How to raise chickens in your backyard

Fresh eggs, every day.

Variety of chickens in their pen

Our tips will help you rule the roost.

Photo by @cambrieee_

Table of Contents

This is no yolk. Egg costs continue to soar in Oregon and across the US due to the spread of avian flu and other supply issues. The price for a dozen eggs in Portland ranges from $2.19 to $8.49 right now — making for some dang expensive omelets. An even bigger party fowl? Fried Egg I’m In Love had to raise its breakfast sandwich prices.

But what if you cook up your own supply? It’s completely legal to raise chickens in residential backyards here — and coops for egg production can be a sizzlin’ hot commodity. Here’s what you need to know to get crackin’ — and calculate their worth.

Research pecking orders

Official Portland ordinances allow for up to “four domestic fowl” on residential lotswhich is kind of a lot — and even more for properties over 10,000 sqft. But the law bans backyard roosters. Those early wake-up calls aren’t cool for your neighbors.

A spacious chicken coop in a yard

Coops must be 3 ft from side and rear property lines and at least 10 ft from the front property line.

Photo by @cambrieee_

Don’t just wing it

This isn’t like getting a goldfish raising and caring for poultry requires a lot of work. Be sure to review Oregon’s avian influenza information and basic animal husbandry practices. If you’re still feeling clucky, you’ll need:

A hand holds a basket of eggs above chickens

If only they laid golden eggs...

Photo by @cambrieee_

Eggs in one basket

What should you expect when your chickens are expecting? Healthy, well-fed hens can potentially lay up to 320 eggs a year — and they’ll be as fresh as can be. Read up on safety tips before handling, though.

As for your wallet health, expect to shell out ~$650 initially, with regular expenses ~$25-$30 per month. So, buying eggs at the store is probably more cost effective — just not as much urban farming fun.

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