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View Diary: Build a Chicken Coop Movement: my backyard garden so far (35 comments)

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  •  Urban Chicken Movement May Be a Bad Idea (3+ / 0-)

    Slate article

    Besides the many and obvious drawbacks to the scheme pointed out in the piece, many animal control services are being called upon to capture and eliminate the chickens "abandoned" by their owners too squeamish to eat the hens that stop laying, which they do after 18 mos to 2 years, instead of undertaking the expense of keeping them properly for their entire lifespans, which averages 5 years+.

    You really want to stink up your kitchen, furniture, and window treatments with the powerful stench of gutted chickens, burnt feathers, and scalded flesh?  All of which must be endured if you eat your backyard butchering.

    Many backyard chicken keepers are reluctant to clean the pet dog's droppings; I don't see them having a change of heart when it comes to their pet chickens' ditto.

    This is a fad that sounds good at first blush but doesn't withstand reasonable and thorough examination of the unintended consequences.

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    by Limelite on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 03:26:19 PM PDT

    •  We can hardly be surprised (5+ / 0-)

      that there are irresponsible chicken owners; after all, there are plenty of irresponsible cat and dog owners, too.

      My daughter and I just rescued one of those abandoned chickens from our neighborhood. Took us a week of baiting and setting a live trap in various places before the hen, who we named "Tough Cookie", actually showed up in our own yard. We suspect she heard our chickens, and since their instinct to flock is so strong, just had to come over.

      I caught her, finally, by herding her into our chicken tractor. No way was she going near that trap.

      We rehomed her with a very experienced chicken keeping friend of ours. He reports that she's a great layer, although she's probably always going to be fairly wild.

      By the way: I've picked up both dog droppings and chicken droppings, and there's no contest. Dog droppings are foul and stinky. Chicken droppings are, generally speaking, odorless. Only about one out of every dozen or so droppings is a cecal manure, and smelly.

      And, of course, composted chicken manure is black gold for your garden. Can't say the same about dog poo.

    •  Chicken poop is good fertilizer though ... (3+ / 0-)

      I know rodents (RATS) are a big problem too.

      I wonder if rabbits would be smarter? I know there are giant hamsters or other that are raised and eaten in South America.

    •  Chickens are great (3+ / 0-)

      I have five wonderful chickens (well, I do get annoyed when they scare the cats and take away their lizards but otherwise they are great).  I have two Orpingtons, two Australorps, and one Light Sussex-all great layers.  They have the run of the backyard during the day and stay in the coop at night.  Chickens are very easy to keep and they can lay for quite a number of years, just not as much as when they are young.  My chickens are over two years old and still laying quite regularly.  Having chickens isn't a fad.  In fact, it used to be considered "patriotic".  Granted,  one needs a little room but it is an easy thing to do.  I haven't found any drawbacks except for mine bothering the cats.  As for the droppings, I use pine litter in the coop and the droppings, mixed with that, make excellent compost for the vegetable garden.

    •  Sounds like a business opportunity for a local (2+ / 0-)

      small time door to door butcher service.

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