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In The Garden

Starting a Backyard Chicken Flock

Chickens running through a backyard when let out of their coop.

When it comes to backyard chickens and small flocks, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket too soon. Richard Goforth, poultry expert with NC State Extension, walks through some of the major considerations, from selecting breeds, constructing a coop and safely handling eggs to understanding biosecurity best practices and local animal ordinances.

Whether you’re in it for the eggs, companionship or simply wanting to try something new, having a backyard chicken flock can be a uniquely rewarding experience. It also poses its own unique challenges.

If you’re thinking about starting your own backyard flock, or have already added chickens to your home landscape, our Extension experts offer resources and support to help you maintain a safe flock.

The First Five

Before committing to a backyard flock and selecting your breeds, take time to consider five key questions up front:

Backyard Chicken Resources

Egg Quality Test

Want a quick and easy way to tell if you have a rotten egg on your hands? All you need is a glass of water for this tried and true egg test!

Special Thanks

We wish to acknowledge and extend our appreciation to Ken Ellzey, retired CALS Communications videographer at NC State and our former Homegrown colleague, who allowed us to film at his home in Durham, N.C.

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