(Ames, IA) -- Iowa State University Extension reports an increase in calls from Iowans considering establishing chicken flocks, due to egg prices, which have risen 60-percent in the past year. Christa Hartsook of ISU Extension says it can be a rewarding enterprise but does consider careful planning. She now is a good time to do the planning and order chicks. She says if all goes well, eggs will start arriving this fall.
She says check your local ordinances first, many cities have regulations allowing backyard chickens, but others do not. Anyone on an acreage farm can establish a flock.
Hartsook says chicks can be ordered and picked up at one of Iowa's hatcheries, otherwise the U-S Postal Service will deliver chicks. She recommends Iowans consider winter-hearty breeds, that lay brown eggs. When they arrive, chicks must be kept a a very warm temperature under heat lamp.
ISU has a free, online backyard chicken course available at https://store.extension.iastate.edu/product/15129