So you want to raise chickens. We get it. Eggs are expensive, and sometimes you can’t even find them available to buy. Getting chicks is all the rage right now. You see people talking about it all over social media. And trying to get chicks right now is challenging, to say the least. But getting chicks and raising chickens is something that you should research and really think about. Having your own chickens can be very rewarding, but you will not save money on eggs by raising chickens. There are several things to consider.

Chicken Laws

Before you do anything, check the laws. In the city of Portland, you can have 4 chickens. Check out Portland’s laws here. The city of Beaverton also allows you to keep 4 chickens. Here are there laws around urban chickens. Unincorporated Washington County does not regulate the number of chickens you can have and doesn’t regulate having roosters. You can learn more specifics here. However, if you live in another area or are in these areas but are part of an HOA, then you need to know what you can specifically have at your house. 

Where to Get Your Chicks

Oregon is home to one of the oldest hatcheries in the United States, Jenks Hatchery. Jenks does a lot of chicks by mail. However, if you are local, you can pick up your chicks in Tangent, Oregon. To check out their chicks and to find out more information, check out their website here

Another great place to get chicks are from feed stores or local breeders. A few feed stores in the area are Foster Feed and Garden Store (Portland), Old Farmhouse (Estacada), and Aloha Feed and Garden Store (Aloha).

Farm stores also sell chicks. Wilco Farm Stores have several locations, and if you look here, you can learn about the different breeds and see what the best breed(s) for your family would be. Coastal is also a farm store in the area. Both of these stores have a lot of resources dedicated to ensuring you are equipped to be successful. Want to learn more about raising chicks? Check out sources here and here

Chicken Care

However, chickens are relatively low-maintenance pets that provide you with eggs. Chickens are very entertaining. 

Chicks must be in a brooder until at least 6 weeks old. A brooder is a large container that you heat for the chicks. 

Before the chickens get of age to transition outside, you will need to secure a coop for your yard. You can make something or buy something. The general rule is that proper housing is at least 3 square feet per hen.

As chicks, they need a diet of their medicated feed initially. However, as the girls get older, they can also eat your food scraps along with their regular diet. Here is a list of what chickens can eat.

Vector Control

A lot of times, having chickens mean that you are dealing with pests. 

According to the City of Portland website: Feeding and watering practices must not attract vectors. Vectors, such as rats, climb easily and will be attracted to the presence of feed.

  • Animal feed, including chicken feed and any supplement used to support animal health, must be stored in a sealed container that is not penetrable by rodents or other animals.
  • Feeding should be scheduled so that food is available for no more than 30 minutes at any time. Excess food should be removed to prevent rodents or other animal attractions.
  • One-quarter-inch hardware cloth should be affixed to the bottom and surrounding sides of the coop where there are no other solid materials providing structure.
  • All door gaps should be no larger than one-quarter inch.
  • Check to see if other food isn’t attracting rodents, such as bird food and feeders, pet food, pet waste, backyard compost that has not been rodent-proofed, and fallen fruit from trees or unharvested produce from gardens.
  • Rats are diggers. Provide underground barriers (1-foot minimum) around coops and areas where feed and waste are found.

One of the best things we have done for our coop was to invest in a Grandpa’s Feeder. These feeders help keep unwanted pests out of your chicken’s food. And we use a waterer with water nipples (read more about it here); it makes it so you don’t have water available for everything to enjoy, and it keeps the water cleaner. 


Having chickens means you are on coop cleaning duty. The great thing is that chickens provide fertilizer. Chicken poop mixed with your coop’s bedding is a great combo. You do have to let it sit or age so the nitrogen levels don’t burn your garden. Find out more here

There is so much to learn about chickens. If you have questions or issues with your chicks (or want to do more research), Backyard Chickens is a wonderful community with a wealth of information.,

Do you or anyone you know have chickens? Are you going to be on trend and get chickens this year?