City chickens are becoming more and more popular as the self-sustainable lifestyle is prominent in today's culture. Of course, people are drawn to raising city chickens, or any chickens, for different reasons.
As I am vegan, I have no interest in eating eggs. However, in the last year, I have transitioned my dog to mainly a Paleo diet — he usually eats rice or quinoa with an assortment of veggies and organic (hunted, fished, or farm-raised) meat and eggs. As I do not hunt, fish, or raise animals for their meat, I pretty much rely on other sources for my dog's food. Of course, I could buy these items from the grocery store, but as a vegan, I do not want to support the meat processing industry and the companies that factory-produce meat.
SO! All of that goes to say, I decided to get chickens — for their company, for their eggs to feed my pup, and for their cuteness.
Here's how to get started raising your own chickens in the city!
1. Obtain the chicks (and other stuff)
This step is entirely important! First of all, you probably want all hens if you're raising for egg-purposes. I just went to the local Tractor Supply and one of the sales associates helped me get everything together. You need a place to put them inside (I borrowed a friends dog crate), pine shavings, a heat lamp, a feeder and water bucket, food, and the chicks.
2. Set it all up
This step took about an hour for me — you don't want the chicks to be too close to where you eat (because salmonella), they have to be kept between 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit (decreasing by 5 degrees Fahrenheit each week) but they can't be too close to the heat lamp itself, and they're super cute it's easy to get distracted.
It's honestly so easy!
They need fresh water at least every day — I opt for twice each day, if possible.
As I said before, the temperature can decrease by 5 degrees each week until they are fully grown/move into an outside coop.
Their feeder needs to be filled up...not even regularly. I bought a pretty large feeder so I dump a bunch in there and they're usually good for at least a few weeks.
They enjoy eating bugs; I try to take them into the backyard for playtime in the sun at least once a day, depending on the weather. Supposedly, they are ready to move outside into a coop after you have had them for one or two months. I have had my chicks for about a month and they are not ready so I will update along this journey.