As people stayed indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic, interests in some new hobbies have been sparked for many people, especially if they can be done at home.
Although bread making, baking and gardening have increased in popularity, one other hobby has been ruffling feathers and gaining traction: backyard chickens.
Chickens are a popular pet and they're getting more interest even in city settings like San Diego and its surrounding communities.
Hens will start to lay eggs when they are 5 to 6 months old and it's safe to assume that five hens would supply about 30 eggs a week.
Before you scope out a new feathery friend, there are some good things to remember before you get started. First, make sure chickens are allowed in your backyard; this is an important first step.
For example: in 2012, the City of San Diego began to allow residents of single-family homes, community gardens and retail farms to keep and maintain chickens. However, roosters are not allowed.
The number of chickens that may be kept on your property is based on how far the chicken coop is from your property lines, so it’s best to take a good look at that before purchasing any chickens.
More information about the regulations in the City of San Diego can be found here.
Raising chickens can also be a great teaching tool for your kids. This activity can teach children about responsibility and how to grow and supply their own food.
“Especially now because so many kids are at home and homeschooling, virtual learning; any kind of pet will teach responsibility and empathy towards animals, just being sensitive to that," said Lisa Steele of Fresh Eggs Daily. "Teaching your kids where your food comes from with a garden and chickens is really important. Chickens are great because they’re small, they’re manageable, they’re not super intimidating I guess you could say."
If this is something that you’d like to get your kids involved in, just make sure to have some safety procedures in place so that they don't get sick from any bacteria.
Everyone should wear gloves and always wash their hands thoroughly after doing anything in and around the chicken coop.
To get more tips on creating an ideal chicken coop, Steele has helpful advice here.