Official BYC Poll: What Is Your Least Favorite Thing About Keeping Chickens?

What is your least favorite thing about keeping chickens?

  • Cleaning out poopy bedding.

    Votes: 119 32.0%
  • Preventing picking and overcrowding.

    Votes: 29 7.8%
  • Keeping one step ahead of predators

    Votes: 60 16.1%
  • Coping with illness/parasites.

    Votes: 145 39.0%
  • Refreshing & refilling the feed and water.

    Votes: 26 7.0%
  • Closing your flock up at night and letting them out in the morning.

    Votes: 21 5.6%
  • Dealing with aggressive roosters

    Votes: 36 9.7%
  • Nothing! I love everything about it.

    Votes: 20 5.4%
  • Other (elaborate in a reply below)

    Votes: 58 15.6%
  • Dealing with death in the flock

    Votes: 153 41.1%

  • Total voters
    372

chickmamato7

Songster
Aug 13, 2020
211
451
141
Rochester, NY
It may seem weird, but I don't mind cleaning the poop, I find it relaxing to rake & scoop poop as I visit my girls. I have a sand-based run and scoop 3x a day (or more), so it stays pretty clean and so do their feet & mine:).

What I hate the most is refilling the waterer in the dead of winter with frozen fingers and toes. Not looking forward to that chore again & thinking I may splurge on another waterer, so I can fill it in the house and just quickly switch them out.
 

fairfeatherfriend

Chirping
12 Years
Jun 23, 2009
32
26
89
Bothell, WA
We designed the chicken coop so that when the birds all roost over the bedding and, if kept dry and turned, even in rainy Washington the poop was not excessive with 12 or so birds. But, cleaning the coop every few months was not my favorite thing.... However, my very least favorite thing was dealing with pests - particularly rats. The area became badly infested, largely because we were reluctant to bait the rodents for a long time.
 

fairfeatherfriend

Chirping
12 Years
Jun 23, 2009
32
26
89
Bothell, WA
We designed the coop so that the girls could roost over the bedding. We then found that if we kept the bedding turned and dry - even in rainy Washington the poop was manageable with our flock of 12 or so birds. Even though cleaning the coop every few months was not very pleasant, my very least favorite thing was dealing with predators - particularly rats. We were reluctant to bait them, not wanting to deal with any type of poison. But the infestation became so out of control that we had not choice but to call an exterminator.
 

dirkandlorie

Songster
7 Years
Jan 15, 2014
161
1,037
240
Bowling Green, Ky
I was really shocked how quickly one of our hens went from looking ill to being dead, in only a few hours. We did get to the vet the day after for an autopsy, and her intestants had stuck together, not really sure why.

I also voted other:
1: broody hens who refuse to give up (but our eggs are not fertilized :rolleyes:)
2: alternative nests (like underneath the stingy bushes)
Her intestines stuck together!!!! Wow! Who would've thought something like that could happen!
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
6 Years
Sep 26, 2015
2,508
3,327
407
Portland OR
Indeed.

We had to have part of our yard re-graded after the house was installed because of the damage done between the previous owner's ill-judged work and the damage done by the septic installers piling dirt at the lower edge of the field.

A contractor who really knows what he's doing when it comes to directing water is worth his weight in gold.

Oh brother!!! That sucks!
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
6 Years
Sep 26, 2015
2,508
3,327
407
Portland OR
Putting the babies outside once their fully feathered. It's like sending the kids to kindergarten all over again!
And trying to teach them the art of the ramp to go back IN while the older birds make it hard for them. Much easier with broody raised chicks except those first few days outside when there are always a couple who get lost and are impossible to catch while screeching for mom.
 

Martaals

Songster
Jan 20, 2020
164
625
146
The Netherlands
Her intestines stuck together!!!! Wow! Who would've thought something like that could happen!
Yeah, they couldn't really find the reason for it, but we found her lethargic on Sunday around 10 and by 15 she was dead. We tried to get a vet but it was impossible, the emergency was open but they had no one with any knowledge on birds and said straight out that it would be useless to come there. After the autopsy (done by an avian vet after the weekend) they also said they would not have been able to save her without a surgery, and they might not have known what to do because it would have been really hard to know where the issue was. The soue crop was obvious, but there can be so many reasons for that. The only good thing was it was nothing infectious.
 

SayChicken

Chirping
Jun 16, 2021
40
102
76
Death of a bird is the worst! My least favorite is finding an chicken with an illness and can’t get them treatment in time before they die.😢 Or I think they are doing better and I’ve saved them from illness only to find them dead in the coop in the morning. 😢 Or even worse, a predator gets to one and they are so injured you have to put them down. 😩😓😢
How do you put them down?
 

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