My partner and I bought a house in 2013 and just happened to inherit some backyard chickens. It was such a wonderful experience. I had been wanting to get chickens for a year or two but didn’t quite know where to being. Being thrust into chicken ownership was honestly the easiest way to get started.
The real truth? Chickens are easy pets. They are pretty self sufficient, require little attention, and give you fresh eggs every week. Once you get into the daily routine of feeding them and opening and closing the coop, the benefits definitely outweigh the chores.
There are a lot of great reasons to keep chickens. The obvious reason is that you get fresh eggs, but they also make great pets, help control bugs and weeds, give you amazing fertilizer, and are pretty inexpensive. A hen can lay more than 300 eggs a year – that’s a pretty good return on your investment! You can also choose to start with chicks, or adopting older laying birds to cut out on some of the work.
Just so you know, different areas have different bylaws regarding urban chicken keeping so make sure to check your local legislation. In Guelph, there are rules around where you can build a coop on your property, how many birds you can have in your flock, and whether you can keep roosters. And while rules are rules, it’s always a good idea to talk to your neighbours and get them on board. The offer of occasional fresh eggs can go a long way!
When you’re ready to get started, check social media for local chicken enthusiasts in your area. There’s usually others that will help you get a flock started and can give you pointers.
If you’re looking for other online resources, here’s some extra reading for you: