens are routinely giving me 7-9 eggs every day in the spring.
  • Plenty of opportunities for good exercise: walking around, lifting 50# bags of chicken feed and 40# bags of scratch feeds
  • You can save on TV: Watching chickens is much more fun that watching the news
  • And they help with relaxation – watching animals, especially baby animals, raises your endorphins & oxytocin levels. They’re also a good focus for mindfulness meditations.

Come join the party!

About me & my chickens: I free-range my 17 chickens on the outskirts of an upstate NY city on a 1.3 acre rented home plot. I’m a single mom, with 2 college-age kids living at home, and I handle the vast majority of the chicken duties by myself.

Note: This course includes a small number of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects, which are entirely optional and only comprise a small portion of the course materials. They are rough guidelines and ideas for things you can do with upcycled or inexpensive materials that will save you money, time, or enhance your chicken experience. The projects may require tools, supplies, and some experience in handling them, or a friend or neighbor who is willing to help you out. But they are all entirely optional, and you are responsible for your own safety.

This course is not meant to fulfill requirements for any jurisdiction or issue a certification that is required by law for you to have or raise chickens.  I have not seen the requirements of such a course for your jurisdiction, nor do I condone or issue the certificate that Udemy provides all courses when completed.  The certificate is not a credential saying you are ready to raise chickens or to prove that you paid attention, learned anything, or have met anyone’s standards in chicken-rearing.  If you have a list of requirements, contact me with the list before purchasing the course and I’ll let you know whether I think this course meets the requirements.