What You Need to Raise Organic Chickens and Keep Them Happy

If you’ve daydreamed about raising organic chickens, you don’t need to live on a large expanse of land to make it work. Here’s what you’ll need to budget for to raise a clutch of happy organic chickens.

If you’re an urban dweller and have attempted to grow your own food, you’ve probably found it takes some hacking, know-how, as well as care and patience. Growing veggies indoors or in an economical space at the local community garden can take a lot of work but is well worth it.

Raising your own chickens can give you eggs that go beyond the standard brown and white varieties sold at the grocery store. Plus, you can feel good that they’ll be given plenty of space to roam, good food to eat, and love.

If you’ve daydreamed about raising small livestock, you don’t need to live on a large expanse of land to make it work. You can make a go of it with a lot less space than you think.

Here’s what you’ll need to put together a small coop and raise a clutch of happy organic chickens.

Chicken coop supplies

Before you set out to build a small pen and coop, poke around online for some inspiration. Spend time sketching out some ideas and creating a blueprint. Do you want to build a multi-tier home for your new feathered friends? If space is an issue, build up. What about a ladder, a roosting bar, or some nesting boxes to keep them cozy at night?

As for location, you’ll want to pick a spot in your yard that meets city ordinances. You’ll also want to make sure there are no permits required for raising chickens. Ideally, you’ll want to build the pen away from your neighbors to avoid complaints about any noise. Another consideration is whether you want it near your bedroom so that you can be alerted to any trouble at night.

To build a home for your chickens, you’ll need pieces of plywood. The sizes depend on your particular design, but an example would be 2’ x 4’ for the frame and 1’ x 1’ for the rungs of a ladder. While you can cobble together scrapwood, plywood is readily available at a local hardware store. The cost will depend on the quality and type of wood. While you don’t need anything too fancy, you’ll want to get something sturdy that will hold up. You’ll also need nails, a hammer, and measuring tape to get the job done.

Chicken coop supplies

Hardware cloth

To ensure predators can’t get to your chickens at night or while you’re not nearby to keep watch, you’ll want to use hardware cloth, which is a type of barbed wire sold in rolls. Make sure the holes are small enough so the predators in your local environment can’t break through.

Hardware cloth

Heavy-duty gun stapler

You’ll need a heavy-duty staple gun and staples to build the frame of the coop as well as staple the hardware cloth to the perimeter. While you can use nails and hinges for the door, the staples will come in handy when constructing a home for your chicks.

Gun stapler and staples

Corrugated plastic sheets

While you might have picked a spot that will protect your chickens from the natural elements, placing sheets of corrugated plastic over their pen and house will provide further protection from rain and snow. These are fairly inexpensive, so you might want to purchase a few extra to have on hand in case of an emergency.

Corrugated plastic sheets

Organic chick feed

To make sure your chickens are well nourished, organic laying feed will provide a complete source of nutrition. The feed comes in two forms: crumbles or pellets. If you’re getting baby chicks, you’ll want to give them grower feed first, then starter feed until they develop into full-grown adults and are old enough to lay eggs, which is when they are about six months old. You’ll then switch to the laying feed.

If you’re going the organic table scraps route, the mix should include organic fruits and veggies. Steer away from raw potato peels, raw grains, and pasta, as those tend to swell up in their stomachs.

If your chickens are not free range, you’ll want to add grit into their diet to aid with their digestion.

Organic chick feed

Feeder and waterer

To avoid your chicks knocking over their water and stepping into and pooping on their food, you might want to look into getting a hanging feeder. This can also help keep the food fresh longer and prevents critters from feasting on your chicken’s food. While you can make your own out of PVC pipe, there are plenty of options, and the cost will depend on the material and size; you’ll also need different-sized units for chicks and grown chickens. These can get pretty fancy, so shop around to find one that’s a good fit for your needs. You might be fine with a low-end option.

Feeder and waterer

Baby chicks

While it’s easy to get carried away by a particular breed’s beauty, you’ll want to find chickens that will be happy with the setup you’ve provided for them. If space is a concern, bantam chickens are known for being smallish. If you’ve got your eye on a certain type, read up on things such as its traits, characteristics, and egg production beforehand.

With exotic breeds, make sure they’re a good fit for the type of environment you live in. And if there will be multiple breeds cohabitating, you’ll want to ensure beforehand that the breeds are compatible with one another. You can get chickens at a local rescue, feed store, or online through a hatchery. Visit the hatchery if you can. Chicks are far less expensive than full-grown adults, but you will need to get at least two to aid companionship.

Baby chicks

Backyard Polish Crested Chickens

Interested in getting started with Simple? Apply now!

Disclaimer: Hey! Welcome to our disclaimer. Here’s what you need to know to safely consume this blog post: Any outbound links in this post will take you away from Simple.com, to external sites in the wilds of the internet; neither Simple nor our partner bank, BBVA USA, endorse any linked-to websites; and we didn’t pay/barter with/bribe anyone to appear in this post. And as much as we wish we could control the cost of things, any prices in this article are just estimates. Actual prices are up to retailers, manufacturers, and other people who’ve been granted magical powers over digits and dollar signs.

Important! This account is for your personal use only

An increasing number of customers are being targeted by fraud scams. Before you apply, review these guidelines to help prevent you from being involved in fraudulent activity.

Do not open an account on behalf of someone else
If anyone asks you to open a Simple Account to receive funds, it is an attempt at fraud. Common fraud attempts include requesting that you open an account to receive a gift or bonus offer, obtain a job or job training, or help someone else receive funds (such as unemployment benefits).

Do not share your login or account information with anyone
Neither Simple nor any other legitimate institution will ever ask for your account information. If any third party requests your Simple Account login information, it is an attempt at fraud. Sharing your account information with another person or allowing someone else to use your account to receive funds is a violation of the Simple Deposit Account Agreement terms and conditions and can expose you to fraud.

Actions we may take if fraud is suspected

We take fraud and security very seriously at Simple, and take rapid action in the instance of suspected fraud attempts.

We may freeze and close accounts
We may freeze and close accounts if fraudulent activity is suspected, including the following circumstances:

We will report fraud attempts
We are responsible for reporting fraud attempts to authorities, including attempted unemployment fraud. There are state and federal penalties for unemployment insurance fraud (including potential fines and incarceration). If you suspect you are a victim of unemployment fraud, contact the appropriate state fraud hotline listed here.

I acknowledge that I have read this notice Continue Application