Chickens are a wonderful addition to just about any homestead. They are suited to even the smallest of yards. We have a small flock of five chickens, which provide us the most delicious fresh eggs, turn our compost, as well as giving us great garden fertiliser. Chickens are pretty low maintenance and require very little effort for the wonderful returns they provide. They just need secure housing to protect them from predators, clean water, and some food daily. We tend to feed our chickens plenty of kitchen scraps and some leafy greens from the garden, plus a bit of commercial feed each day.
My handy husband built a great chicken house with a yard, from new and recycled materials. There is a huge amount of information available either on the Internet, or from the library regarding chicken housing. The options are endless. You can start with a small flock of two, in a small mobile house, if you like. However think about how many eggs your family is likely to use, when you decide how many chickens to get. It can be a bit difficult to introduce new chickens to an existing flock, so if you are a family of 7, maybe don’t start with just 2 hens! Chickens are certainly a wonderful compliment to the vegie patch; they are great recyclers of weeds and waste, turning them into fertilizer and eggs!
Obviously, there is a financial outlay with getting set up with chickens, but they end up paying back the initial outlay. I would suggest that if you are dreaming of chickens, just do your research, think about what type of housing might suit your yard and lifestyle, before you jump in. Take your time planning and saving towards the initial set up cost, remembering that your homestead is a journey of baby steps.