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Understanding Backyard Poultry/Chicken Farming at Home: Check How This Guide Helps Beginners

Poultry farming is the practice of raising chickens, ducks, turkeys, and geese for their meat or eggs for human use. Countless hens and other poultry are raised for human consumption. Every year, humans slaughter more than 60 billion chickens for food. Layers are chickens explicitly bred for laying eggs, while broilers are bred specifically for consumption as meat. This article is all about understanding backyard poultry/chicken farming at home. Let’s check out.

Backyard Poultry/Chicken Farming at Home

The breeding of poultry as a side business is a common and profitable profession for landless and rural families in India. It’s easy to set up and run, doesn’t need much money to start, and may provide considerable financial returns. Moreover, people of all ages and genders can use it successfully, from children to retirees.

In addition, low-income families can benefit significantly from the meat and eggs of these birds because they are relatively inexpensive and provide a substantial amount of protein and energy. Most rural people in India know how to raise animals traditionally, including chickens. However, a few scientific changes to how chickens are cared for can lead to stable income, food security, and good nutrition, all of which are important for a sustainable way of life.

Unfortunately, backyard poultry farming in India has fallen behind and has been disregarded despite the country’s rapid growth in chicken output in recent decades. This farming system needs to keep up with new research on raising chicks, feeding them well, keeping diseases under control, and ensuring eggs and meat get to the right places because it is the most cost-effective way for small-scale farmers to make extra money with little work.

Is Backyard Poultry Farming Profitable?

  • Backyard chicken farming with a free-range system can give you eggs and meat with very little investment. 
  • Backyard chicken farming provides opportunities for rural small farmers and marginal farmers to earn a living. Therefore, it Contributes to the economic growth of rural areas.
  • Organic eggs and meat from chicken are in high demand worldwide, and people are willing to pay more for them. This high demand makes it possible for rural farmers to raise chickens at home, which has a lot of potential for organic chicken production. Also, because protein-rich foods are in high demand, farmers can reach a large number of health-conscious people all over the world and create a steady flow of income.
  • Backyard chicken farming is an eco-friendly practice. Also, they are very good at getting rid of pests and providing manure. Backyard chickens can be an excellent way to make extra money quickly and with less investment. They are simple to maintain and help ensure that eggs and meat are always available, even in remote rural areas.

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white chicken in a garden

How Do I Start a Backyard Chicken Farm?

Acquire the knowledge and abilities necessary to start a successful chicken farm. It’s well known that farming is a tough occupation that requires a practical approach and a dedication to long working hours. If you’re starting in farming, it’s essential to have a solid grasp of the knowledge, abilities, and responsibilities that will be expected of you.

Pick out a breed that suits your needs. We can find different types of species and varieties of poultry. Start with standard chicken breeds if you want to raise chickens for eggs or meat in your home. Free-range housing systems are ideal for raising chickens and other poultry in the backyard and can also be used for raising cows and buffaloes. The same farm can house all of them. Chickens that have been domesticated or hybridized are extremely tough and healthy. Breed selection in chicken farming needs to be driven by market demand.

Fresh, clean, and cool water must always be available. If you don’t give birds water for two days, they will stop laying eggs and start molting. During molting, the bird’s reproductive system gets a complete break from laying eggs. It takes the bird at least ten to fifteen days to replenish its food stores and begin laying eggs again. When it eats food, a bird can drink twice as much water as it weighs.

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Feeding chickens with fresh grass

You can use a simple trough, floor-mounted waterers, or waterers that hang from the ceiling. Backyard poultry products have a lot of potential in India, but they need to find the right market. Set up an effective platform for selling the birds directly to customers, avoiding any middlemen. Promote sales based on net weight as an alternative to flock selling.

What Do You Understand by Backyard Poultry Farming?

In rural and landless areas of India, backyard or homestead chicken farming is a widespread and valuable source of additional income. It requires little initial investment, provides large economic returns, and can be efficiently run by even the youngest and oldest members of society. In addition, the meat and eggs of these birds provide low-cost and nutrient-dense protein and energy for low-income families. Low bird productivity, limited supplement feed, local sales, and minimal health care methods characterize backyard chicken farming.

In this backyard chicken farming, a flock can have five to fifty birds. The birds are raised in a traditional scavenging system that doesn’t use management techniques. In India, most backyard chickens are of the native breed, which tends to lay fewer eggs and produce less meat. About 10-12 percent of India’s egg production comes from Desi chicken species raised in free-range backyard environments.

What are the Disadvantages of Having Chickens?

  • It requires a lot of maintenance. Washing and refilling water tanks, collecting eggs, shaking down feeders, cleaning the worst poop, and cleaning the litter around to prevent rodents from moving in will take about an hour every day.
  • When chickens scratch around in the litter, they build up a lot of fine dust that settles on the walls and other surfaces in the coop and is bad for everyone’s health. It would help if you ran a shop vacuum along the walls every few weeks to remove dust and debris. 
  • When you are not available to watch over your flock, you’ll need to take other measures. Chickens may develop the unpleasant habit of eating their eggs if you leave them in the coop overnight, so you’ll need someone to collect them daily.
  • Chickens and eggs are desirable to humans and a wide variety of predators. You must figure out how to protect your birds from the local predators, considering the specifics of your coop, range, and yard.
  • Chickens are complex social creatures, and even under ideal conditions, you may need to deal with occasional behavior issues like feather picking or bullying.

What is the Best Breed of Chicken for Beginners?


A charming bird with the same colorful plumage as the native species. It feeds primarily on scraps and is easily controlled in a rural setting. Easily adapts to the wide range of challenges typically encountered in rural settings. Good for low-effort feeding management, and it doesn’t require any specific accommodations. Both body weight and egg production growth are twice as high as in local birds, at 3.5 to 5.0 kilograms and 140 to 150 eggs each year, respectively.

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feeding chickens with organic food at the backyard

Swanadhara has been bred to produce between 180 and 200 eggs yearly while maintaining an adult body weight of only 3.0 to 3.5 kg. All the other characteristics, such as color plumage, feeding habits, low-input management, etc., are also consistent with the Giriraja strain. Due to its lighter body, it can quickly and easily escape its predators.


The Vanaraja chicken was created in Hyderabad, India, by the ICAR-Directorate of Poultry Research to serve as both a meat and egg source. Vanaraja is meant for use in rural areas, where it can be raised in the comfort of a person’s backyard using only scavenged and naturally occurring foods. By following standard methods of breeding and feeding, it provides both eggs and meat.

Important characteristics of this breed are its multicolored feathers, resistance to disease, ability to work with less food, ability to grow faster and lay more eggs, and ability to lay brown eggs like local hens. Vanarajas are at their peak productivity when allowed to roam freely throughout their early childhood. At 6–7 months, they weigh 1–1.2 kilos and lay up to 110 eggs. Being overweight may cause a chicken to produce fewer eggs.


The Project Directorate on Poultry in Hyderabad, India, created the Gramapriya chicken breed. When the Gramapriya reaches 175 days of age, it begins to lay eggs. A Gramapriya chicken could produce 200-225 eggs in 72 weeks. The Gramapriya breed was created to facilitate their upbringing in rural backyards. A large majority of Indian farmers view them favorably. Tandoori and grill-style dishes are perfect for using Gramapriya chicken.

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Poultry Egg Management in the backyard farm

What are the Requirements of Poultry Farming?

  • When using the deep-litter method of rearing, each broiler needs one square foot of floor space, while each layer requires two square feet of floor space. Therefore, the number of birds being raised should determine the size of the coop.
  • In tropical regions, open-sided poultry houses should be no more than 22 to 25 feet wide to ensure enough ventilation and aeration in the center section. Sheds broader than this will not provide appropriate ventilation during the hot summer.
  • The eaves height is the distance from the ground to the bottom of the roof. It should be 6–7 feet on the outside walls and 10–12 feet in the middle. The height of cage houses depends on how the cages are set up.

How Much Space Do You Need for 50 Chickens?

  • The amount of room per chicken and the ideal environmental conditions vary depending on the breed of chicken being raised. Because laying hens mature into full-sized chickens, they need access to the outdoor area in order to scavenge and lay eggs without being confined. However, broiler chickens are not kept long enough to produce eggs before they are processed, often around the age of 5-9 weeks.
  • Thus, if you’re growing broiler chicks for meat, you should allot 10 square feet for each bird. However, if you plan on using your chickens for egg production, you should provide at least 15 square feet of area for each hen.
  • For every 50 broiler chickens, you should allocate at least 500 square feet of land. In order to keep 50 laying chickens happy and healthy, you’ll need a minimum of 750 square feet of room.

How Do You Take Care of a Backyard Chicken?

  • Every day, a chicken will drink around a pint of fresh water. They can easily become dehydrated due to their sensitivity to filthy water. Poop, shavings, and straw can all end up in the water throughout the day. Worms can develop in chickens if they eat the poop of other chickens. If there is any slime or debris in the water, you should change it every day.
  • Regular cleanings with dish soap and water should be done, followed by a thorough rinsing before refilling. When necessary, chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach can sterilize the water storage container; nonetheless, complete rinsing is still required.
  • Keep your chickens well-nourished with a large hanging feeder and chicken feed, which can be refilled as needed. Or, you can provide them with a regular amount of food every day.
  • The cleanliness of the eggs can be maximized by collecting them daily. Because of this, fewer eggs will be broken, and others will remain fresh.
  • Spend some time with the flock and study them closely to ensure the chickens’ well-being. Chickens who are active, alert, and have shiny feathers and clear eyes are positive signs.

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patterned rooster and a brown feathered hen

How Long Does a Backyard Chicken Live?

  • The average hen’s lifespan can be anywhere from three to seven years, but that number might vary greatly. On the other hand, their lifespan could be extended much further with the best possible care.
  • A chicken can undoubtedly live between ten and twelve years of age, provided that it is protected from natural predators and has no genetic defects.


Despite increases in price, projected per-capita consumption, and growth rate (both egg and broiler), most consumers still choose eggs and chicken due to the growing working class and greater urbanization. As a result, the poultry industry and backyard poultry farming are expected to play a significant role soon. The veterinary health, poultry feed, financial, and poultry processing sectors need to help the industry grow so that more people can find jobs.

This is because backyard poultry farming and equipment are largely self-sufficient in our country. In addition to providing eggs and meat, raising chickens at home may be a satisfying hobby. It’s a great way to get the whole family involved while learning valuable lessons about caring for living things and taking on responsibility. A chicken flock at home can also be a great way to get high-quality poultry products for a low price.


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