Frequently Asked Questions 

Lonnie Leghorn, Our Mascot

Frequently Asked Questions and Their Answers.

Q.) Is it legal to have chickens in my backyard? 

A.)  That is one of the most frequently asked questions, it all depends on where you live. If you’re considering raising your own small flock of chickens, you’ll first want to confirm that your city council has ordinances in place that allow for keeping and raising live chickens. Additionally, even those cities that do permit the keeping of chickens may have certain conditions and requirements like a maximum number based on lot size or no roosters, so check here first before you start your flock.


Q.) How many eggs will my chickens lay?

A.)  There is no magic number as to the number of eggs you’ll get from each hen. A good rule of thumb is that a hen will start laying eggs as early as 4-6 months old. She will lay eggs consistently for about 2-3 years before her production begins to drop off and she can lay somewhere around 200 to 300 eggs per year.

Q.) Do my hens have to have a rooster before they can lay eggs?

A.)  That’s a great question since our basic understanding of reproduction would make us think so, but the reality is that hens don’t need a rooster to lay eggs and if they've never been around one, they don’t even know he exists. Roosters are only necessary if you need the eggs to be fertilized for a new crop of baby chicks.


Q.) Are Chickens hard to care for?

A.)  Chickens are pretty durable and will pretty much care for themselves once they reach maturity. At that stage they’re really no more work than any other pet. Feed them, clean up after them, collect the eggs, and make sure they have a clean, safe, and secure home.


Q.) How long do chickens live?

A.)  This is another common question with no easy answer. A good rule of thumb is somewhere around 7-10 years for a laying hen that is properly cared for, but that’s not carved in stone. There are many cases of chickens living to 15+ years old and a few even older, living up to 20 years old although that is extremely rare.


Q.) How can I tell the difference between a hen and rooster?

A.) When they’re less than 6 months old, determining sex can be a challenge for the backyard flock owner because they haven’t reached maturity yet. As a rule, mature Roosters tend to be bigger, have pointed sex feathers, larger combs and wattles and larger spurs, but there are always exceptions. The one way to know for sure if your chicken over six months old is a hen is if she lays eggs. If it’s a rooster, he’ll strut around crowing (Hens can also crow).


Q.) How big will my chicken get? 

A.)  That depends on the breed and whether it’s a rooster or hen. Roosters are usually larger. A good rule of thumb is somewhere between 4-8 lbs. for mature standard breeds, Bantams are usually between a quarter and half the size of full size breeds and weigh around 2-4 lbs.


Q.) How many chickens should I get?

A.)  That depends on what your intentions are and how much space you have available. Chickens, like people are social creatures and do best when they have other chickens around. A minimum of at least two is desirable.


Q.) How long does it take for a chicken egg to hatch? 

A.)  21 days

Handsome Young Man Caring for His Flock

Q.) What is the name of the Families Raising Chickens' mascot?

A.) His name is Lonnie Leghorn. He is a White Leghorn Rooster

Q.) Where can I learn more about raising chickens?

A.) Right here on!

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