Backyard hobby farms on a rise in popularity

KENNEWICK, WA - Since the pandemic started, there has been a popular backyard activity growing in the Tri-Cities: hobby farms.

A hobby farm can mean different things to different people. But the basic idea is that people wanted to bring rural life into city life. In the Tri-Cities, many people are turning to keeping chicken in their backyard.

The first thing you have to consider before getting chickens is to see if you are even allowed to keep chickens in your neighborhood.

"Because in different spots in different cities, the rules are different. So, we just tell people to contact the city that you live, ask to be directed to someone who can help you. I know there is limits and I know there are also regulations within those limits in certain areas of the city," Josh Sidwell with Basin Feed and Supply of Kennewick said.

Before you start raising chickens, Sidwell encourages you to think about it.

"Is this an endeavor you want to take on? Because they are live animals. So, thinking down the road, given in the city that I live in, Once I got a full-grown chicken, and it makes noise, and it produces waste and cost money to feed on a daily basis. Is this something I want to get into that we can sustain? Something we want to do down the road," Sidwell said.

He said it is not expensive to start out.

"The chicks are relatively pretty cheap, you can get a chick anywhere from 2 to 5 bucks a chick, depending on the chick. The initial investment when they are babies is relatively cheap," Sidwell said.

He said it cost about $15 for a bag of feed, given the amount of chicks that you have will depend on how long that will last.

It also cost $5 to $10 for feeders and water and $7 for a heat lamp or heating pad. The chickens will also need some type of in closure.

"Something to keep them away from predators whether they be domestic or wild, you know, house cats, dogs and then, outside wild animals as well," Sidwell said.

Once you get past the cost, Josh said "It is easy. It is fun. The whole family can enjoy," Sidwell said.

For more information on Hobby Farms, contact your local feed store. You can contact Josh and his staff at Basin Feed & Supply at 9200 W Clearwater Ave in Kennewick.