Tips for new chicken owners this spring

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Spring brings warmer weather, flowers and cleaning to the Grand Valley, and this time of year is also popular for picking up chicks.

Amy Lane has been raised chickens for the past 15 years and says there's many advantages to having birds in your backyard, including harvesting eggs or meat.

"I think I would start with breeds that are really good egg-layers," Lane said. "Doing egg-layers first so you can get used to chickens, and then you can start buying meat birds."

But the payoff doesn't come without some work and taking care of them starts with a proper facility.

"Locking them up at night, definitely having a nice chicken coop that works for keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. One that's well ventilated, one that's big enough to handle all your chickens."

In addition to the coop, keeping the fowl free of disease is priority, and that includes regular maintenance and care.

"You want to always keep your coop as clean as possible, so you want to clean it out once a month. It keeps the bugs and mites away."

If you're in Grand Junction city limits, you can own up to six chickens, but roosters are not permitted. You might also want to check with neighbors before making your decision.