SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - Ever thought of raising chickens in your backyard? Mary Beth Henry, Extension Agent and Co-Leader for the University of Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Program, tells us how raising chickens can be an enjoyable project for both kids and adults. Around the state various ordinances have been passed which may affect some viewers ability to legally raise chickens in their backyard. Viewers can check for ordinances at municode.com. Often roosters are not allowed. Different breeds of chickens produce different colored eggs. Egg nutrition is based on what a hen is fed not on the color of the egg shell. Table scraps and foraging should be considered a treat for the bird rather than the main diet. Research shows foraging for insects can only provide a small percentage of the birds protein needs. High salt foods and other unsuitable "treats" can be harmful for chickens. The bird uses energy which creates heat when digesting food so indigestible food can encourage overheating. Access to water and maintaining clean conditions are the most important factors for being a good chicken parent. Be sure to wash your hands after handling chickens. The Centers for Disease Control have reported increased illness due to improper handling of backyard chickens- specifically people bringing their chickens in the house and not washing hands after handling them or their equipment.