I'm getting negative feedback about getting chickens!


9 Years
Feb 20, 2010
Rome, NY
So, after many weeks of research and searching for coops I think I found one that I'm pretty happy with. The cost of the coop is $1550. + tax & free shipping because it's within 100 miles of my home. It's 6x8 comes fully assembled with all the bells and whistles already in place so no modifications need be done except the two windows come with reg house screen- we'll need to replace that w/mesh. So once we build the run ( walk-in) and get the rest of the supplies and equipment and chicks... well, you can do the math. A little more than I thought I'd be spending initially, but thats ok, I want happy, healthy chickens. I'd like to go even bigger, but I'm not going to.

Anyway, the problem is- just about everyone that we tell that we are getting chickens has nothing but negative things to say about keeping them. I'm trying to be confident and determined, but the negativity keeps on coming! I'm already terrified of a few things... predators getting in (I would feel awful if I didnt protect them well enough) a hen becoming "egg bound" and keeping them happy and warm in the winter. I never knew about the egg bound thing until I read about it on Terry Golson's hencam blog. Terry gave a good rendition of how to recognize it and how to treat it, so I think thats something I can overcome. Plus I'm waiting for a couple of books I've ordered.

So, this is what we are hearing from our friends and family: Chickens stink! They are a lot of work. Not worth the upkeep and expense. They draw rats! You'll have every chicken eating varmint for miles infesting your yard. Ya gotta kill'um and eat'um after they stop laying (everyone knows I wont kill or eat my hens!) They peck the hell out of ya when you try and get their eggs, You'll be tied to the house, no trips... and so on, and so on. My husband wavers a little bit here and there, but he's still supportive. One person told him that when egg shells get soft you have to feed them oyster shells... real, whole shells. He was like, we have to buy oysters now too?!
His biggest concern is the smell... we are in the country, but we do have neighbors. I told him that I thought I could keep up on that ok.

So there you have it. I just really needed to vent to all those on the other side of the chicken fence! Thanks!
Yeah, people do that.

Just ignore them.

They'll still be cheerfully expecting you to hand out eggs to them once your hens start laying...

Good luck, have fun,

well you can stop listening to them cause they are mostly wrong.

Chickens are work but if you keep your numbers reasonable then you will be fine.

yes rats will try to get in but a secure coop with a floor will keep them at bay and when you see one just set some traps (I dont see an infestation happening if the coop is secure and you ont leave food everywhere. Some are inevitable and may enter your run area but that is nature and a good cat or some mouse traps will do the trick.

A hen can lay every day of it life or at least well over the 2 year mark although production may slow a bit

no smell if you keep the litter clean and put lyme (cant remember how that is spelled maybe lime???) in the run after bad rains. (Garden lyme only! )

egg bound, bumble foot, mareks these things can all happen and something surely will but you learn and help the birds overcome it when you can.

Oyster shell is $5 for a huge bag and you just offer it as "free choice" in a feeder when the girls are of laying age. no biggie all feed stored have it. you will need grit too

if you have room in the budget and you travel a lot get an automatic pop door and big feeders and a nice family member to check or neighbor and you are all set.

BYC will give you all the info and support you need. Congrats I think you should Go for it!
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I can tell already that everyone that is telling you that has either never owned chickens OR didn't care about them and take care of them if they did have them.
On a small basis you should be just fine. Try them and see. If you don't like it, then move on to something else but don't let their negative comments keep you from them if you want them.
I got this also. I found that the people who said these things were people who only had experience with those really large chicken farms. My mom told me how much chickens stink, but if there are thousands of chickens they do stink! My 11 chickens don't smell at all, and they are pretty easy to care for.
I've had chickens now to close to 5 yrs. Haven't seen any rats. If you live out in the country, you problably have lots of stray cats that will take care of that problem. Do your research for the best chicken that suit your needs. Find out which ones are prone to being egg bound, find out which ones are hardy in the winter. Most people don't heat their coops and the chickens survive. Don't let all those negative people stop you from what you want. Tell them if they feel that way, no eggs for them!!
Go forth and enjoy!
I am a new chicken owner as well and when I tell people I have chickens I get the same reactions. I was terrified about all the same things. The smell is not bad as long as you keep up with cleaning the coop, my hens don't peck me when I collect eggs. In fact my 10 and 12 year old collect all the eggs. If you are worried about rats get a breed that is know as a good mouser. I have Buckeyes, and I have never seen a mouse or a rat near my coops so far. You will enjoy your chickens so much, please don't change your mind!
I show Horses and at times are gone for 2-3 days at shows. My Chickens are fine, I make sure they have plenty of water and extra feeders and I just have lots of eggs to collect when I get home. People told me pigs were smelly and messy too, mine are not, I clean their pen with a manure fork everyday and they don't stink at all.

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