If you ever have the chance to chat about your flock with non-chicken keepers, you will quickly discover that some folks have some preconceived notions about chickens in general. Some people are not aware of the benefits of keeping backyard chickens; including eggs, composters, pest control and their companionship. Today, I am helping to bust some of these misconceptions. I admit that I myself had bought into some of these ideas years ago until keeping chickens taught me a lesson or two.
|Deep in an egg laying trance|
Chickens are dirty animals.
Any kept, neglected animals, whether they are livestock or domestic animals can and will lead to filth when not receiving proper care. Flies, disease, and odors quickly arise from lack of care. A small flock of chickens is easy to maintain. Schedule time for cleaning and maintenance. Provide areas for dust baths and roosts for sleeping at night. Sometimes, like all animals, they need a little help. You can bathe chickens when necessary if they cannot keep up with their own hygiene needs. Their level of cleanliness is largely based upon your efforts. Finally, do not overcrowd your coop and run with too many chickens for your given space.
Chickens attract predators and rodents.
Most predators are either hunters or scavengers. Even at night in large cities, predators arrive under the cover of darkness. They are seeking food and water sources. Those sources can be your chickens, eggs, left over chicken feed, and water that remains in the run. Predators and rodents are smart. Once they realize that food and water sources do not exist around your coop and run, they move on. So keep your flock locked up, use predator proofing techniques when building your coop/run and keep things tidy. Keep all food/scratch locked in metal containers.
Designate a pair of shoes or muck boots specifically for your chicken coop. Do not wear them inside of your house and do not wear them to visit other peoples’ flocks.
We have a small flock of chickens. Is it safe to keep them?
Yes. In the United States there is no need at present to remove a flock of chickens because of concerns regarding avian influenza. The U.S. Department of Agriculture monitors potential infection of poultry and poultry products by avian influenza viruses and other infectious disease agents.
On a side note, you should know that the CDC (Center for Disease Control), part of the US. government, considers backyard chickens as pets!
|This roo was found abandoned and taken in by a local farm.|
Chickens are too loud for my neighborhood.
My property value will decrease with chickens.
All photos © Melissa Caughey-Tilly’s Nest