We Save You Time and Resources By Curating Relevant Information and News About Backyard Chickens.

backyard-chicken-news-logo-500-x-500
Please Share With Your Friends and Family

The Joy Of Raising Backyard Chickens

By Tom Seest

Are Backyard Chickens Really Worth The Trouble?

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

If you are considering keeping chickens in your backyard, there are several problems to consider. Among them are common predators and health concerns. You must secure the chicken coop during the night and keep it locked up because predators are looking for chickens. Then, if you’re going to leave the chickens outside all day, you must make sure they are safe and secured at all times.

Are Backyard Chickens Really Worth The Trouble?

Are Backyard Chickens Really Worth The Trouble?

Is Your Backyard Ready for Raising Chickens?

Backyard chickens are a great way to get fresh eggs and meat. However, they require a lot of attention, including veterinarian visits and a high standard of hygiene. They are also noisy and can be a nuisance to your neighbors. Here are some ways to help keep them happy and healthy.
One common problem with chickens is their poo. The droppings are often muddy, and the clean-up can get expensive. It’s best to remove the droppings outside your yard. Also, try to remove any unwanted feathers that they may have deposited around their pens. Another way to minimize these problems is to build fences around your pens.
In some cases, backyard chickens can be dangerous. They may spread diseases to people and other pets. If you keep chickens for meat, you may have to slaughter them yourself. But this process is not pleasant. The health of your flock will depend on how well you treat them. Keep in mind that your backyard chickens’ egg production will depend on their health and how well they’re cared for.
As with all livestock, backyard chickens are prone to diseases. Some of these diseases can be fatal or extremely contagious. Infection can be transferred to humans through infected food and droppings. Symptoms may include a minor skin infection or a serious illness. Therefore, it’s important to regularly wash your hands before handling the chickens.
Backyard poultry can also be plagued with parasites. Chicken lice and mites are common. Depending on the species, they can affect your chickens differently. If you suspect you have a problem with your birds, consult a veterinarian immediately. They can help you treat these parasites and ensure the health of your flock.

Is Your Backyard Ready for Raising Chickens?

Is Your Backyard Ready for Raising Chickens?

How Can You Protect Your Flock?

Chickens can be preyed on by a number of predators, including feral and domestic cats. Cats have very sharp teeth and sharp claws, and while they generally shy away from larger hens, they are very dangerous to smaller ones. You should also be aware of the laws in your area to prevent your backyard chickens from being attacked by these animals.
Raccoons, for example, can eat a bird by pulling its head through the wires and eating only the head. Sometimes, they will work in groups to find other poultry to eat. While weasels are not the most dangerous of predators, they can be quite destructive.
Skunks, while less likely to attack full-grown chickens, will still attack your flock, tearing the necks off the chickens. They also dig very well. You should install a sturdy fence around your chicken coop to keep these animals out. In addition, make sure to lock the doors at night.
Bobcats are another common backyard chicken predator. Although these predators may be small, they have razor-sharp claws and will easily slash your chicken’s intestines. A strong light or noise will help deter them from coming into your backyard. You can also use a water hose or even wolf urine to scare them off.
Raccoons can also try to pull your chickens from their run if you do not have proper fencing. While they usually hunt at dusk and dawn, they can still come out during the day and try to get to the chickens. Rats and snakes also tend to visit backyard flocks in search of eggs or baby chicks.

How Can You Protect Your Flock?

How Can You Protect Your Flock?

What about the eggs?

Poisoning from backyard chickens is a very real risk to human health. Not only do backyard chickens expose humans to lead, they also pose a risk for pregnant women and young children. Although lead poisoning has not been a major public health issue, the increased exposure from backyard chickens should prompt more careful and thorough monitoring. In cases of elevated exposure, whole blood and eggs should be collected and tested.
Salmonella is a highly contagious bacterium that has been linked to nearly two hundred illnesses in 38 states. Poultry typically carry salmonella, which is a very serious illness. Salmonella does not show any symptoms until eight to 72 hours after contact with the contaminated material. Infection can lead to hospitalization and even death, but it is preventable. The CDC recommends washing your hands immediately after coming into contact with poultry, using a disinfectant, and using safe egg-handling methods.
As for nuts, remember that chickens are not able to digest nuts, so you must shell them first and break them up so they don’t choke on them. Also, avoid giving your chicken unshelled nuts or ground nuts, as these contain aflatoxins, which are toxic to chickens. The symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning include lack of appetite, lack of coordination, depression, spasms, and convulsions.
Poisoning from backyard chickens can be fatal, particularly if the affected chickens are young or unwell. While it’s difficult to determine the precise cause of the poisoning, it is important to identify the source of the poisoning as early as possible. A laboratory can test samples for botulism toxin and other toxins from chickens.

What about the eggs?

What about the eggs?

Is Your Family at Risk?

Keeping backyard chickens can be an enjoyable part of a healthy and green lifestyle, but there are health concerns to keep in mind. For example, chickens can carry pathogens such as salmonella, which can be harmful to people and other animals. The best way to avoid catching salmonella is to thoroughly wash your hands before handling chickens.
You should also wear a mask while cleaning the coop and wash your hands after handling the chickens and their eggs. Vaccinating your flock for diseases such as Coccidia and Marek’s disease is also a good idea. It is also important to change the water regularly and make sure you have the right medicine for any illness that may strike your flock.
Health concerns when keeping backyard chickens are vital to the overall health of your flock. You should learn about common diseases and injuries and how to treat them. Make sure that your chickens get plenty of space and good-quality feed. You should also watch them closely to make sure they aren’t suffering from disease or injury.
Another major health concern when keeping backyard chickens is parasites. These parasites can infect your chickens and spread them to other flock members. The coop should be clean and well-ventilated. If the coop is in poor condition, chickens may peck at one another, causing wounds. This may be more likely with certain breeds, such as Shamo or Old English Game chickens.
Salmonella is a common disease in chickens, but it is treatable. Antibiotics are available to treat salmonellosis, although a serious case might require hospitalization. Salmonella infections are not caused by eating raw eggs but may be caused by undercooked eggs or by handling chickens. You can get salmonella from a contaminated chicken by touching its face, nose, or body. It’s important to avoid cuddling chicks, especially if they are young, as the bacteria may get into your mouth.

Is Your Family at Risk?

Is Your Family at Risk?

Hidden Expenses

The cost of keeping backyard chickens depends on your approach to raising them. The basic necessities include feed and water every day, nest boxes and grit, as well as regular deworming and parasite treatment. Depending on your approach, you may also need to pay for treats and vet fees. Chickens require about 100-120 grams of feed per day. You can supplement their diet with table scraps. Layer feed should comprise the majority of their diet.
The cost of dewormers varies depending on the size of your flock, but generally, they cost ten to thirty cents a dose. Parasites can also be treated with chicken-specific pesticides. David Gray’s Poultry Dust, for example, costs $50 a kilogram and can be used many times on an average flock. Diatomaceous earth is another cost-effective solution, costing about $5-20 per kilogram.
The age of your chickens is an important consideration. As chickens age, they stop laying eggs. You may want to consider buying a younger bird for the first few years of your flock. Older hens will produce fewer eggs and should be processed as stewing hens, which will increase your egg costs. If you are starting out as a backyard hen keeper, a brindled Plymouth Rock is a good choice for beginners. It will lay about 200 eggs a year and is friendly. If you’re looking for meat chickens, look for a free-range or pasture-raised breed. These breeds have less health issues and will continue to lay eggs for several years.
Once you have the coop built, the chickens will need food, water, and supplements. You can purchase these products second-hand or make your own. Aside from the initial setup costs, you can also incur monthly expenses for feeding, bedding, supplements, and veterinary care.

Hidden Expenses

Hidden Expenses

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


Please Share With Your Friends and Family