Buying chicks might not be wise

Take caution before considering starting your own flock during the pandemic.

Experts caution that getting chicks in order to supply yourself with eggs is no simple task. (Pixabay photo)

It might seem like a good idea during the caronavirus pandemic to buy chicks to ensure that you and your family have a secure source of eggs. But the reality might fall short of those expectations, a Purdue University agricultural scientist said.

"If you're thinking of buying chicks, do your work ahead of time," Marisa Erasmus, an assistant professor of animal sciences said in a written statement.

Published reports indicate the pandemic has led to greater public interest in buying chicks that eventually will produce eggs, she said.

Even before the pandemic, there were many anecdotal reports that Americans in general, including ones in urban areas, are increasingly interested in raising chickens at home.

Here are some suggestions from Erasmus of things to consider before buying chicks:


  • Chicks take five to six months to mature before they begin to produce eggs.
  • Chickens raised outside need shelter from the elements, roughly 2 feet of shelter per bird.
  • Also necessary are perches for chicken and fences to keep out wild animals.
  • The birds eventually will become or injured. Their owners will need to have a plan in place to recognize signs of disease or deterioration and to deal with the problem.
  • Some cities and counties have ordinances dealing with raising chickens, and understanding and complying with them is essential.

Raising vegetables at home — which also could increase self-sufficiency — might be an alternative for people who lack the resources to have chickens, Erasmus said.

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