Thinking About Getting Chickens? Here’s What You Need To Know! {+ RentACoop Feeder & Waterer Giveaway!}

Thinking About Getting Chickens? Here's What You Need To Know!

I received product from RentACoop to facilitate this post.  As always, all opinions are my own.

It’s SPRING time!  (Finally those of us from Minnesota are saying.)  And along with the change of seasons comes April showers, May flowers, and CHICKENS!  Many people choose to get baby chicks or chickens at this time of year.  So if you’re thinking of starting this adventure, there are a few things you should know.

Thinking About Getting Chickens?

We decided to jump on the chicken bandwagon two years ago.  Honestly, we didn’t really know very much about having chickens at the time.  However, we live in the country, on a farm, and wanted our own eggs.  So those were enough reasons to convince us it was time to take the leap.  While we live in the country, some cities do allow their residents to own chickens too.  Just check at your local city hall as to what the requirements and restrictions are for your area.

Thinking About Getting Chickens? Here's What You Need To Know!

Here’s What You Need To Know!

Once you’ve made the decision, you now need to decide if you want to order baby chicks or look for a local seller who has slightly bigger chickens.  We personally decided to get a few of each.

1. Chickens Need A Safe Place

Something you’ll want to make sure you have ready before you go to pick up your chickens is a safe place.  For chicks, this may be as simple as a plastic pen in the garage so you can keep a close eye on them.  However, since chicks grow fast, many people choose to have a chicken coop from the start.

Since we ended up with both chickens and chicks, we utilized both of these options.  I bought a plastic ‘baby’ pen off a garage sale where we kept the chicks and we moved the chickens that were a few months old immediately into our coop.

And most recently, we created a new chicken coop inside our old maternity pen in our barn.  This will make caring for our chickens in the winter much easier.

Thinking About Getting Chickens? Here's What You Need To Know!

New chicken coop is finished.

Thinking About Getting Chickens? Here's What You Need To Know!

Accessorized and now ready for the chickens!

2. You Don’t Actually Need A Rooster To Get (Eating) Eggs

Some people get confused on this.  However you don’t need a rooster to get eggs to eat.  Chickens will lay those no matter what.  The rooster’s job is to fertilize the eggs so without a rooster, you’d never be able to hatch chicks.  We ended up getting a rooster in our batch of chicks and even though we could have exchanged him for a hen, we kept him.  Although we just eat all our eggs and don’t incubate.

Thinking About Getting Chickens? Here's What You Need To Know!

Our Silkie ended up being a rooster!

3.  Laying Hens Do Well For A Couple Of Years

As hens age, their laying production decreases.  So even though hens may live for up to 10+ years, they do continually decrease laying until they stop altogether.  Their prime laying time is generally between 2 and 3 years of age.

Thinking About Getting Chickens? Here's What You Need To Know!

You’ll Need Nesting Boxes

Unless you want your chickens laying all over the ground (hint…you DON’T!), you’ll want to get some nesting boxes for your coop.  RentACoop is releasing a brand new triple box style that should be out on their website soon, but they also have a single option too.

Thinking About Getting Chickens? Here's What You Need To Know!

What’s really great about their nesting boxes is that they have a roll-out design so you’ll never have to worry about dirty, cracked, or pecked eggs again!  You just lift up the handle on the front to reveal the box where eggs roll.

4.  Expect Molting

Something that we learned after getting chickens is that they don’t lay year round.  Even the best layers, who average an egg a day, go through what is called ‘molting’.  This tends to happen in the fall.  The shorter days mean that chickens aren’t getting the 14 hours of daylight needed to stimulate their ovaries.  So don’t be surprised if you might not see eggs again until spring.

Thinking About Getting Chickens? Here's What You Need To Know!

5.  Chickens Are Prey To Many Animals

Because chickens can’t fly, they are extremely vulnerable to all kinds of predators.  From fox, raccoons, coyotes, hawks, and more, you’ll need to be sure to keep them safe.  Even the family dog will sometimes kill your chickens.  So you have to be aware that chickens should have a secure, enclosed pen for daytime or a dedicated guardian animal if you want to free range them.

Thinking About Getting Chickens? Here's What You Need To Know!

6.  Food And Water

Chickens need to have fresh water and adequate food available.  They need to have access to their food and water at all times when they’re awake.  But once they return to roost at night, they sleep soundly and won’t get up to eat or drink.  So you could put it away if it’s kept outdoors and you’re worried about rain ruining the food.

Thinking About Getting Chickens? Here's What You Need To Know!

My Favorite Chicken Waterer

We originally had the typical waterer that had a rim around the edge and the water flowed by gravity.  But you know what?  It was ALWAYS filthy!  We could clean it daily and the chickens still kicked dirt, feed, and sawdust into that rim of water.  So when I discovered RentACoop’s 5 Gallon Waterer, I was super excited.

Thinking About Getting Chickens? Here's What You Need To Know!

For the cleanest chicken water without having to clean it yourself, this waterer is for you!  Smartly designed, it’s impossible for chickens to kick up anything into this ingeniously designed waterer.  Featuring horizontal nipples that help keep the ground and bedding from getting wet, the chickens lightly press against the little metal watering nipple to get fresh water.

Thinking About Getting Chickens? Here's What You Need To Know!

Our chickens only took a day or so to figure these out.  We just released a little water at each one and showed to our chickens.  They quickly realized what to do. Designed for easy use and filling, each 5 gallon waterer lasts 4 hens more than 10 days!  Plus, it comes with a no-roost cap to keep chickens from sitting on top.

This waterer is absolutely AMAZING!

Chicken Feeder

Unless you are 100% free-ranging your chickens and know they are getting enough grit, you’ll want to offer feed.  And this RentACoop Chicken Feeder is a great solution.

Thinking About Getting Chickens? Here's What You Need To Know!

This feeder holds up to 20 pounds of pellets, crumbles, or grain.   And I love that it can be used inside or outside of the coop.  Or both!  The handle makes for easy transporting.

Thinking About Getting Chickens? Here's What You Need To Know!

It comes with No-Roost cap, which is to prevent chickens roosting.  So now every time you need to life the lid of your feeder to refill, it will be spotless.

Have A Perch In Your Coop

Chickens prefer to be up high off the ground when they sleep.  So you’ll want to have a perch for your hens to be able to utilize at night.  (Also, sleeping on the ground or chicken coop floor can leave your chickens more susceptible to pathogens, bacteria and external parasites.)

Thinking About Getting Chickens? Here's What You Need To Know!

Well, that’s the basics on what you need to know if you want to get chickens.  So tell me, do you plan to get chickens?  Or do you already have some?  Either way, be sure to head over and check out what RentACoop all has to offer.

Connect With RentACoop

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RentACoop Chicken Feeder & Waterer Giveaway 2

Win It: RentACoop is generously offering one of our lucky readers their very own Feeder and Waterer (just like the ones I featured).  This giveaway is open to the US only. For your chance to win, enter the Giveaway Tools below. Good luck!

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I’m a city girl turned country by my awesome husband and we have three busy boys and two darling daughters. I love spending time with my family, reading Karen Kingsbury novels, and catching up with friends while our kiddos have play dates. I’m blessed beyond measure and can’t wait to see what God has in store.
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This post currently has 5 responses.

  • Heather Kinser

    I had chickens as a child and my daughter has wanted them forever. I really wish we lived in RentACoop’s rental area so I could give her the experience at least once. This is such a great idea!

  • gloria patterson

    My brother has lots of chickens and he would love this waterer and feeder. His chicken roam all over the yard during the night and they go in the coop when it get dark. My great niece likes to watch them and sometimes they will come up to her.

  • Sarah L

    I have 2 friends who have chickens. It’s not something I want to do but these are a good way to start.

  • LeAnn Harbert

    My granddaughter has started raising chickens. She could really use both of these.

  • Beth Hern

    Our family has 5 chickens. My son is 11 and has aspergers and this is one thing that he’s obsessed with. We call him the chicken whisperer because it’s like the chickens listen to every word that he has to say and they listen to him very well. I love the chicken feeder and waterer and definitely going to check these out.

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