Stories of disliking having chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LaurelC, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. LaurelC

    LaurelC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2013
    Bothell, WA
    I've wanted chickens for quite some time, but my husband has been pretty hesitant. When our friend's girlfriend moved into his house, she brought chickens with her, and they were awesome. We both loved them. The eggs were fabulous, they were hilarious to watch, and overall it was pretty neat. They were a little loud though. With .25 acre lots in our suburb, houses aren't on top of each other, but they're fairly close-in. Our friend's neighbor complained and their dogs barked at the chickens a lot.

    I've been bucking for chickens and through a combination of my husband having more interest in sustainable and healthy food sources, me nagging, and now his brother pushing for it as well (his brother likes chickens), I almost have him convinced that we should get some. He is still very concerned about the neighbors (I get it, we try our best to be good neighbors and keep things quiet/picked up, and keep the edible gardens looking presentable) and the noise.

    I did some reading on how quiet muscovy ducks are and almost have him sold on them, but found some info today saying that they only lay clutches of eggs a few times a year, which is not what we're looking for. I keep reading wonderful things about how much people love their chickens, but I don't find much about people NOT liking them. While I'm sure it's an overwhelmingly positive experience (why I want them), people must experience some level of frustration, and certainly some people get rid of them, no?


    Input, experiences, suggestions?
     
  2. barnaclebob

    barnaclebob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did your neighbors complain because the chickens were making their dogs bark or because of the chicken noise? I'm sure their dogs bark even when there are no chickens. You might want to mention to them that its a two way street and that because a noise is different from what they are used to doesn't mean that its louder than anything else. Also keep your flock a reasonable size, just big enough to meet your needs and not your desires for a flock of 12 chickens...

    The best thing you can do to keep chickens fun is to set up your coop to be as maintenance free as possible. Strive for being able to leave it untouched for a week between feeder and waterer fills.

    Also fully research your chicken laws, noise laws, dog laws, and setback requirements for coops.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  3. LaurelC

    LaurelC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The friend who had the chickens in his yard had both problems. His dogs were barking at the chickens initially, but after that calmed down, there was this one buff orpington (we called her the blonde chicken) that would make a HUGE racket constantly. Just sitting on the roost squawking as loud as she could. It was super obnoxious.

    Our dogs are not barkers and also not as neurotic as his are, so I think that the adjustment period with chickens will be much shorter if/when we get them. They also do not have a doggy door so their outdoor activities are regulated and generally supervised.

    We have no intentions of getting a ton of chickens, I'm imagining that 5 would be a reasonable number. That should eventually give us a few eggs a day (which between the 2 of us and our dogs, we can easily go through). I will do a bit of research for laws in my area, but IIRC when we looked into it last year, there isn't much legislation except for not being able to keep roosters, which we don't want anyway.


    What specifically makes it easy to leave things alone? A large feeder/waterer? Effective cover to keep things dry? I've seen coops with nesting boxes that are accessible from outside the coop. Seems like that would make things easy.

    I'd love to have a somewhat mobile coop so I can move the chickens through the yard little by little to fertilize and kill weeds and whatnot. Any cheap/easy ideas there?
     
  4. I LOVE my chickens they are soooo sweet. I currently have 9 laying hens. I get 6 - 7 eggs each day. If you want a good layer I reqeust getting Black Australorps. They are sweet and lay really well. I have 2 black Australorps they are so pretty.
     
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    The only time I've not liked having chickens is when I had WAY to many of them. Feeding and watering became an absolute chore and I seemed to be constantly cleaning the coop (I'm a little OCD about their cleanliness). Not to mention they were costing me an arm and leg in feed. But, I still didn't dislike them enough to get rid of them completely.

    Last year I got rid of all but 5 of them, I've added one grown hen and I've got 6 chicks growing out to add 2 more hens, but I have no plans of becoming overwhelmed again. With a small flock I'm back to being a completely content chicken keeper again.

    Don't let yourself get overwhelmed. Select a breed known for being docile since noise level is a concern. My flock consists of 5 Silkies and a Cochin, one of those birds is a rooster but they are very quiet. Aside from the occasional crow and an egg song muffled by the walls of their coop, I don't hear much out of them.
     
  6. LaurelC

    LaurelC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been hinting to my husband all day via email. He says no way no way on chickens.

    The muscovy ducks are pretty quiet, so I think I can at least get him on board with them (and they're big enough and have claws so I think the dogs will respect them) due to the quieter nature and needs for less specific shelter. Then once he gets hooked, it's only a matter of getting a few hens and modifying our existing setup. I grew up with Mallards and the eggs were SO GOOD. YUM!
     
  7. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Duck eggs are delicious! So are turkey eggs!

    When my hubby and I had the chicken discussion, he wanted them and I did not. He went the don't ask for permission ask for forgiveness route. I was mad, mad, mad when I came home from work that day and saw we had a new coop and 8 new chickens to live in it. But, once I got an eyeful of the fluffy cuteness and had some chicken cuddles and fresh eggs I got over it. Now they're MY chickens :lau

    HINT, HINT!
     
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  8. educate2inspire

    educate2inspire Out Of The Brooder

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    I do not know anyone who has disliked having chickens, but I too had qualms about it (out of worry that my neighbors would complain.) We just got our first 7 chicks earlier this month and it's been such a joy so far. The real test will come once we have them out in their coop! As it is someone nearby has a rooster, and the neighbor who has an adjacent yard told us he's been trying to convince his wife that they need a couple of chickens... We all laughed together over that as we imagine she'll see ours roaming the yard and finally give him the go-ahead. [​IMG]

    I imagine if you were not prepared for the costs and new chores involved with keeping chickens or you overestimate how many you want to care for it would be a negative experience, but from having them just a few weeks myself I cannot imagine regretting taking the plunge!

    Good luck convincing him!
     
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    "Chickens are dirty and smelly.". Not true. Chicken COOPS can be dirty and smelly if the owners don't maintain them or practice good husbandry. "Chickens bring diseases to your property." They may, most likely, pick up chicken diseases or parasites in the soil of your own yard. You're not going to get the Avian flu from them. You might get salmonella from eating uncooked eggs, but that is far less likely than the chance of getting it from store-bought eggs supplied by the Chicken Factory type of production. Your chickens can easily get mites from wild birds, but this is treatable with a variety of methods, the easiest of which is the use of a miticide. "Chickens are noisy.". Well, yes... Some can be quite loud, as you have discovered with that loud "blonde" hen. Rosters crowing are definitely a different sound and folks around you may be bothered. I asked my neighbors to give it six months (after giving them a dozen free eggs and then selling more to them afterwards). Fresh eggs, as you know full well, are a great selling point. Then, six months later, they hardly notice the rooster any more. My closest neighbor feeds kitchen scraps over the fence to my flock, especially when grandkids are visiting. He tells them, "That's Carl, he's the rooster." I am not fond of coop chores in rainy weather, because I have slipped and fallen on slick soil on my way to the coop... Better landscaping, pavers, etc., can mitigate that issue. I have grumpy days when I'm irritated by the entire flock milling about me as I walk anywhere, because they get daily treats; every time they see me they think it's Treat Time again. If you stick to five or six hens, it probably won't impact you as much as it does me - I have fifty hens, three roosters, 23 ducks, four turkeys and two ganders. :lau
     
  10. FtWorthChick

    FtWorthChick New Egg

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    @LaurelC - My neighborhood sounds a lot like yours...so does my husband. I patiently nagged for a couple of years :)
    He finally gave in, built an awesome coop and enjoys lots of fresh eggs. Ours dogs weren't thrilled and our neurotic bird dog spent many hours on point. After a few weeks she was back to chasing squirrels and doesn't pay much attention to the chickens. Our Aussie still goes to the run to check them out and our Orphington will usually puff up and BAWK at him. LOL
    Noise - We have 2 Barnvelders that are the loudest. The Black Star and Buff Orphington are the quietest and the best layers. The Wyandotte is also quiet but not as good of a layer. Our neighbors say they seldom hear the girls and when they do it doesn't last long.
    Smell - I scoop poop from the run and coop every day. It takes 5 minutes. I use pine shavings in the coop and also sprinkle around Sweet PDZ and Treats for Chickens Nest Box Blend (Amazon has a great price). We don't notice a smell and nobody has complained.
    I've caught my husband catching grasshoppers to feed to them and he gave up part of his garage space to store a bale of alfalfa! Our 7 yr old daughter loves to collect (and give away) eggs. She and I have learned a lot together. Overall it's been a great family experience.

    Good luck to you!
     

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