Practically every person in the U.S. has a backyard, and more than 90% of them want to add chickens as part of their lifestyle or business model. However, many people do not know what it takes for chickens to live outside! What are some things you should consider before adding poultry?

The “how many chickens can i have in my backyard” is a question that has been asked for years. The answer to the question, will change significantly in 2022.

It’s not difficult to raise chickens. They are, in fact, one of the most manageable cattle species. You may be wondering how many hens you need in your backyard to make it profitable. We’re here to assist you with that in this article.

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What Are the Benefits of Raising Chickens?

The apparent reason for keeping chickens is to provide food for your family while also giving you the joy of knowing that you took care of what you put on the table. Everything is within your control, from the diet to the nutritional content to the surroundings in which your birds live.

When you raise your children yourself, you know everything that goes on behind the Oz curtain, which is critical if you have worries about food intolerances, flavor, or nutritional content of the meals you consume.

It’s also a fantastic teaching opportunity for your kids. You may include kids in the everyday tasks of keeping hens so that they can have firsthand experience with animal husbandry.

Legal Constraints on the Number of Chickens You Can Keep

The most important choice you’ll make is how many hens you can keep in your backyard. Municipal and national regulations take precedence.

The majority of worries are on the illnesses that chickens may carry. E.coli, West Nile Virus, and Salmonella are all well-known examples. Histoplasmosis, for example, is a less frequent disease. Because the spores that house the fungus may survive and infect people far from the source, chicken guano is a danger factor.

Many localities limit the amount of hens you may keep, if at all, for health concerns. These requirements may include the kind of enclosure, spacing, and other factors of husbandry in addition to the number. It’s also possible that you’ll need to get a permission or license.

Before you commit to raising any fowl, we highly advise you to investigate this aspect of the topic. Make it simple for yourself and find out before you spend any money or begin building a chicken coop. Don’t take the chance of being punished when a simple phone call will suffice.

What Motivates You to Raise Chickens?

This is an important subject to address since it affects the number of hens you may keep in your backyard. Some people grow them only for the pleasure of having birds in their yard. Others are interested in the eggs or the meat.

On whatever level, chickens will fulfill you.

However, you must be truthful to yourself. Raising birds requires a significant amount of time and effort. They need daily attention, which includes cleaning the coop. You must also take precautions against predators such as opossums, foxes, and coyotes. You’re wasting your time if you don’t.

As a result, you must strike a balance between the amount of work you want to put into this enterprise and the number of hens you have space for in your backyard. Let’s take a closer look at what this means for you.

The Chicken’s Life

Chickens, like many other birds of their kind, are gregarious creatures. They like to be in the company of others of their kind. That implies you’ll need more than one to keep them pleased, ideally four to six. Chicks may be purchased from a farm supply shop or from a local farmer.

You must also balance the quantity of birds you get with the amount of available space. If you’re keeping chickens for the purpose of laying eggs, they’ll require a chicken coop only to keep them secure at night.

Each bird should have roughly 3 square feet of enclosed room. According to our calculations, your chicken coop should be between 12 and 18 square feet. So, while selecting how many to maintain, consider the time and work required to build a coop.

Giving them a run or an area in your backyard to move about and forage is also a good idea. However, particularly if you have a garden, be careful to create limits for your feathered companions. After the harvest, you may invite them in to clean up for you, but not until you’ve had your fill.

Believe us when we say that. Your tomatoes and peppers will be as big a hit with them as they are with you.

Because chickens eat insects and worms, they act as an on-site pest management service in your yard. Allow roughly 60 square feet for six birds to ensure that they have enough of room.

We recommend that you establish a pattern for your birds when it comes to returning to their chicken coop at night. Food may be a powerful incentive. It’s an important consideration when determining how many hens you may have in your backyard since you don’t want to continually replacing birds that are lost to predators!

Some breeds are simpler to manage than others in this way. Easter Eggers, Rhode Island Reds, and Bantam Brahmas are all pleasant outgoing birds. Chickens make excellent avian companions if you’re rearing them as pets.


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Hens laying eggs

Another important factor to consider when determining how many hens you may keep in your backyard is what you’ll receive in return. Imagine being stuck with a bushel of zucchini or tomatoes at the end of the harvest season.

Healthy, happy hens will provide you with plenty of eggs.

Depending on the breed, you might expect four to six eggs every week. Some breeds are more productive than others, laying many eggs each week. It all depends on their living situations and how at ease they are in their surroundings.

Other factors to consider are:

  • Traffic and noise
  • Situation of confinement
  • The character of the bird
  • The breed’s characteristics

Chickens lay eggs dependent on the photoperiod, the quantity of daylight, or simply light. It’s nature’s way of informing them that food and water are plenty, ensuring the greatest possible start in life for your chicks.

That element provides you some influence over their output and, as a result, may have a significant impact on the number of chickens you can keep in your backyard. To stimulate laying, some individuals place light bulbs in their chicken coops.

According to studies, the best light-dark time is 12 hours of light, two hours of darkness, four hours of light, and six hours of darkness. A smart socket or bulb may be used to manage these times.

Many people think the following breeds to be great layering dogs:

  • Star of the Black
  • Marans of Black Copper
  • Australorp
  • Comet Golden

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Meat-Producing Chickens

Similarly, there is a great deal of variance in chicken breeds and meat output. They develop at a rapid rate. Of course, before it’s time to cull them, there’s a lot of thought put into their nutrition and living circumstances. Most birds may be killed between the ages of 16 and 20, with some as young as six weeks.

Depending on the breed, you should anticipate them to weigh anywhere from 4 to 7 pounds.

That implies you must account for the time it takes to get birds, butcher them, and consume the flesh. For maximum quality, a fresh whole chicken should be frozen for roughly a year.

Although there are numerous dual-purpose chickens, some are more suited for meat than others. Consider the following breeds:

  • Bresse from the United States
  • Dorking
  • Cornish
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Other Things to Think About

Your satisfaction with the number of birds you keep depends on their care and particularly, feed. You can feed them a commercial chicken feed. For actively Hens laying eggs, it should contain at least 16 percent protein to ensure strong eggshells.

Increase the protein content of broiler chicks to at least 22%. You’ll see feeds that define the bird’s ultimate usage to assist you in selecting the proper one.

When it comes to eating, chickens aren’t the neatest. We strongly advise you to get a feeder to keep their food clean. The same may be said for their drinking water. And make a point of replacing them on a regular basis.

Other Dietary Requirements

They’ll also need a calcium source, ideally oyster shells. This will also aid with egg production quality. If you keep your birds in a coop, you’ll need to give them with grit as well. Because they don’t have teeth, they’ll utilize it to break down their food in their gizzards.

If your hens aren’t laying enough eggs, the first place to check for changes is in their food. Make sure it’s providing their nutritional demands.

Table scraps may also be used to boost their diet. It will offer them with additional nutrition while also reducing food waste. After all, everything you feed the hens will be recycled.

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Last Thoughts

Raising cattle is a fun activity that you may do with your kids. It will teach children important lessons on animal care and responsibility. There’s no denying the joy of being self-sufficient.

Chickens are a great way to ease into this way of life. They’re quite low-maintenance and will provide enough eggs or meat to feed your whole household.

The most important factor to consider when determining how many hens you may keep in your backyard is their usage. How many eggs each week will your family use, and do you have friends who will accept your leftovers?

The “can you have chickens in a residential area” is a question that has been asked before. In 2022, the answer will be different. The United States Department of Agriculture says that the answer will be one chicken per 40 square feet.

Frequently Asked Questions

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