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The Pros and Cons Of Keeping Backyard Chickens

By Tom Seest

Are Backyard Chickens a Messy Affair?

At BackyardChickenNews, we help people who want to raise backyard chickens by collating information and news blended with our own personal experiences.

Backyard chickens aren’t the messiest animals in the world. By nature, chickens are not messy, but if you keep them in a cage, you can expect to clean up after them quite a bit. But there are some tricks to keeping your chickens clean. Here are a few.

Are Backyard Chickens a Messy Affair?

Are Backyard Chickens a Messy Affair?

Can Backyard Chickens Watering Systems Reduce the Mess?

Backyard chickens need clean water and food. A watering system will minimize the mess they produce and keep the coop clean. There are many types of watering systems to choose from. A good watering system can hold two gallons of water, enough for four chickens to drink at a time. Some systems even hold ice cubes, which you can use on hot days.
One of the easiest watering systems for backyard chickens is a 1-quart (1 L) canning jar with a watering base. These are available at most feed stores and poultry supply catalogs. These waterers require no shavings or bedding and are easy to move. The jar is designed so that there are no leaks or spillage.
Chickens can also use a one-gallon bucket with a lid. The bucket should be kept out of direct sunlight so that it does not freeze in the winter. Alternatively, you can set up a two or five-gallon bucket with handles and hang it on a low shelf or bricks. In addition to the bucket, you can also purchase two to four watering cups to be used with the bucket. Make sure to secure the cups into the holes.
Watering systems are important for backyard chickens to stay healthy. They help reduce the mess in the coop. Chickens will produce a large amount of waste, and without a proper scratching area, they may scratch your yard. Therefore, you need to keep their living space clean and free of debris.

Can Backyard Chickens Watering Systems Reduce the Mess?

Can Backyard Chickens Watering Systems Reduce the Mess?

Do Speckled Chickens Make a Bigger Mess?

Dirty chickens are a popular choice for backyard chickens. While they are not particularly clean creatures, they do require minimal care to maintain their freshness. Keeping the smell of your backyard chickens under control is simple. You simply need to brush the poop off of your chickens on a regular basis.

Do Speckled Chickens Make a Bigger Mess?

Do Speckled Chickens Make a Bigger Mess?

Can Humans Catch Salmonella from Chickens?

Although backyard chickens are much safer than commercially raised ones, they can still be a risk if you don’t follow sanitary practices. You should also wash your hands thoroughly after contact with chickens and eggs. Salmonella is an organism that can be easily passed from chickens to humans. Most cases of infection will clear up without medical treatment, although some can develop serious illness.
In the United States, there have been several outbreaks of Salmonella in backyard poultry. Since 2012, more than 219 people have become sick from exposure to contaminated chicken and turkey. Of those, one-fourth of the people were children. These outbreaks typically coincide with the spring poultry purchase season.
While this report may seem low, the actual number of cases is much higher than this, and many people don’t seek medical care or get tested for salmonella. Fortunately, these cases are completely preventable. You can greatly reduce the risk of catching salmonella from backyard chickens by ensuring the safe handling of chickens and poultry.
According to the CDC, there were 212 Salmonella outbreaks in the United States last year. The CDC defines an outbreak as when two or more people become sick due to the bacteria.

Can Humans Catch Salmonella from Chickens?

Can Humans Catch Salmonella from Chickens?

How to Keep Your Backyard Chickens Clean?

One of the most basic chicken-keeping tasks is cleaning up backyard chickens. Chickens can become very messy, depending on how they are raised. If they are kept in a small area, they will be far more messy than those that are free-range. This is because chickens scratch and poop on the ground. If you do not have a designated area for scratching and roosting, this can become an issue as well.
Cleaning up after backyard chickens involves removing stale droppings, which may contain ammonia, which can affect your chicken’s respiratory system. Fortunately, cleaning out the henhouse will not take a lot of time if you organize everything and make sure the nest boxes are clean. This is important because your chickens lay their eggs in these boxes. You can even reuse the material from the nest boxes as the floor of the henhouse.
You can also use vinegar to disinfect the coop and nesting boxes. Bleach can be harmful to chickens, and you should avoid using it. However, vinegar has similar disinfectant properties to bleach. It’s safe to mix a solution of vinegar with water and spray the coop with it. You can also use a thick-bristled broom to scrub surfaces.
Chickens need fresh water and clean nesting boxes to stay healthy. A dirty coop can cause your chickens to fall ill and can even cause your neighbors to complain. If you live in an urban area, you may have to follow city regulations to keep your chickens. While chickens are low-maintenance pets, proper cleaning and hygiene are important for the health of your chickens and your family.

How to Keep Your Backyard Chickens Clean?

How to Keep Your Backyard Chickens Clean?

Will a Chicken Wire Fence Keep Your Backyard Clean?

Fencing off an area with chicken wire is a cheap and easy way to keep predators out of your chicken yard. Chicken wire comes in a variety of sizes, so you should choose one that is appropriate for the number of chickens you’re raising. Smaller chickens will require a smaller-sized wire, while larger chickens will need a bigger one. However, be careful when choosing the type of chicken wire to use because larger-sized wires can allow pests and predators to get through.
Although chicken wire is cheap and is a great choice for a small flock, it isn’t particularly strong. If predators attack your hens, they can easily rip or move the wire. Chicken wire is also similar to cloth and isn’t the best choice for locking predators out of your chicken coop.
If you don’t want your chickens to scratch your flowers, you can use a chicken wire fence to cover the area. However, you should be careful when installing a chicken wire fence because it is very messy and can easily be destroyed. For this purpose, you should use galvanized wire.
Chicken wire is typically made of steel, but you can also use plastic. You may need to use wooden poles to secure the chicken wire.

Will a Chicken Wire Fence Keep Your Backyard Clean?

Will a Chicken Wire Fence Keep Your Backyard Clean?

Be sure to read our other related stories at BackyardChickenNews to learn more about raising chickens in your backyard.


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