Inexpensive. Visit Sundaze Farm to meet our Nigerian Dwarf and LaMancha dairy goats, These goobers are super helpful cleaning up fallen. That is the biggest problem I see with most of the backyard chicken ordinances; they treat the chickens as pets. In this case, you mightÂ make the decision to cull the bird and use it for a stew hen. At dusk, you’ll want to lock up your flock safely from predators, collect eggs, and refresh their water. Chickens are relativelyÂ easy keepers, especially if you have a small flock. For all you people singing the praises of backyard chickens, let me give you a perspective of someone who hates my neighbor’s chickens! It’s easy to see why keeping backyard chickens is becoming more popular, and here are our top reasons why you should start your own backyard chicken flock: Fresh Eggs . They can also get egg bound (have a stuck egg) or just up and die, like our friend’s chicken, Mr. Fluffy Pants did. With growing interest in keeping backyard chickens, there are plenty of advocates to extol the benefits of having a home flock.No one really mentions the negatives of keeping chickens, yet there are many challenges. OK, let’s get the obvious one out of the way. And if you’re lucky enough to have a 200-year-old house with bright red clapboard siding, you better believe chickens will enjoy the heck out of pecking and chipping away at the wood boards along the bottom of the house, and making a giant mess out of that too! So what’s so great about keeping chickens out back? Chicken manure is considered aÂ hot manure, which means it has to be composted before you can put it on plants. Â You’ll need to take measures to keep them out! But they really aren’t anything new; people have been keeping chickens in their backyards for as long as we’ve had backyards. Notice how how the garden barrier is next to my daughter – because the hens kept getting in there (yes their wings were clipped). Chickens need at least 14-15 hours of light a day. Five Reasons to Not Keep Backyard Hens: 1. They can attracts pests – flies, rodents & roaches. Covered in chicken poop. After all, there’s a certain appeal to a pet that provides breakfast daily. But while keeping chickens may seem quaint, it’s a bit more complicated than you might think. I am aÂ web developerÂ and homesteader. Snakes and possums are also predators you might find in your coop, but they much prefer eggs or very small chicks more so than full grown chickens. An Internet search for information on the cons of raising backyard chickens doesn't yield much useful information. That lovely flower garden? They aren’t always legal – so you could get turned in by your neighbors and lose your flock. It is generally difficult for a true “backyard” homesteader to have the room to raise meat birds; at least in my experience. Poop–as inÂ manure. Backyard chickens are to blame for yet another outbreak of salmonella. As I mentioned, chickens aren’t hard to care for, but some people are hesitant to help out simply because they are a foreign critter for most people who are more accustomed to cats or dogs as pets. Vulnerable creatures: Chickens can easily be killed by predators. Your email address will not be published. Also even if you do free-range your birds they'll need a good layer feed. Why We No Longer Keep Backyard Chickens 1. They need to be cleaned up after and often. Depending on the size of your coop and the number of chickens you keep, usually weekly or bi-weekly cleanings will keep everything under control. This may mean using electric poultry netting or an enclosed run instead of free ranging, and you have to accept that you may lose a few chickens, despite your best efforts. March 16, 2016 by Tiffany Davis 2 Comments. But if you need a little convincing, here are 10 reasons to keep backyard chickens (townies included!) Compost Material – chicken manure is a great addition to your compost piles. )Â Chickens are somewhat messy, but not terrible. Depending on the size of your yard and your interest in composting and gardening, this may be a good thing or an annoyance. Hawks, raccoons, cats or a giant slug can freak out chickens. my porch several times a day when they are free ranging. Filed Under: Backyard Homestead, Backyard Livestock, Chickens. I clean poop off. They’ll teach your kids a whole new level of responsibility. Keep in mind that chickens don’t start laying till at least 18 weeks of age (and 20 to 24 weeks isn’t uncommon), so you’ll need to be patient. 1. This means ideally, you’ll need a small area in your yard for a compost pile. They’ll be happy to scratch and peck out your compost pile – very beneficial for breaking it down. When I first talked about getting chickens, the immediate reaction I got from people was, “You don’t want chickens. This is Dizzy the Guinea. Roosters. The mall... 2. Chickens are one of the lowest things on the food chain, and everyone enjoys a good chicken dinner. I don’t think an acre is a backyard. There really is no such thing as a free lunch. Chickens can get lice and mites, not to mention intestinal worms and other icky parasites. Below are a selection of books I've found extremely helpful on our homesteading journey. Infection may occur when you're handling live poultry, too, when you are cleaning out your coop area," said Davison, who gets calls everyday from backyard bird … Plan on doing a deeper-cleaning of the coop about weekly, depending on how many birds you have and the size of your coop. Our little flock isn’t much extra bother to care for, and I enjoy the fresh eggs and the entertainment of seeing them wander around the farm. If you’re a traveller, best to ask friends or neighbors about chicken-sittingÂ before you commit to getting a flock. You Will Be An Egg Snob. As with any other animal, however, chickens require a lot of work and loving attention—definitely more than your common dog or house cat. There are food snobs, wine snobs, shoe snobs, but those of us who keep chickens are in a... 3. Required fields are marked *. They need fresh food and water daily and for you to keep a close eye on their health. I am absolutely smitten. Secret Backyard Chickens – How to Keep a Stealth Coop, www.cafemedia.com/publisher-advertising-privacy-policy. Whether you have a small or large backyard flock your egg-laying hens are on fire after winter ends. There’s about a 5 percent chance that your hen will turn out to be a rooster. Of course, the eggs! But I do, wholeheartedly, believe in raising chickens for meat if you have the space. Your Kids Will Never, Ever Leave Your House. Here's a newsflash, poor people all over the world keep chickens, and apart from a few dollars (note, not hundreds, or thousands) for chicken feed (there's a reason 'chicken feed' is slang for cheap, by the way), it costs virtually nothing. If you’ve been thinking about getting chicks this year, here are 5 reasons why you should raise backyard chickens. Not only will they get rid of flies, ticks, spiders, centipedes, and grasshoppers, but I have seen my chickens eat small snakes on occasion. Chickens … They are garden gangsters – they get in where they aren’t supposed to and can eat / ruin your garden. I'm a firm believer that while blogs and YouTube are amazing resources, having hard-copy books on hand is invaluable. In fact, those who own backyard chickens tend to become fairly attached, building a positive partnership. One question that came up was asking about the pros and cons of keeping backyard chickens. New posts will not be retrieved. But a ballot measure in November put the question to rest — by a narrow margin. Help Preserve Genetic Diversity. Somehow we got away from that after the 2nd world war, but they are making a come back! You’ll fully understand where the phrase “Quit acting like a big chicken” came from! Your email address will not be published. Getting in touch with where your food comes from. Backyard Chickens and Bird Flu: How to Spot It and Why It Matters Posted by The Happy Chicken Coop on December 30, 2019 Posted In: Features In December 2014 it was confirmed that bird flu (also known as Avian Influenza or HPAI H5) … If you want to go onÂ vacation, you may struggle to find someone toÂ babysit your chickens. People need to be able to separate livestock from pets. But you should go into chicken raising with ALL the facts. Ginger working one of my empty raised beds. You won’t be able to just go out of town; and finding a chicken-sitter can be challenging. Everyone is going to have differing opinions on this, but I thought I’d share my thoughts. Fresh, Organic Eggs. There are a … Going to make la, This error message is only visible to WordPress admins, Trying out some hydroponics for a little home scie, Todayâs project: Sourdough Crackers using discar, Phoebeâs little girl is an absolute heartbreaker, Getting Started with Chickens: Picking Your Chicks, Meat Chicks Moved to the Great Outdoors (a 3.5-Week Update). (I recommend 3 to 6 for beginners.) They can attracts pests – flies, rodents & roaches. Chickens might be egg machines, but they are poop tornadoes. In the morning you’ll let them out of their coop, give them fresh water, feed them, and collect any eggs that might have been laid early in the morning. I almost forgot about this one because I don’t eat eggs currently … Most of us backyard farmers don’t have the space to keep hens they aren’t laying regularly; that means you’ll need to butcher them or give them to someone who will. The not-so fun part of cleaning the coop is, well, what toÂ DO with all that poop? By day she's a web developer specializing in WordPress and in her off time she enjoys working with goats and other livestock on the farm, canning, knitting, and crocheting. The fact is that these birds are irreparably harmed by the selective breeding that has forced them to lay an unnatural and unhealthy number of eggs — between 250 to 300 a year — resulting in a host of painful and life-threatening reproductive diseases and premature death. Chickens pecking at the feathers of other hens in their flock can lead to serious health problems if the habit isn’t stopped. Although, with the right know-how and a can-do attitude, one can raise and utilize backyard chickens quite successfully. Fun – chickens are fun. Free range chickens poop….everywhere. If you’re fortunate to live somewhere that you can allow your hens to free range, it is well worth the time to sit in a lawn chair and enjoy the free “Chicken TV” drama that goes on as they wander about the yard hunting bugs and interacting with each other. Most dogs, even very good natured ones, will enjoy chasing chickens for fun. … in fact, it’s pretty likely that theyÂ won’t get along, honestly. (Now duck manure–THAT is horrid! Lawn furniture? Another quick tip: best to stick with strictly hens if you’re going to be asking strangers to tend to your chickens frequently while you are away. Same with your vegetable garden. Some of the exceptions for what not to feed your chickens are obvious. Most people keep chickens for … Your neighborhood birds will LOVE your yard – free food and water….aka more poop. Your patio or deck? While it’s easier to find someone willing to feed and water hens, when an ornery rooster is involved, much fewer people will volunteer! This is stressful for the birds, and often times one playful bite or pounce from a larger dog will injure them to the point that they can’t recover. Keeping backyard poultry (chickens, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, and turkeys) is becoming more popular. One of the worst parts about chicken keeping is that after about 2 to 3 years of age, a chicken’s egg production will drop dramatically. Fresh eggs! The huge factory farms that produce eggs only use special hybrid … Backyard chickens have always been a popular subject here on TreeHugge. Chickens can live 8-12 years, so that means a lot of years that you’ll be putting expensive chicken feed into an … While this is the obvious reason, there is more to it than you might think. Day to day care – chickens, like any animal require work. Backyard chickens have really become a popular pet for the 21st century. Fresh Eggs. My beautiful Luna-Belle posed for some glamour sho, Thawing 15 pounds of ground beef. They are not dogs and will poop places you’d really rather they didn’t. Fresh Eggs. Need I say more? Many people keep chickens to have fresh eggs. Why is it important to stop: The sight of blood can cause other chickens to peck at the wound and make it worse. Bug Eaters – backyard chickens can keep your bug population down. The ‘Ewww’ Factor. One of the biggest appeals of raising and tending backyard chickens is the fresh eggs right outside your door. 7 Reasons Why You Should Not Get Chickens Chickens Can Be Expensive. But it is well worth the wait! After the initial startup costs, it is relatively inexpensive to keep chickens. Though the quality is already great, you can boost the appearance of egg yolk by including the right amount of brown seaweed in their feed. Eggs of all colors – there are so many colors besides white and brown eggs like pinks, olives and blues. They don’t lay forever – so you’ll have to make a choice when your layers aren’t laying. Log in as an administrator and view the Instagram Feed settings page for more details. Amanda lives with her family on a little red farmstead in northwestern Pennsylvania. Chickens can live 8-12 years, so that means a lot of years that you’ll be putting expensive chicken feed into an animal that may only lay a handful of eggs per month. The most obvious reason to raise chickens is for the free, fresh, and convenient eggs. Remember all those play-dates you once attended? Ultimately, you have to do your best to provide a secure environment for your hens, including a predator-proof coop. If you are able to allow your chickens time out in your backyard every single day, then you will notice a huge decrease in the number of pests that you have. One of the worst parts about chicken keeping is that after about 2 to 3 years of age, a chicken’sÂ egg production will drop dramatically. An increasing number of people are crying “fowl” when it comes to supermarket eggs and embracing the trend of keeping live chickens in their backyard. But are backyard chickens right for you? But even backyard chickens have an environmental footprint. Until the middle of the 20th century, keeping a few chickens was common. They are noisy and worst of all, they draw in predators that your neighbors will have to deal with. But I think the term backyard has been widely overused. Chickens are also extremelyÂ entertaining. So while theÂ idea of free range chickens is a lovely and romantic notion, if you’re someone who doesn’t want your yard messy or potentially damaged, you might want to think about an enclosed run or a mobile chicken tractor instead of letting your poultry wander. People enjoy raising baby poultry including chicks, ducklings, goslings, and poults. Garden helpers – after you harvest your garden, let your chickens in there to dig out bugs, weeds, slugs, etc. Letting the behaviour continue often means it will get worse, and the chicken can be severely injured Yup–you guessed it–POOP! I recently shared a post on the @littleredfarmstead Instagram feed and asked my followers what they’d like to read about here on the blog. Since everyone kept them, everyone knew about them: what they ate, when to expect eggs, what made them sick. Â Their coops, yards, roosts and nests need regular cleaning for your chicken’s health and to avoid the above pests. Keeping chickens has been on and off illegal in International Falls for the past 40 years. Access to the freshest eggs Eggs have gotten a bad rep based on cholesterol-related research conducted in the past few decades. Keeping chickens is a big responsibility and does not fit every lifestyle. My family and I live on a little red farmstead in northwestern Pennsylvania where weÂ raise dairy goatsÂ and poultry. And those wild birds carry diseases that can hurt your birds (like lice). Chickens may not take as much time as other pets but one thing they do require is a safe home and being locked up tight in the evenings. Scratch and Peck Feeds - Naturally Free Organic Layer Feed for Chickens and Ducks But this can be avoided with secure foodÂ like. While alcohol and caffeine are coping substances for many people, chickens don’t need an extra boost of caffeine to get going in the morning and don’t need a toddy to relax before bed. You Have to Gather Eggs Daily. I enjoy just sitting on my chair outside and watching them scratching and pecking. Stray or indoor/outdoor cats can also attack chickens, particularly bantam or young birds. Check out Secret Backyard Chickens – How to Keep a Stealth Coop. What Not to Feed Your Chickens: General Guidelines. So, I give you chicken keeping: the good, the bad, and the ugly: Number one–obviously–isÂ fresh eggs direct from your back yard! You won’t find all those colors at your big box grocery store! I don’t want to talk you out of getting your own small backyard flock, because I love having mine. This is our fave chicken feed. Sure you’ll see the pictures of sweet little hens, with fluffy butts, enjoying an afternoon on green grass…easy to want that picturesque scene in your own yard. It … Chickens aren’t silent, even the hens make noise during egg laying. It's the 10th time since 2011 the CDC has identified an outbreak due to live poultry. Brown seaweeds are particularly effective at amplifying the golden hue of chicken eggs. They are dirty, smelly, and the manure is a nightmare to deal with.” I think this is a huge exaggeration. This is may be a "duh" point for you, but it's a reality that you need … 1. Especially … You may have been frightened by a protective hen or an aggressive rooster, or you may recall the surprise of finding eggs. So there you have it, backyard chickens, the good, the bad and the ugly. Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment. Pooped on. The park? You’ll need maybe 15 to 20 minutes each morning and evening to care for your hens. This includes coyotes, foxes, raccoons, bobcats, skunks, weasels, hawks, owls, and even domestic dogs that might be roaming the neighborhood. Food Hi, I’mÂ Amanda. More nutritious eggs – chickens that eat bugs, greens and live a healthy humane life produce healthier eggs for us. But this can be avoided with secure food like Grandpa’s Feeders & regular cleanings. I recommend you read all you can, talk to experienced backyard chicken folk and then decide if your family is ready to raise them. Backyard chickens, the good, the bad and the ugly. With the rise in the price of eggs, this reason alone could be enough to convince many people that backyard chickens are the perfect pet. Backyard chickens are good for everyone and everything involved: your family, your land, the chickens, and the health of your spirit and your body. The most stressful part of having chickens is staying on top ofÂ predator issues. (In fact, domestic dogs are one of the main predators you’ll deal with, even though they often just want to “play” with the chickens.) For others, backyard chickens are livestock, and as such, they have to be productive to be useful, otherwise they become a liability. Scratched up. If you have some extra space, here’s why you should invite some chickens into your backyard. I debated on whether to put this in the “good” or “ugly” category, but ultimately settled on somewhere in the middle because I think its accurate to call it both good AND bad. Kids’ sandbox or play house? 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