We at Chickens for Backyards think that everyone should experience the joys of raising backyard chickens. But we also understand that many people have concerns about taking the leap into the world of chickens. While many of these concerns are legitimate, just as many are based on myths and misconceptions. That’s why we’re taking the time today to debunk these common myths and to further encourage people to start raising backyard chickens.
We’re not going to pretend that raising backyard chickens is a walk in the park. Nevertheless, chickens require no more care or responsibility than other animals and pets. If you’ve cared for dogs all of your life, you can likely handle chickens. They just need a different kind of care, not more of it. If you want to learn more about caring for backyard chickens, check out our beginner’s guide here.
Myth #2: Chickens are smelly
Yes, you may have to deal with unpleasant smells from time to time, but chickens are no smellier than we are. So long as chickens are kept clean and healthy, then they’ll produce little to no odors. This can be easily accomplished using the deep litter method, which helps keep coops clean and waste-free. And while cleaning up chicken feces is no treat, you’ll actually be cleaning up less feces than you would with a dog. It’s true—10 chickens produce up to 2/3 pounds of waste, while a 40-pound dog produces up to ¾ pounds.
Myth #3: Chickens are noisy
If you have a flock full of hens, you won’t have to worry about noise. While they will cluck, their clucking is no noisier than normal human conversations. It’s certainly a lot quieter than a neighbor’s lawn mower or a barking dog. Roosters, on the other hand, can be noisy. It is why many suburbs and urban areas prohibit roosters within town or city limits. However, there are ways you can quiet a noisy rooster before the problem gets out of hand.
Myth #4: You need roosters for hens to lay eggs
Speaking of roosters, many people believe they’re necessary for hens to lay eggs. This is completely false. If you want fertilized eggs, then yes, you will need a rooster. But if you want fresh eggs like you get from the grocery store, then hens will be able to produce them all on their own.
Myth #5: Chickens carry diseases
Because many people think chickens are dirty and smelly, they often believe that they carry diseases as well. However, chickens are at no more risk of carrying diseases than dogs or cats. Plus, by providing a healthy and clean environment, you can drastically reduce the risk of disease transmission. You can also get your chickens vaccinated to fight back against common diseases.
Myth #6: Chickens lay eggs every day
Many of us get started with raising backyard chickens so that we can enjoy a fresh batch of eggs in the morning. And while you will certainly have an ample supply of eggs, don’t assume that all of your chickens will lay eggs every single day. Chickens lay about 5-6 eggs per week, but this number can be impacted by their health, environment, and their age. Age is a critical factor, as the older a chicken gets, the less eggs they produce.
Side Note: A very recent myth about eggs is the elusive black egg. However, black chicken eggs do not exist, and the pictures currently circulating around the internet are likely fake.
Myth #7: Chickens attract pests, rodents, and predators
Chickens will not increase the number of pests, rodents, or predators that you currently have in your environment. What will increase their numbers is if you leave out food or create an unhealthy, dirty environment in the coop or run. However, so long as you keep everything neat and tidy, then there won’t be an uptick in pests, rodents, or predators around your home.
Now that we’ve dispelled some of these common myths, do you feel you’re ready to start raising backyard chickens? If so, look through our shop at Chickens for Backyards or contact us with any other questions you may have!