For many, keeping backyard chickens while raising kids is a completely daunting experience. They think it’s difficult to handle both activities given the limited time we have every day. But for me, I think it’s the most rewarding and enjoyable thing a parent can do.
When chickens and kids go together, lots of things are discovered and many learning are shared, from the beginnings of the morning egg to various lessons in life. Hence, I don’t think there should be any problem about the two going hand in hand.
In this article, I thought I’d share several tips on how to get started with a flock and at the same time, raising kids. I’m sure you’ll love this adventure!
1. Choose chicken breeds that are child-friendly.
Although the Australorps and Buff Orpingtons are the two most preferred chicken breeds for kids, you can still try others. Below are just three breeds I suggest.
Because they are gentle, sweet, cuddly, and fluffy, Silkie chickens are considered ideal breeds for kids of all ages. However, before taking them into the yard, make sure there are no other aggressive birds in the flock. Their docility can cause them to be often bullied by other breeds.
Red Star Chickens
If your kids love eggs, then the Red Star chickens are perfect for you. These birds are known to be among those breeds that lay the best eggs. Whether you believe it or not, they’ll continue laying eggs regardless of the weather.
To help them lay better quality eggs, I prepared a separate guide for you, which you can download below. Take note that it can be obtained for free, so grab your own copy now!
The Speckled Sussex
The Speckled Sussex chickens are great listeners and talkers, so they make wonderful therapy companions. Aside from that, their beautiful feathers instantly appeal to older kids, who want to look cool in front of their buddies and pals.
2. Get a chicken coop that perfectly fits your chickens’ needs.
With a ready-made chicken coop, it would be easier for you to look after your birds and your kids. But when choosing a coop, there are things that should be taken into account. You can’t just buy one because it is cheap and fits your budget. Of course, you have to think of your flock’s overall comfort.
Would they be able to sleep here? Is it secured? Does it have a nesting box? Is it fox-proof? What features does this coop boast? Could it stand the test of time? Once these questions are answered, it would be easier for you to make a decision. And I’m pretty sure of that.
3. Start by raising 4 to 6 chicks.
Sometimes, mature chickens tend to be skittish. So instead of getting fully-grown birds, it is best that you start with 4 to 6 chicks. That way, it will be easier for your kids to get along with them.
But then again, baby chicks are fearful in the beginning. Nevertheless, that shouldn’t be an issue because they are easier to bond with compared to the adult ones. Being able to handle them means more fun adventures. And just like typical pets like cats and dogs, in the long run, it won’t be impossible for you to become good friends with your flock.
4. Allow kids to help with the chicken chores.
One of the easiest tasks your kids can do is to gather all the eggs from the nesting boxes. As they grow older, you can change their responsibilities for something more crucial. For instance, they can feed them refill the water bottles, or even clean the inside of the coop. Yet, this depends upon you.
Here’s an important reminder. If you wish your kids to participate in any of the chicken chores, be sure you take caution. The droppings of your birds can pose a threat to your child’s health. Therefore, it would be great if you let them wear chicken shoes or face mask.
5. Plan other fun activities with the chickens in mind.
Raising backyard chickens could become more enjoyable if you plan out other family activities with the chickens in mind. You can definitely begin with the eggs.
Organize cooking lessons on how to prepare healthy treats using the eggs, so that kids will learn how to cook. You can prepare pancakes or bake sumptuous pastries. Obviously, that activity will make your kids realize and appreciate where the food comes from.
From what I’ve discussed, you’ll learn that raising backyard chickens will not just provide your family with organic eggs on a daily basis, but it can also be a beautiful learning experience for your little farmers. So let these tips guide you. At the end of the day, you’ll realize that raising backyard chickens offers a lot more perks than what you initially thought.