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Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by FireFalcon15, Jan 2, 2013.
Hi guys, I was wondering if anyone knows how to take care of chickens indoors, mostly a apartment
Well, I don't but I know lots of folks on BYC have inside chickens - they even make chicken diapers for such things! In the search bar above type in 'indoor chickens' and you will reach several threads where you can read up the topic. Best of luck to you!
You see, because of the idiotic country I live in, few cities allow chickens (like the one I'm in), and it would be best to keep the chickens as a secret as much as possible
I really doubt a chicken would be happy as an "indoor Pet". First off, chickens like to scratch and pick at things so if you have carpet, or upholstered furniture they would pull it out strand by strand. Secondly, without access to a dust bathing area, your chickens may be prone to parasites. Thirdly, chickens are flock animals so unless you kept at least 3-4 of them, the chicken(s) would become very stressed. Not to mention all of the dander and feathers in your apartment from them flapping their wings. I see it as about as humane as a battery cage- you just have a nicer cage.
If you really wanted livestock as pets, maybe quail would be a better option? I've seen people keep a pair of quail in rabbit cages right inside their houses. They make very cute mating calls to eachother and you would still get a few eggs, albiet much smaller.
Yeah, I guess it could become unhealthy inside. Only problem with keeping them outside is if the Neighboors see them
I take it you have no interest in keeping Quail? What country are you in?
I keep quail inside in a guinea pig cage. I had a couple Seramas in the house who were being aggressively picked on and they absolutely hated it. I thought Seramas were the best indoor breed because of their small size but I found out otherwise. My biggest issue was that they roosted on EVERYTHING and would eat leftovers out of the trash... yes literally jump into it! It wasn't long til we decided to just build them their own mini coop outside.
Yep ... you start out by boxing everything that's fragile, and then move all the heavy stuff first. Put all the boxes of fragile stuff on top, and tie it down real well before movin' out to the country ~'-)
All jokes aside ... handling chickens, and visiting their coops, can be more than a mild risk to some folk's health. But, livin' there (or, in your suggested scenario, them livin' w/ you) could possibly prove dangerous (beyond the fact your landlord might just kill you, in a blind fit of rage ~'-)
For example? They've recently discovered another method of spreading the protozoan responsible for blackhead disease -- cloacal drinking, rather then just the specific worms that act as the intermediate host. Not meanin' to scare folks off the idea of keepin' chickens, but ... if they can spray paint one another w/ somethin' that big? Imagine how much further, and more easily, they might distribute any bacterial/viral infection(s). Probably not a good idea.
I live in the stupid, extremely strict, communist country of Canada
Hah, what part of communist Canada?
Lived in Ontario for a while, liked it, but luckily I was out of the larger populated areas.
Was near Sarnia, north a bit and could cross a neighbors property to the big lake.
Now I live in China and we have a very unique flock. They lived indoors while we built the coop and raised them, and now live outdoors, but are welcome to join us inside from time to time.
Feel free to read up on my posts and check out my coop.
To sum up what I have learned I can say two things.
You really can keep chickens in your apartment, but you better be ready to live in a coop.
Inside chickens are a whole different world than outside chickens, both good and bad.
I had a long and self entertaining, but essentially useless post about this idea and my experiences. This one is still long, and potentially useless, but here are the important points:
RULE #1 : Have a lockable Chicken Zone
Someplace they can be and poop, jump and tear up anything they want. Its a must and a great place for them to sleep, then they'll instinctively return to it.
Baby chickens can run around free and have fun with little disruption of a usual environment, however
Adult chickens in an apartment is hard to do, no questions about it. It can be done, but only if you are willing to let them have one of your rooms as "theirs".
RULE#2 : If you want them to be good inside, raise them from chicks inside.
Outdoor chickens can not be converted to indoor, simple as that. They must be raised there and comfortable there. Outside chickens can be good inside, but they will never be inside chickens.
RULE#3 : Have a very efficient and dry feeding and watering system.
If you have wasted food, or ample amounts of spilled water it will create hell inside an apartment. Anyone who has lived in an apartment knows every pest imaginable likes to congregate there first, dont give them an open invitation to set up rooms next to your chickens.
RULE#4 : Sanitation is your life
There aint no deep litter method in an apartment, 0 hell no. There be a masonry trowel and a bucket my friend.
Dust bathing, sure if you like a crapload of dust in your apartment. You want to seven dust your LCD TV? Your Computer? Uh, huh my friend, Uh huh.
I give them a sandbox with coarse sand, big stuff that doesnt fly far and is easy to scoop poop out of. I heard about kitty litter, might work for truly inside chickens, but mine are only part-timers.
Take everything you have ever heard about raising chickens and double the personal time investment, this should give you a taste of indoor chickens.
RULE#4A : Airflow is a chickens life.
Chickens need fresh air, lots of fresh air. They need good air more than they need warm air. Your chicken zone had better be well ventilated, until you see a change on your heating bill, dont worry about letting the air out of their room. This part of chicken life is the same, no matter where they are housed.
RULE#5 : Cooped up chickens are sick chickens (pun semi intended)
It wont be life threatening but as said in rule 3 and 4, indoor chickens are very different and require close monitoring not for common parasites or other usual problems, but for the self induced chicken problems. Coccidiosis, worms, any problem that the outside farmer could somewhat ignore or not see the ill effects of are your worst nightmare.
Proactive is not an option, it is a way of life.
RULE#5A : Inside chickens are not Outside chickens
This part of rule 5 is the fun part. If you keep them clean and happy then they are clean enough to sleep with. Other than the occasional foot wipe there is nothing for you to worry about. Many have spoken about dust and feathers and chaff, but with a good sweep more than once a week and regular chicken zone cleanings I have never even noticed this, even durring the molt.
Honestly I'm sick less often now, its embarrassing but cleaning more often than once every 3 weeks is good for you.
RULE#6 : There are no rules
I hacked out a much longer list and accumulation of stories, but the more I thought about it. The more I realized that outside of the basics: More time, More careful, More problems, Less space its anybody's game raising chickens indoors. Its possible, but just like any mobile animal indoors it takes a serious commitment. Honestly its easier having kids, or even a dog inside.
Chickens are their own species (more puns~) and more than that each chicken is even more different than the next, so outside or inside everyone's chcikens will be different in nature.
Learn, study, adapt, create
Then just have fun.
RULE#7 : One person is in charge
This is the last one and the most important one. One person is in charge of all aspects of chicken world. Opinions will vary and woes will befall, but a good village only has one chief.
Good luck and feel free to ask many questions.
(Holy crap this is the short version)