66ºF

More people putting all their eggs in one basket by trying out backyard chicken farming

It takes hens up to six months to begin laying eggs

San Antonio – What came first -- the chicken or the egg?

Across San Antonio, chicks are becoming a hot commodity as more people scramble to try their hand at growing their own chickens for those eggs.

Locke Hill Feed, Pet, & Lawn Supply on the North Side is selling out of every egg shipment it gets almost daily.

Josh Escamilla, assistant manager of the feed and supply store, said a lot of those people buying are novel growers who are brooding over the egg scarcity in stores.

“Just last week, we ordered 100 to 125. That same day, we sold out,” he said.

Chicks sold at only days old will begin laying eggs at around 6 months.

Kevin Rosenthal already owns several chickens and a rooster. He was buying more chicks because eggs are so hard to find at stores.

“These will be producing in September. It take a little while, but once they start producing, it’s pretty maintenance-free. You keep them clean you, feed them, you water them,” he said.

Rosenthal’s chicks are still producing eggs, but he has a plan if food gets harder to come by.

“I haven’t eaten any of the chickens,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t want to, but if I have to.”

Escamilla said he tells people what they will need before they leave the store if they are new to the process. He said it’s like having a pet. You must clean up after it, feed it and keep it healthy. Hens can live up to seven years or more.

“Between two to three years, they start laying more eggs. After that, they start declining a bit,” he said.

Escamilla asks novices to find support on social media groups dedicated to growing chickens. If hen life isn’t for you, he said there are plenty of chicken owners who can help re-home your chicken.

In San Antonio city limits, residents can have up to eight fowl. For those who have more than 8 the coop has to be at least 50 feet from the nearest dwelling. Contact Animal Care Services for questions about permits.

Click here to learn more of the city’s rules.


About the Authors: