Making this whole chicken thing harder than it has to be

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by suburbanhomesteader, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Before I start, I want to say that I am not judging anyone on this forum. In fact, I have been "guilty" of the behavior about which I am going to ask; that's why I'm asking.

    Does anybody else here feel as though sometimes we are taking things just a little too far? Making things a little too hard? My 70 year-old dad, who has raised chickens on and off since he was a boy, says I am worrying about things way too much.

    What kind of things?

    Poopy butts on grown hens
    Hens being cold in their coop in 38 degree weather
    Introducing new pullets to existing flock
    Hens not being able to free roam every day (can only do it about 4 evenings a week, for 2-3 hours per evening)
    Egg shapes and properties of eggs

    Dad says chickens have been doing their chicken thing for thousands of years, and as long as I'm providing food, water, and shelter from sub-freezing weather, I should stop sweating all the small stuff.

    What do you think? Am I being too much of a "mother hen"?
  2. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    I think we're all guilty of that, to some extent. We do spoil them and worry needlessly at times.

    But I also think my hens are a lot prettier and healthier looking than the farm chickens I grew up around.
  3. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    Quote:I agree. I think most, if not all, of us keep our birds as pets. I'm sure pet birds are treated much better than birds used for just eggs or meat.
    Although, my personal experience has been that the good ol' "normal" heavy breeds like the Barred Rocks and RIR seem to have less problems than the fancy breeds, like Silkies and Polish.
  4. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    I don't think we're "making it harder than it has to be". I think that this generation has the inclination (and time and money) to be more interested in the details of the lives of our chickens, poopy butts, funky eggs and all. It makes our lives more interesting, to have interesting pets.
  5. meriruka

    meriruka Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    I'm convinced all the extra care results in happier, friendlier chickens and better tasting eggs. I've had people who grew up on farms say my eggs were better than their own and they're amazed at how "tame" my chickens are. I'm going to keep fussing despite all the teasing I get!
  6. paisleycj

    paisleycj In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2008
    I've never gotten attached to my chickens (before now!) If they were sick, they were culled out before it could spread. Up until today I didn't realize we weren't supposed to feed chickens raw potato peelings. Mine ate them for years without a problem. When they're treated as pets, everything changes though. I do think the older breeds are hardier than the fancies so it just depends on how much putzing you want to do.
  7. Carolina Chicken Man

    Carolina Chicken Man Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    I have learned a great deal from this website. It is all very useful information.

    See the previous reply about this website being more for pets, useful pets because of the egg production, but pets nonetheless.

    Use what you can, but don't "sweat" all of the details.

    You're granfather is right.

    My grandfather had over 50 chickens, that had a henhouse with a dirt floor that was rarely clean. They free ranged 100%, and slept in pine trees most of the time. Unfortunately he lost the occasional chicken to car, fox, or hawk. But, these were working animals.

    Mine are useful pets, so I try to do much better by them as best I can.
  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I think years ago chickens were not any more important than food. How many times did you hear the story about how your father had a pet chicken as a boy...till it was killed for food? Well millions of us did, and part of us wants to make up for that, and part of us gets some chickens and realise that they are very nice and can be good pets, and want to take better care of them. Face it, they are a better pet than a rabbit or most caged birds. They give us eggs, and they lower our stress. How many rabbits follow people around or want attention?
  9. mommy9994

    mommy9994 Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    central VA
    I've learned a good deal here. Most of my questions, though, I ask my mother. She's been raising chickens off and on for 70 years. If she doesn't know or doesn't remember (unfortunately, like a lot of folks her age, there is simply a lot of things she doesn't remember), I look here.

    Like someone else said, I think a lot of people here keep thier chickens as pets. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but, my chickens are not pets, they provide food, and are food. I love my chickens, and I want them to be healthy and happy. I enjoy playing with them and watching them, but they are utilitarian. That said, I do have my light brahma hen who is old, and no longer lays-- she is now a yard decoration-- she'll never be soup
  10. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Songster

    May 26, 2007
    Yes, I agree with everyone too.

    I must admit my chickens are very spoiled. We constantly clean the coop. They always have fresh and plenty of food water and they get lots of treats. They look great and are healthy. They are also our only pets!!! We don't have cats or dogs or fish........ an occasional turtle in the summer but that's it. So they get spoiled a bit...we are not raising them for food. The only thing I try not to do is something that might not have been done "back then"...such as heating the coop. I've read a lot about this on these threads. I feel bad when it's soooo cold out there but I side with others who think this could potentially cause problems to the chicken.
    I am sure there are some who must do this as some chickens may not have been originally meant to be in the warm climate chicken...if there is a such thing, I am not sure.

    alltho- I'd love to have one of every kind there is!!! [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    We Loved the chick first and the eggs were a bonus!!!! [​IMG]

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