How Much Trouble is it to Raise Chickens?

Noise can be a negative factor when you get roosters involved. I think I saw somewhere about restricting people to one rooster for that reason. I’m guessing if you gave your neighbors enough free eggs they might overlook the noise. ymmv
link to Mother Earth News : How to Raise Chickens in Your back Yard

Backyard chickens on a small scale can be great, given a nighttime coop, and letting them out to free range during the day. They have their own little chicken lives, and sweet to obderve in their daily activities. Roosters can be problematic, but I loved their timekeeping during the day: you can set your time to their crowing activity, and it’s nice to have that consistency of voice. Barring neighborhood dissent to it.

Total Free Range without a coop is not good, as I learned in my younger, more stupid, idealistic days. Basically, every wild thing LOOOOOOOVVVES them some chicken. I inherited a flock of chickens from the previous owners of my house in MSPI, and the coop was broken, owners said they’d be fine, roosting in trees.

Nope, nope, they weren’t. As winter approached, and wild critters got hungrier, the chickens started going, one by one. My best aware moment came when I heard a strangled chicken cry in the wee dark hours, and got right up from bed, very pissed off, ran out to the roosting place, and followed the trail of feathers by flashlight—prolly a raccoon took it off— down into the creek bottom, and the feather trail vanished. Still pissed off, when I realized I was down there swearing up a storm at some poor raccoon, me wearing only panties, at 3 AM in the middle of the woods.

Anyway, get a secure coop if you want to have chickens, they need that.

Cal, when I was a kid, my family decided to get some pigs. I had a fit. I hated pigs, they were stupid, dirty, smelly, I didn’t want to shovel shit, etc.

Well, we got pigs, and, you know what? I love pigs. They are smart, friendly, clean if given a chance, and generally good things to have around. They taste pretty good, too.

Later, my family decided to get chickens. Naturally, I had a fit. I hated chickens, they were stupid, dirty, smelly, I didn’t want to shovel shit, etc.

Well, we got chickens, and, you know what? I hate them worse than ever.

Actually, the laying hens weren’t too bad. We let them range, and finding hidden eggs was kind of fun. Occasionally, one would lay an egg that didn’t have a shell - those were interesting. And slightly disturbing.

But the meat chickens were everything negative you have ever heard about chickens. They were too stupid to live, and they got so fat they couldn’t even walk. And, don’t even talk to me about the process of turning them into food. I was just leaving for college about then, and my mother insisted that I process just one of them before I left. Gee, thanks, Ma.

Cal, This might be a solution though an expensive one. It is a form of chicken tractor, but very easy to service and suitable for a kid to care for. It can hold up to 10 chickens, but I would suggest 2 to 4 maximum. you can let them range outside the fenced in run, but htis way you also wont lose them to dogs, cats, raptors or traffic and you can collect the eggs easily =)

Weasles are a big problem if you live anywhere near woods. They can get through ckicken wire and raise havoc. You need to have some kind of structure/coop even inside the wire for the chickens to stay in.

And chickens need some room outside the fence. If you are not going to let them free range for a few hours a day they will tear up any small penned in area. Think you will get a few chickens and put them in a 20 x 20 foot area with a little coop? That area will quickly be scratched to bare dirt.

They are also social animals and will stick together. So this makes it easier to train them to be let out of the pen during the day and be trained to return to feed and safety.

I have known people that have raised chickens, most have wound up making pets out of them, and I agree with the poster who said one of the hardest things is keeping them safe.

Everything loves chickens. Foxes, hawks, owls, skunks, raccoons, pretty much anything will eat a chicken and the kind you buy generally aren’t smart enough to learn to fear things.

I knew one lady and her dog learned to chase away animals away from the chickens, but every now and then an owl or hawk got one.

Oddly enough this lady lived by a lake with geese and ducks and the chickens could go right up to the lake and the chickens would attack the geese and ducks and keep them off the property. One of the chickens even learned to swim.

Sorry if I missed it, but something else to bear in mind is that roosters can be aggressive as hell. Like, five pounds of clucking murderous raaaaage. It sounds funny until it’s charging at you.

Well, it’s still funny then, unless you’re in a confined space. Ducked down in a coop is not somewhere you want to be with a pissed off rooster. When he Hulks out, what little regard for his own safety he may have had will ooze right out of that chili pepper of a brainstem, to be replaced with something science cannot explain and no man dares to challenge.

bump

Bumped.

Chickens are becoming more popular still due to the pandemic: https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/25/us/pet-chicken-sales-coronavirus-trnd/index.html

How was this ever allowed to stay in GQ?

Asking about how chickens are raised is factual. Asking for personal experiences in raising chickens is IMHO territory. The OP contains a bit of both, but leans more towards factual since the IMHO portion of it is really geared towards getting a factual answer to the question.

The OP isn’t asking for advice and opinions about raising chickens, they just want to know what it’s like.

Fair enough. Apologies for invoking you unnecessarily.

A nice article on getting through the pandemic with the help of four young chickens: https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/13/opinions/covid-19-quarantine-chickens-taylor-opinion/index.html