Whether you are drawn in by the prospect of producing your own eggs or the opportunity to teach your children about agriculture and the responsibilities of animal ownership, here is what you need to know to get started raising chickens.

Plan ahead

Each day, someone must complete the chores associated with caring for your chickens. These daily tasks include feeding, changing their water, collecting their eggs, letting them out of the coop each morning and making sure they are back in their coop at night to protect them from predators. Chicken coops and pens should be cleaned weekly.

Do your research

If you live in town, check out local city ordinances surrounding chicken ownership, and determine whether the amount of space you have to work with on your property will be enough. Explore different chicken breeds and figure out which ones will best match your needs and your environment.

Know the costs

New chicken owners can expect to spend somewhere between $500 and $700 on the project depending on the sizes of their coops, pens and flocks. The primary recurring expenses come from buying feed, which will typically cost between $15 and $25 per month. Some other expenses that may arise include varying permit costs, veterinary costs, and heating and lighting costs.

Purchase your chickens and supplies

Determine whether you would prefer to adopt an adult chicken, hatch your chickens from eggs, or raise them from the chick or pullet stages. Depending on their life stage, you may also need brooding supplies or egg incubators. Chickens can be purchased via online hatcheries, local farm supply stores or those who breed and sell poultry.