Lessons from Experienced Chicken Keepers

| 3/14/2014 8:20:00 AM

Tags: chickens, poultry, Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton, Virginia,

Talking chicken

As a followup to my post last month about ten tips for getting started with chickens, I thought I'd share what our chicken-keeping friends said they wished they'd known about chickens when they brought their first birds home.

Several readers told me that their biggest lesson was how easy chickens were, how fun they were, or even how much their family could learn to love their birds.  The take-home message?  Don't delay your own chicken adventure!

Others had more trouble with their poultry flock.  Jane often had to coop her birds up in the chicken tractor since they kept invading her garden and Joe found out the hard way that it's a bad idea to mix chickens of various ages.  Finally, Mason learned that roosters aren't the only noisy ones in the flock, and that even the hens can bother neighbors.  (Some breeds are much quieter than others, so be sure to take this into account when planning your flock if you live in the city.)

Grounded in the chicken tractor

One of the biggest problems many of our readers reported was chickens being eaten by owls, dogs, raccoons, and more.  I recently shared my own thoughts on protecting chickens from predators on the homestead.  My top suggestion is to make a secure coop you can close your chickens into at night, and I also recommend keeping a well-trained dog and rooster to protect the hens.  Giving your chickens plenty of bushes and brush to hide amid will help too.

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