How to Start Raising Chickens

California is a state that is quite chicken-friendly. Though city codes vary from city to city, there are plenty of areas in Southern California that allow residents to keep a certain number of chickens on a property. For example, if you live in San Diego, you can have up to 25 chickens, depending on your plot of land and zoning laws. On the other hand, Anaheim allows one hen per 1800 square feet — and no roosters. Some cities that do not allow residents to keep chickens include Beverly Hills, La Palma, and San Jacinto.

If you own Pasadena real estate, you can legally keep up to 10 hens in your backyard without a license. If raising and caring for chickens has always been on your to-do list, 2022 is a great time to start. If you currently live in a city that does not allow you to keep chickens on your property, consider working with an agent who can help you find homes for sale in Pasadena that enable you to indulge in this fantastic pastime.

The benefits of raising chickens

There are many benefits to raising chickens. Not only will you have access to your very own organic eggs (fully-grown, well-fed hens can lay up to 250 eggs per year), but you’ll also know exactly where your eggs are coming from and the type of food the hens consume.

Suppose you’re focused on eating healthy and limiting your family’s exposure to pesticides, hormones, and other dangerous chemicals often used in commercial chicken raising and production. In that case, this is a great reason to consider raising your own chickens.

In addition, those who raise chickens in Pasadena will receive free fertilizer for their gardens, protection from insects and bugs (which are prime snacks for your chickens), and you’ll have quiet, easy-to-care-for pets. If your family can’t eat all of your eggs, you can also sell them for a small profit.

If you have kids, raising chickens is a great way to encourage children of all ages to get outside and learn how to care for living things. Collecting eggs, cleaning chicken coops, and making sure the hens are warm and well-fed are easy tasks for kids of nearly all ages and can teach them lessons they will carry throughout their lifetime.

Knowing your goals

Before you decide to buy a few chicks and begin your chicken-raising adventure, you need to ask yourself a few questions related to your end goals. Your first steps to start raising chickens may vary depending on these goals.

You’ll want to primarily ask yourself why you want to raise chickens in the first place. Is it just to have fun pets? To give your kids chores to do? Or are you focused on producing food for your family or extra income? The answers to these questions will influence how many chickens you ultimately buy and how to best care for them.

Tips for getting started

Do you already own a home in Pasadena and have decided to start raising chickens? Here are some tips to get the ball rolling on your new adventure:

Create your brooder

Ideally, you will begin the process with freshly-hatched chicks who need the right environment to grow and thrive. This environment is referred to as a brooder, and it needs to be clean, secure, and warm, with easy access to food and water in order to be successful. You can create a brooder with a large cardboard or plywood box filled with pine shavings or corncob bedding, a heat lamp, and simple feeders and waterers.

Protect your brooder from predators

Baby chicks are easy prey – both for wild animals and unknowing pets. To ensure they are safe as they grow, put your brooder in a basement, garage, or another enclosed area for protection. If you don’t have room in any of these structures, you can build a sturdy fence around the brooder to ensure no predators can get in. A roof is also a good idea as many types of predators (including your friendly housecat) can climb anything to get at food sources.

Pick your breed

If you’re new to raising chickens, you may not realize that there are different breeds to choose from, each with its own unique appearance and character traits. Some thrive in hotter climates than others, while some are better at laying eggs. Reference back to your goals for raising chickens to help you select a breed.
If you want an excellent egg-laying breed that is friendly and easy to care for, most experts suggest Light Brahmas, Cuckoo Marans, or Speckled Sussex breeds. Once you’ve made your decision, head to your nearest hatchery or farm store (or order online) to bring home your new additions. Most first-time chicken raisers choose “sexed” or “pullet” chicks, hens determined from birth.

Bring them home and let the adventure begin!

Once you’ve selected your chicks, it’s finally time to bring them home and begin your new adventure. Ensure they’re safe in the brooder, give them organic chicken food (like this excellent chick starter from Purina), and give them plenty of clean water. Pay plenty of attention to your chicks and they’ll grow up to be friendly, well-behaved hens who will help you achieve your chicken-raising goals!

If you’re looking to raise chickens but currently live in a home where they’re not permitted, reach out to an experienced real estate agent from Bradley Mohr to find your next dream home in the Pasadena neighborhood. Bradley Mohr and his team can help find the perfect home for you to accommodate your new hobby — contact the team at Bradley Mohr today to get started!

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