Ridgerunner, that's the approach I take and have had similar experience. Also, birds in the house? The dust wouldn't have a chance to kill me, my wife would.
Leah's Mom, I tell people to just use common sense, but the more I'm around some backyard people, I realize they don't have the ability.
I don't mean all of them but it seems like at least half. They were never around animals (other than dogs, cats and goldfish) or even raised a garden before they decided to "get back to the land".
Animal behavior and needs are really beyond their ability to comprehend on their own.
I've been teaching classes on BY chickens for some time at the local community college. Some have never seen a chicken. I give my students my card and tell them to call or e-mail if they need anything.
I'll get questions about things they're confused by that was covered in depth AND is spelled out in the handout I provide.
I just think that if you didn't grow up dealing with livestock and farming issues, it's the rare person that has that technology (common sense)
ill just say this ..me and my brothers were raised up at about the same time frame ..( just a few years betwist us ) and while my older brother is very book smart .( way more than me) lol, he could no more raise a chicken or hog or any live stock ..where it comes id say more natural for me ..we where both aroound the old man ..raising chickens ..hogs ..cows ..so on..some people just have it .some just have other adjectives so to speak ..i was the kind that was a pest to the old man ..trying to see how things were done on the farm ..the others ..well they ran after girls and any thing besides farm work lol ..oh yeah .guess who the old man called out frist when he needed help ..bet you cant :P any way ..just wanted to say that ..ty