SHOP PRODUCTS
Houzz Logo Print
greenthumbsj

Any vegetable gardner thinking of Chicken Coop ?

greenthumbsj
14 years ago

I have been seeing a lot blogs on "urban chicken coop" but I didn't find much discussion about that in this forum. I can't be the only person who likes veg garden and also thinks of having my a few chickens around. I am interested to see if any of the fellow veg gardners have thought or ventured into this area.

Comments (45)

  • bks76
    14 years ago

    Yes, friends and I are building one in Detroit tomorrow. Found a simple design, some scrap and some purchased materials, and hope to have chickens in by next weekend. Plan on 6 chicks, sharing eggs (and chores) between 2 families.

  • primarycanary
    14 years ago

    I want about 3 hens. Unfortunately, my local housing codes won't permit me to have any!

    Maybe a little bit of civil-disobedience?

    I hear Red Star hens will lay brown eggs in all sorts of temperatures that other hens won't.

    My uncle has Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orfington (spelling?), and Barred Rock hens and roosters.

    I hear that composting their manure is great too!

  • Related Discussions

    Chicken coop bedding

    Q

    Comments (16)
    Chicken coop bedding material make good fuel for boiler. We design and supply mini boilers + Steam turbine Generators ( 1KW to 50KW). But these are not for backyard coops with 3-10 birds. You are having a professional coop, then you clear the bedding daily. Burn it in boiler to produce steam. The steam is used to drive the turbine to generate electricity. the steam exhaust from turbine is diverted to radiators in winter to heat the space and then return to boiler to produce steam. Power generation capacity depends on the bedding material available on daily basis. So you get power, heat the house and also get hot water from the coop bedding material which anyway you will burn to ash. Why not burn it to get power? Contact mizunbiogas@ymail.com to know more. Best wishes, Mo
    ...See More

    Chicken Coop in an Urban Garden

    Q

    Comments (11)
    My chickens and coop don't smell, even if you stick your head in the coop. Any conscientious pet owner takes regular care of their pets' needs, including cleaning up after them. Folks who let dog poop accumulate for long periods around their yards or cat boxes left uncleaned have homes or yards with bad smells. Same with chickens. It is people who totally neglect their chickens or keep more chickens than their space can handle that have "smelly" coops or chickens. Treat them well like your other pets, and they won't be smelly. If you let chickens free range, make sure you set up your yard so they stay off of patios, porches, and furniture. If they poop on that, it can get unsanitary and you'll be doing a lot of hosing down of the surfaces. Baby chicks raised in the house could potentially be smelly if you don't change the bedding a couple of times a day. They also make a lot of dust in the house. I usually clean under the roosts most days in my coop since that is where the majority of the droppings end up, but have let it go as long as a week with no real noticeable smell from the outside of the coop. Typically, I only clean the rest of the coop really thoroughly every few months. If chickens will be confined to a coop for a long cold snowy winter, an owner will need to make it extra big for them to have lots of room while they are shut in in order for them to have healthy conditions. I would recommend maybe doing more research to support your case if your husband isn't on board with chickens. www.backyardchickens.com is a really good online resource to start with where you can get all sorts of chicken questions answered. There is a large community of chicken keepers there, both rural and suburban. Here is a link that might be useful: Backyardchickens.com
    ...See More

    Chicken Coops

    Q

    Comments (18)
    It was a birthday present for a man to his well known, and un-named, wife. The copper area is detachable. It has more sweat joints than several houses and took about 30 hours to construct the copper cage alone and several hours of that were spent just staring and thinking about how I was going to build each segment of this plumbing nightmare. It has external doors to access the nesting boxes, shown below. Here is a link that might be useful:
    ...See More

    Any chicken coop experts?

    Q

    Comments (4)
    If the screws were all backed out, like you think, there's only one type animal that could have done that (except maybe a really clever monkey-which aren't common in these parts). If an animal caused this damage, I'd expect claw marks, twisted or broken hinges, and lots of splintered wood. Animals can have lots more strength than many would think, they can eat through things that we wouldn't think possible, and they can be very clever...but the damage they cause usually doesn't look as neat and clean as what I can see in your chicken coop pics. If it looks too good to be wild animal damage, it's probably not.
    ...See More
  • mauirose
    14 years ago

    i LOVE to hear hens quietly clucking in the yard! They are highly entertaining, look good and are great on bug patrol.

    In the garden they can be a little bit pesty, scattering mulch, scratching up seedlings and snacking on tender young plants. If you build a coop make sure it is secure from predators who are happy to go through, or under, for a yummy meal.

    i really miss my hens but the resident (four legged) posse holds a dim, zero tolerance view on chickens.

  • Karen Pease
    14 years ago

    I'm part of a local group, Friends for Urban Chickens, which is trying to change the ordinances in Iowa City to allow us to raise hens.

    Here's a must-read article when considering combining hens and gardens:

    That's What Hens Are For

    Basically: They offer some great benefits, such as free weeding, bug removal, fertilizer, and soil aeration -- and hens who eat greens and bugs produce healthier, tastier eggs than those who eat just grain. But there are certain garden plants that hens love to eat, and you have to protect those from your hens at all times. Also, you should never let hens near seedlings, or they'll scratch them to death.

    Do remember that hens take as much care as any pet, so if you don't have that kind of time to devote to their care, don't get them. They need food and water (even in the winter, when there's snow on the ground -- and don't let that water freeze!). They draw predators from miles around -- you have to keep them well protected. Their coops need to be properly designed, and building them takes work. You have to change their litter (although there are some approaches, like the Deep Litter method, where you need to change it less often). They can get sick, just like any other animal. Etc. So, just realize all that before you jump in.

    I hear Red Star hens will lay brown eggs in all sorts of temperatures that other hens won't.

    I doubt, with a wattle that big, the Red Star has the cold tolerance of a Chantecler (another brown egg-layer that's adapted to the cold; it was bred in Canada). But they're supposedly very high productivity birds, so even if it drops somewhat in the winter, you may still outpace a Chantecler for winter eggs. ;) I'd still prefer Chanteclers because Red Stars tend to die young from what I've heard (a lot of the really heavy layers don't have very long lifespans).

    Ever considered an easter egger, such as an Ameraucana? Nice fully feathered heads (cold-hardy) and egg colors range from robin blue to olive green. There are a lot of no-name easter-eggers out there breed from the Ameraucana/Arucana stock, too. I got to play with a friend's Ameraucana chicks recently; they're really adorable.

    I hear that composting their manure is great too!

    Yeah -- just don't put too much of it fresh in one place! It's extremely high in nitrogen.

  • Karen Pease
    14 years ago

    i really miss my hens but the resident (four legged) posse holds a dim, zero tolerance view on chickens.

    That's such a shame. You can't fence them out?

  • fritz_monroe
    14 years ago

    We are moving next week to a house with some property. I fully intend on having some chickens. It won't be until at least next year.

    I want the eggs. I have no intention of eating them since I would get pretty attached to any animals that I've raised.

  • mauirose
    14 years ago

    That's such a shame. You can't fence them out?

    thought we had a system the last time. it was very sad to come home to 6 dead hens. we are thinking on it.

  • lantanascape
    14 years ago

    I'd love to have some hens, but I'm in the same boat with my 4-legged posse. Even if my dogs and cats didn't manage to get to the hens, I imagine it would be constant pandemonium, and my long-suffering neighbors just might snap. ;) It will definitely be on my mind when we start house shopping again in a few years though.

  • catherinet
    14 years ago

    I live out in the country and have chickens. I can't believe that people aren't allowed to have hens in the suburbs. Fresh eggs are so wonderful! And hens don't make that much noise (except right after they lay eggs)....but I love that sound!
    Their manure and bedding make the greatest compost too.
    Because of all the predators around here, I have kept them in a big run. The run and the coop are like Fort Knox. Too many wild animals like fresh chicken.
    Good luck to those of you who are thinking about trying chickens. It was my way of rebelling against "progress". It just makes me feel more down to earth to have them. And they are fun.
    You do learn to be a chicken vet too, since not many vets know much about chickens.
    Backyard Chickens is a great chicken forum, if you need good info and support.

  • milky_way_bar
    14 years ago

    Im looking into it now. My boyfriend is skeptical and afraid i'll have a farm haha. But hens are a great idea. def caged from your vegetables though unless they are highly looked after. They will eat your vegetable along with the bugs!

  • west_texas_peg
    14 years ago

    I hoped to add chickens to my garden this Spring and looks like it is going to happen, just not right now.

    I want them for the eggs, manure, and plan to make a Chicken Tractor so they can work the soil around my fruit trees and in my raised beds. Be great to feed them from my garden, been reading on what I can grow to make them healthy and make their eggs much healthier for our consumption. I love to watch them and listen to their chatter.

    We added a rabbit to our garden this year. Got her off FreeCycle...Snowflake is a Mini lop, Frost Point...very picky about what she eats...prefers carrot tops...no carrot, likes Swiss Chard, Buttercrunch lettuce and radish greens and LOVES dehydrated papaya from the pet store...she begs for this! I get very attached to all critters in my garden so I know we would NEVER eat one of our hens.

    Really look forward to the benefits of having my own chickens.

    Peggy

  • P POD
    14 years ago

    This is an excellent board for chicken keepers and for those who'd like to learn the ins and outs of raising chickens.

    It's customary for new members to post an introduction of themselves in "The Social Side" forum.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Backyardchickens at yuku

  • P POD
    14 years ago

    The article linked to above, That's What Hens Are For, is of course a promotion of the author's three books, which she references to at the bottom of the page.

  • eibren
    14 years ago

    Don't overlook ducks, they are even more cold-tolerant and healthy. They will eat Japanes beetles thrown in their drinking water, and clean up many garden letovers. Khaki Campbells are the best egg layers.

    They are not quite as discriminating as chickens regarding what they eat, though.

  • gardener1908
    14 years ago

    I had chickens a couple of years ago and I loved them but at the time couldn't take care of them (needed a new coup)so they got a new home. After our hoophouse is completed in a few weeks a new coup is next in line. When we had chickens I never saw a tick, they are great for pests. We will have egg layers and am going to try to do meat chickens and hope I don't get to attached.

  • cookie8
    14 years ago

    I would love to get a couple or some ducks. We have a lot of predators around that will go after cats and dogs (which we have along with small children) so I do not want to lure them to my yard so I will have to pass. Have fun with this.

  • catherinet
    14 years ago

    Don't the ducks fly away?
    What I do is this for growing good stuff for them to eat: Right outside my coop I have several 35 gallon Rubbermaid containers, filled with good garden soil. I grow Collards and Kale in them. They really flourish. And its easy to just pick them right there, and throw them into the run.

  • plumberroy
    14 years ago

    I lost my job last summer (auto industry) In finding A new job we ended up having to move. The silver lining to this is after several years of trying to grow veggies in every small spot on a city lot. I now have a 2000sq.ft. garden and a large dog kennel with 20 chickens and for ducks my plan is to have enough eggs for us. Plus have extra to sell to cover feed cost. Don't for get to that veggie scraps and grass clippings are treat to chickens. And yes I plan on eating the excess roosters. If I can scrape up the stuff for another run/coup I may raise my own meat chickens. I would raise dual purpose breeds for meat though after researching the cornish/rock cross meat chickens. even if they reach eating size in 6 to 8 weeks. I can't see raising chicken that start having health problems even at that age. I can raise dual purpose chickens to butcher size in 14 weeks. Plus If I like a certain chicken it could be added to my flock with out having to worry about leg problems
    Roy

  • johnmac09
    14 years ago

    It's a great combination... provided you can keep the chickens away from the veg! My experience is that they scrub up the earth making it difficult to get anything to grow. But if you can section them off their poo is high in nitrogen & you can either compost, or put a small amount in the top four inches of soil.

    I find they're great entertainment... you should see my feather fiends when they hear the rustle of a plastic bag containing spaghetti. They hurtle from the farthest point of my allotment & jump up to get at the contents.

    If you want more info about my chickens, including how I built their coop, see the posting in my blog below from Nov 2007 onwards.

    Here is a link that might be useful: An English Allotment

  • lazyhat
    14 years ago

    Unfortunately, my local housing codes won't permit me to have any!

    Housing codes..hmm. Reminds when I was growing up, I lived in one those "complexes" where they build the houses in long rows and there all attached to eachother, like a small community. Anyways it was frequant occurence that the Asian immigrants or whatever there had Rabbit coops and some even ripped up there whole back yard and grew all kinds of edible plants. Those people were really resourcefull I'd had have to say. Although I'm sure they were breaking housing code. But you know they come from a different culture and place so they probably were not aware or didn't care. To them its normal to do.

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    14 years ago

    We had to confine our hens to a fenced-in area. I wanted them for bug patrol, but they tore the heck out of our garden. So now they have a nice big house and a fenced in yard all to themselves. The dog's house is right outside the chicken yard so she can keep the bad critters away. We have a mixed-bag; Golden Comets, Barred Rocks, a Leghorn and various "mutts" from people who didn't want them anymore. We love the eggs, too, but could never bring ourselves to butcher any of the "girls". When I want chicken for dinner, it comes from Kroger!

  • nissaelf
    14 years ago

    We have 7 Rhode Island Hybrid Hens now. We pretty much keep them in a good sized fenced area with one of those large dog igloos for them to get out of the rain. They are wonderful egg layers producing anywhere from large to X-Jumbo brown eggs. One always seems to lay double sometimes triple yolk eggs. I hightly recommend them if you can get them locally.

    As for the plants and veggies we never had a problem with the chickens eating plants very bad or destroying them when they did manage fly over the 5 foot fence. then again we have a very good watch cat that watches after the rest of the animals to make sure they do not cause trouble and keep the chickens with 4 rabbits.

  • gardendawgie
    14 years ago

    I put up a pen in the basement for the cold winter. worked great as I got eggs all winter. Also they all stayed alive with no trouble. I used very deep pine needles and straw. I had it all up off the ground. I make it from spare stuff around the house.

    I built an 8 ft by 8 ft by 8 ft house but would have been better without the window. I also built a large wooden racoon trap by the house. they ran free in the summer and went into the house at night. need to lock it really well or they will be gone. Fox are really difficult to catch. racoons are easy to catch.

    ducks and geese are difficult because they do not want to go into a house at night. thus they get hit by fox and racoons too easy.

  • Karen Pease
    14 years ago

    The article linked to above, That's What Hens Are For, is of course a promotion of the author's three books, which she references to at the bottom of the page.

    Huh? Since when are people who write books no longer allowed to talk about what they write about? There's a tiny blurb at the bottom of the article that simply says what books the author has written; it's not like the article is some sort of giant ad or something.

  • homegardener2009
    14 years ago

    I have thought about this. How do you keep them from freezing to death in the winter? Is a hen house enough warmth? Does it have to be heated?

  • kayhh
    14 years ago

    I've had chickens for years. They don't freeze to death and I am in a pretty cold area. They do need protection from the wind and vermin's. All kinds of animals - including birds - live outside in the winter. They do need a constant supply of water so if you live in an area that freezes, I recommend taking the time to run electricity to the coop so that you can plug in an electric water bowl. Otherwise you will need to run out there several times a day to water them.

    When it comes to laying eggs through the winter, chickens are light sensitive. The more hours in the day, the more eggs they lay. Another reason to run electricity out there! We put a light bulb on a timer during the winter months so that it kicks on at around 4 pm and stays on until 3 am. Fluorescent lighting won't work. We use a single 100 watt white bulb and our brown isa's lay one egg a day, year-round.

    And yes. That will shorten their life span. But at the risk of offending the more, um, sensitive of us....laying eggs is what they are for. You have to feed them whether they are laying or not. So, two, maybe three years is their limit. We buy a few new chicks in the spring, and freeze up some soup chickens each fall.

  • yfchoice
    14 years ago

    I put a coop at the end of my garden this year....2 barred rocks and 2 red sex links. They have plenty of space to run around in and yet they are protected from predators and my garden is protected from them. It seemed like a natural thing to integrate into my yard. They like to watch me fiddle around in the garden, knowing I will throw them leaves, pulled up plants, bugs as treats. They are mostly quiet. As I clean their coop and run a couple of times a day there is no smell or flies. My neighbors are good ones. They have no objections and rather enjoy the soothing noises of contented chickens. Of course, they will get fresh eggs to go with the tomatoes I already share with them. I will post pics soon...

  • catherinet
    14 years ago

    Yes, I've heard that one way to keep the neighbors okay with the hens is to give them some of the eggs!

  • athenainwi
    14 years ago

    I'd love to get some chickens, but I think my dogs would eat them. I live in Madison, WI which is one of the few cities that allow chickens in the city. There's a documentary about it called "Madcity Chickens" if anyone is interested. I haven't had a chance to see the movie yet but I've heard it is very good.

  • vic01
    14 years ago

    In a related to the topic note when I was raising chickens I was experimenting with a Rhode Island Red cross with a black Spanish rooster. The chicks were not only beautiful but definitely winter hardy,always a good thing in zone 4. This cross has potential in my opinion but I now live in town and am disabled, not likely to be able to follow up on it.

    The Reds gave the heavy meat and good laying qualities, not sure what the black added except he was a pretty rooster, skinny and hardy. The chicks had the heaviness of the Reds and added hardiness. I preferred Reds for their gentleness, meaning the kids could gather eggs without the chickens going ballistic on them.

  • never-give-up
    14 years ago

    I would love to have chickens to clean up the insect population around here. I really liked this design for a coop and run.

    Would also like a separate tractor for the day time.

    Alas, hubby thinks we have enough problems.

    Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Sustainable-Farming/Portable-DIY-Chicken-Coops.aspx

  • P POD
    14 years ago

    That's way to little room for the eight! hens pictured in the chicken tractor (in the motherearth link). Keeping eight chickens in such a cramped space is cruel. Chickens cramped together like that will peck each other bloody. I find the motherearth business model totally objectionable. In addition, chicken wire does not reliably keep out predators, like hawks, coons, and dogs. A much stronger (and more expensive) wire is needed on tractors where predators roam.

    Many of the chicken tractors seen on the web are cute to people but cruel to chickens. Often, the tractors are way too small, plus they don't provide what chickens desperately need: Room to roam, roosts for preening, dust baths, shade, shelter from wind and rain, effective protection from predators, hiding places for lower-ranking hens (they'll get pecked endlessly if crowded), a feeding station for the lowest-ranking (otherwise they'll starve).

    The night quarters should have room for feeder(s) water, nests, and roosts. The open floor space (the part not taken up by feeders, water, nests, roosts) should provide at least four square feet per hen of open floor space.

    If a roo is housed with the hens, much more space is needed for the flock. However, roos are not needed for the hens to lay eggs, and hen-only flocks are a lot less head ache (for the hen's as well).

    Also, a chicken tractor is not a coop that could humanely house chickens year round. Tractors are meant to provide safe pasturing during the day. At day's end, the flock would be housed in their coop.

  • eibren
    14 years ago

    "Don't the ducks fly away?"

    Our Khaki Campbells didn't. We never had to clip their wings, either. We kept six of them (bought as ducklings straight run from a hatchery, so only 3 females) in a run about 10 ft X 20 ft with an 8 ft square shed bottomed with deep straw to stay in at night. They all bonded to us, so maybe we were supposed to lead the flight elsewhere.

    "ducks and geese are difficult because they do not want to go into a house at night. thus they get hit by fox and racoons too easy."

    Since our ducks were confined to a run, it was not too hard to chase them into their shed at night. They run as a pack, so usually if one would go in, the rest would follow.

    I had the roof on hinges to keep it open on hot nights, so it was possible to hand-capture any strays and just gently drop them in through the "roof".

    Eventually, they found a little hole in their fence and would get out to graze (and one hatched some ducklings from a nest she made inside a raspberry patch!), but they would go back inside their run for their water and feed in the evening, so we could still put most of them them in their shed.

    They were not used to open water, so when offered a child's swimming pool in the summertime they were afraid of it. They need to have a deep source of drinking water, though, so they can duck their heads fully into it when they are eating. They can eat their dry food from a separate container as long as they have their deep tub of water to drink from (but when ducklings are around, precautions have to be made to keep them from jumping into the tub, where they will then drown if not rescued in time).

    Ducks have to have UN-medicated feed. Although they are healthier than chickens in many ways and are the pigs of the bird world, they are easily harmed by medications.

    I was surprised to learn they do have an affinity for rabbits. While they were still growing, but had reached the point that they needed to be caged outside, rather than in their straw-lined child's pool in my livingroom, we had moved them onto our screened-in carport until they were large enough to be moved to their run. We had a cold snap, so I temporarily put them in with a very maternal rabbit. She helped keep them warm, and they groomed her ears.

    We had them for several years, and were never without eggs. Khaki Campbells are capable of laying over 200 eggs a year each. I didn't keep count of actual production numbers, but they kept laying during the winter even though they didn't have additional heating or lighting. The shed size was chosen per the recommendations of a book I had on raising poultry: so many ducks for so many square feet=warm enough in wintertime. We used to keep them in their shed until it warmed up a bit on the colder winter days. Winters in S. Central PA usually aren't too bad.

  • fitzefatz
    14 years ago

    If you need a laugh, give the rooster an old bun soaked in vodka. And then watch him trying to mount the hens. This was suggested by my biology teacher many many years ago and it still brings tears to the eyes of my schoolmates who watched it.

  • missemerald
    14 years ago

    I'd just like to say that I would love a few chickens, but I don't have the space and the county says I can't. In the suburban jungle in which we live, the rules are 1. No farm livestock (this includes potbellied pigs, but who really raises them on a farm???) 2. No chickens/ducks within 100 feet of the property line and 3. No chickens/ducks on property that is less than 2 acres. Plus, I have a finicky HOA (they get picky about the color of your shutters, imagine how they'd react to the color of your chickens?). So I just have to dream.

    I wish y'all much luck though!

  • never-give-up
    14 years ago

    ppod Didn't mean to upset you. I grew up on a real farm and I miss it deeply. We had chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, cows, pigs, sheep, rabbits,etc. You name it. People brought their kids to see the animals and called it Old McDonalds Farm. On more than one occasion we would wake up to find what ever animals that people didn't want tied to the fence or in a crate on the porch. They were just added to the tame animal menagerie.

    I wasn't a good farmer in the traditional sense because they were all my loved and cherished pets and it traumatized me everytime one was slaughtered for the freezer. (All greatly loved except the geese that is, you just can't easily make friends with birds that just want to chase and bite you, LOL)

    If I was ever to get chickens they would be the most pampered and loved little birds.

    I only want 3 and the plan I posted would be just as I do when I cook. Take the recipe and make it my own.

    Was just dreaming and wishing.

  • P POD
    14 years ago

    Never-give-up, it wasn't you who upset me. Not at all. It was the Motherearth web site with its implied message to novices that the chicken tractor could house eight chickens comfortably, which of course anyone with experience in keeping chickens would find laughable and cruel to chickens.

    The project impresses me as being stingy, ignorant, and selfish.

    Ignorance of annimal's and livestock's needs is no excuse for being cruel to annimals who are totally dependent on us for their care and well-being.

  • kayhh
    14 years ago

    Ppod, I assumed that people understood that the tractor thing was just day-time accommodations that were more designed to keep the hens in than the vermin out. Something to be used only in the day time when you are home, so I didn't address it at all.

    Frankly, it just looks like a pain in the back-side to me. And to what purpose? The bugs fly out of the thing and the lawn gets scratch to all heck. That is after you catch the hens and get them in there. And get them back in the coop at night, or whenever you leave the house. Way too much trouble for my money.

    And then you have lost all that wonderful manure to the lawn. That's the kicker. I won't give up their brown gold!

  • west_texas_peg
    14 years ago

    kay____h

    I believe the Chicken Tractor is used to 'plow up' lawn so you can turn it into a new veggie/flower bed. The chickens dig out the grass, work in manure and eat grubs/larvae as they work the soil. How I wish I had one...taking our lawn over for beds has been a pain. Bermuda grass is still a problem for me in the front cottage garden. Would much rather use a Chicken Tractor on it than Roundup.

    Peggy

  • docmom_gw
    14 years ago

    My sister has a great system for her chickens and garden. Her coop is built right next to a "double" garden plot. The plot is divided in half and completely fenced. Each summer, one half is available for the chickens to roam and scratch, while the other is her vegetable garden. Each fall, after harvest is done, she switches sides. She roams the streets with her trailer and collects hundreds of bags of raked leaves, dumps them in with the chickens, and they spend the next year enjoying the bugs and worms the leaves attract. The chicken poop and leaves turn into wonderful compost and nary a weed survives their pecking. She is lucky enough to be in the country, so she can get away with this plan. She has had repeated challenges with predators, and spent more money on reinforcing vents and fences than I'm sure her chickens are worth. However, she's not trying to make it a money saving or making venture. Chickens can be wonderful, but they do require constant vigilance.

    Martha

  • mommyandme
    14 years ago

    Chickens & zoning laws: I have never personally owned chickens, but I do know that chicken feed & chicken eggs attract RATS from miles around. Once they've established themselves nearby, they are very difficult to get rid of. I believe that is the real reason most urban & suburban neighborhoods forbid the keeping of chickens. I used to know a guy who got in way over his head with rats. He finally had to bring in professional exterminators & it was very expensive to not only get rid of the rats, but also redesign his entire set up to help prevent further problems.

  • catherinet
    14 years ago

    docmom........ Sounds like your sister has a great set-up there!
    I had to giggle when you said she has spent money on "reinforcing vents and fences". "Vent" is the word for the opening in a chicken where poop and eggs come out of. LOL! Sorry about that! But it did give me a chuckle, picturing her reinforcing those! :)

  • yfchoice
    14 years ago

    Actually, the real reason most urban and suburban neighborhoods forbid chickens is ignorance. They assume that chickens are dirty and mean cause that's what their grandma's were in the "good ole days". They assume that all coops and runs are dirty, attracting flies and rats. In reality, most chicken owners in neighborhoods, like myself, go above and beyond to make sure we don't have those problems. Doing things like daily cleanup and bringing in the food at nite keeps rats and flies and smells away. Keeping excess food in locking containers helps too. They also assume that all chicken owners have roosters which means noise. Roosters are not needed for laying eggs and most neighborhood owners don't have them.

    I'd much rather listen to my chickens clucking than the neighborhood dogs barking at any and all hours of the day. I'd much rather pick up my chicken's poo every day than the neighborhood cat's poo in my garden.

    There....I'm off my soapbox.

  • mabeldingeldine_gw
    14 years ago

    I am on my 4th year as a backyard henkeeper. I have a small flock of laying hens which have proven to be a terrific compliment to my vegetable garden.

    I have yet to see a rat. If you are tidy and keep the feed tightly covered in rat-proof container, I highly doubt you will have any rat problems. Just keep the feed cleaned up.

    We have had losses to predators (hawks and one coon), but for the most part the girls are very happy in their run next to the garden. Every fall, they put the garden to bed for me, eating the gleanings and scratching up any weeds or bugs left behind. We have a small coop on wheels which can be moved around the yard if we wish to change their location. In the winter, we run electricity out to the coop for heating the water, lighting and warmth. You can read more about it on my blog, Henbogle.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Henbogle

  • west_texas_peg
    14 years ago

    yfchoice and mabeldingeldine

    I agree!

    My neighbors have DOGS...not one like we do but 4 to 5 dogs! One behind us has 4 dogs...3 are 'very' large outside dogs that bark...they wake me with their barking. The neighbor across the street has 4 or 5 dogs that bark when there is someone near their property which I don't mind so much. Another across the street has a black lab that has run through my flowers, ripped things up and jumped on me before I could react so we put up a fence around the front of our house to keep it out.

    I have not had one chicken wake me at night clucking nor have I had a chicken invade my yard. Would much rather hear the soft cluck of a chicken than the loud mouth of the neighbor's 2 boxers who bark out of boredom.

    Peggy