Backyard Chickens

Anyone who has been to the Philippines knows that chickens are way of life over here.  There’s hardly a yard that doesn’t have at least 1 cock tied up to a tree, but it’s so infrequent to see hens.  Obviously they must exist otherwise there wouldn’t be any cocks.  Honestly the cocks are kept as fighting cocks and the owners lavish much attention on them.  I’m not here to speak out the pros or cons of cock fighting or Sabong Pinoy my interest in the matter lies in keeping chickens for a steady supply of eggs.  Am I the only one who has noticed prices climbing at an alarming rate over here?  A tray of 18 eggs at the Palengke will run you P158, up from around P100 a year ago.  Also the eggs are “broiler” eggs of suspect quality.  Chicken farms in the Philippines are no less prone to “factory farming” poultry, that is raising them in cramped, unsanitary conditions and pumping them full of hormones and antibiotics.  Seems you can’t go anywhere in the world not and not eat food that isn’t poison.

So what to do about it?  Well my father in law was keeping chickens at their home so he let my wife borrow a hen while I was in Alaska and she laid 4 eggs.  They hatched into 2 boys and 2 girls and we feed them as naturally as possible and let them peck around the yard.  Now these chickens are not the broilers we’re familiar with in the states, it’s what they call “native chicken” over here which is actually a breed of Old English Game Hen.  They’re smaller, typically getting to no more than 2 kilos in weight and the hens lay a small to medium sized brown egg.  They are excellent foragers and love scratching around the yard looking for bugs and weeds.  They also love pecking at the kalamunggay tree and I cut a few branches down for them every few days.

So what are the benefits of keeping your own chickens?  First and foremost free eggs, well not free because you’re feeding the chickens but at least you know what the birds are being fed.  The eggs produced are of a superior quality to even the “Certified Organic” ones you find in the states.  The yolks are darker orange-yellow attesting to a higher beta-carotene content and free range eggs are higher in vitamin A and B.  Of course the taste is without compare as well.  After tasting a free range native chicken egg the ones you buy in the store will be tasteless compared to the rich flavor of your own eggs.

I’m thouroughly enjoying taking care of the chickens and hope to get some more later this year.  One note of caution though, if you live in a gated and guarded subdiv check the community association rules because there may be a prohibition on “noisy pets”.  However this usually applies to  roosters, as the hens are generally very quiet unless startled or laying an egg.

Post Author: LouisT (19 Posts)

Louis is a full time Philippine resident who works part of the year in Alaska! Sort of an American OFW, so he has a unique perspective to share with us! Louis has been an on and off LiP writer since the early days of the site!

Live in the Philippines Consulting


  1. Neal in RI says

    With the price you quote for eggs, I am suprised everyone there doesn’t have a few chix running around the yard as they are pretty easy to care for.
    I tried to raise 1/2 dozen chix here in RI and my NOSY neighbors turned me in to the Town. I do not live in a Gated area but the Town said I did not have zoning for Farm Animals. See what you are missing here in the good old USA.

    • brspiritus says

      Oh I know. Alot of people are trying to get city ordinances changed in the us to allow for keeping of chickens.

  2. Jack says

    Hi Louis,

    I saw lots of the hens and chickens in Tagbubunga, Leyte. There is a nice little bamboo structure sitting area outside of Juramie parents house with an upper area covered with pilewood. The chickens get to this upper area and lay their eggs. I am amazed at the efficient structure. I had a nice nap there one afternoon before a couple of chickens decided to lay eggs there at the same time.

  3. chasdv says

    Hi Louis,
    Wow,them eggs are expensive.
    Back in October last year we were paying only P90 a tray or P5 each at the local grocery store in Bukidnon.

    regards Chas.

    • brspiritus says

      Unfortunately the Philippines like I suppose the rest of the world is fighting with inflation. Costs are definately on the rise. However in Bukidnon I imagine you’re closer to the production area so it would be a bit cheaper.

      • chasdv says

        Hi Louis,
        Yeah we had a round of food price increases here in the UK last year,some products up around 25%,but nothing i know of increasing 50%.Although most prices have fallen back now,and will probably go a little lower,now a new round of Supermarket wars have recently started.With consumer spending down its hardly surprising.

        Your egg prices there are roughly the same as here for caged birds,with free range @ 50% higher.
        It seems ludicrous that the egg prices are parallel when you consider the earnings differential between the two countries.

        regards Chas.

  4. Jay McDowall says

    Wow that is about what we pay for eggs in Hawaii, which is about 3 dollars for 18 at costco. It is probably cheaper in the Mainland. We though about having egg hens, but figured out that it cost to much to feed such hens. Also we have too much feral chickens around us, so having them run around the yard is not an option either.

  5. Edward Gary Wigle says

    Hi Louis – I have raised chickens on and off since I was a little kid. Ducks are more fun. Here in Michigan you can have chickens in town but they limit you to 2 at the most and only hens. Two hens can put out a lot of eggs in one year. Your egg price is higher than here. I don’t understand what you are saying about hormones in chickens here in the US. That has been against the law for at least 50 years. No need really. It is all done by DNA. The antibiotics are used only on chicks for only the very first few weeks. It is gone by the time they start laying eggs. If you saw what free range chickens ate you would not be so happy with the eggs. They do eat every and any thing. I have never seen a “organic” egg in the stores. You could never free range organic egg layer. I must admit the home grown eggs sure taste and cook up nice. The extra rooster tastes better than any store bought chicken by far.


    BTW – Have you ever worked the crab boats?? Lots of money but well earned, if you live.

    • brspiritus says

      Growing up in maryland I had opportunites to see the Perdue factory farms on the Eastern Shore. Don’t kid yourself that “broiler” chickens are not given antibiotics and hormones to make them lay more and/or grow faster. I’ll take a free range chicken any day of the week and yes I know what they eat, it creeps me out less than what can be in commercial feed. That being said we do give our chickens laying mash mixed with brown rice or oatmeal 2x a day and I keep them on long leashes so they cam scratch around the yard for bugs and weeds. They are especially fond of Malunggay leaves which is a great thing for them to eat. As for the crab boats, I don’t care what they make, my sense of adventure falls short on that kind of life threatening job.

  6. Firechef says

    I have been trying to find a supplier of Rhode Island Reds in the Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, Philippines area. Anyone have any suggestions please e-mail me, thank you.

  7. Sam Jesso says

    Hi My name is Sam looking for some large hens,Roosters Large brown egg layers mix breeds or hatching Eggs to send to Lianga Phillippines 45 minutes from Butuan City.

  8. ScottF says

    It seems that every topic I think about for the Philippines has already been discussed on this site, or on PhilFAQ. I guess great minds think alike! Or at least, I like to think I have a great mind. At any rate, I have been thinking of various ways to not only offset my costs living in the Philippines, but to also have something to do and provide a healthier source of food for my family. Chickens, and their eggs, is something I would LOVE to have. At this point in the investigative game, I am not looking at getting into any kind of business, I just want to ensure I have a source of chicken meat(as it’s my favorite source of protein) and eggs for breakfast or other meal ingredients. So, where do I go from here? My knowledge if chickens is U.S. based, specifically in the NorthEast area of the United States. Cold weather. Chickens here would die in the Philippines, as I may do without an occasional trip to the room with Aircon. I’m obviously going to be looking for two kinds of birds. One known for laying eggs, and one known for tasting good. I would also prefer the meat chicken to be larger than the size of a pigeon. While the small chickens I ate while in the Philippines were by far THE BEST tasting chickens I’ve ever eaten, I think a family would need 2(two) for a dinner. So, is there a chicken known for growing quicker in the Philippines than another? And which chickens lay the most eggs?

    I’ll investigate more on the internet, but since there seems to be a writer on LiP that knows a little about everything, I’ll hit the libray of the Philippines(LiP) first!!

    BTW – I see this is an old post, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t helpful!


    • leon brock says

      Scott, they have what is called a “45 day” chicken here in the Philippines. They are huge! They really look like a turkey. I have a rooster that weighs about 3-4 kilos (6-8 lbs) and he is only about 4 1/2 months old. I am having to build a bigger cage as I put him up at night.

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