I want them and I'm gonna have them, but I need to prep my back garden first; setting up where the permanent coop is going to go, improving the fencing, making sure there's rodent proof storage for the food, etc. I've wanted to keep them for like a decade, but have always been in a rental situation and not really able to do so. Just bought a house and hoping this is my forever home though, so I'm not in too much of a rush any more.
>>2071039 Getting it set up can be. Depending on how elaborate your chicken coop/yard is. After that its scratch and laying pellets for food which is like 9 bucks for a 25 pound bag and that last for about 3 weeks with 8 chickens and you will need some mite dust 14 bucks for a can and that will last all summer. A bale of hay for nesting boxes 7 bucks and that will last all summer then some. If they stay healthy you wont need antibiotics. Don't know how much for that never had any sick chickens yet.
>>2070688 because chicken coops smell terrible. and when it rains they smell even worse. Plus they would destroy my gardens and lawn with scratching, and the concentrated nitrogen in their manure would be harmful to the health of the class A trout stream that runs through my yard.
there is potential threat from golden eagles and some feral cats I'm slowing dwindling down but I live in a super rural place 2 miles from anyone and think they'd be happier to just be able to strut around anywhere anytime
>>2070982 Why would you kill them after they stop laying? >>2071039 Only the coop and supplies. Up front costs are going to be at least five hundred dollars. You'll need an appropriately sized coop and run, which even for smaller flocks is going to be a little pricey unless you make it yourself. Food isn't that expensive. Fifty pounds of crumbles last maybe a month with my 14 birds, which is about sixteen dollars. Chickens themselves only cost maybe nine bucks a pop at most for rare breeds. Theyre also pretty healthy; unless you fuck something up, it's unlikely they'll get sick very often. I've had chickens most of my life and we've only ever had two or three sick birds.
>>2071599 No. Under absolutely no circumstance should you EVER intentionally raise a bird alone. I have fourteen other birds and one chick had to be raised alone because all the other chicks were killed. Even though I had other adult birds, it was extremely fearful and could not handle socializing or being around them at all. It was in a constant state of stress; It would try and fly into every single one of our windows until somebody let it inside. It only had humans to bond to as a chick, so it was extremely stressed whenever it wasn't with us. Eventually, something killed it because it would not go into chicken coop at night with the other birds. They're social animals that aren't fit to be alone. The minimum purchase for chicks is usually 6 and there's a reason for that. I've found it's pretty easy to get feed stores to waive this if you just inform them you already have chickens, but even then the least they'll give you is three. I'd say you should away have at least three birds to a flock.
>>2071690 It sounds like more than it is; it's not really a lot unless you don't have a lot of space. The 6 chick minimum is also in place to help prevent people from buying "just a few" because they're cute right now or because it'd be a cool Easter surprise. Again, it's not super strict anyway. Most feed stores will accept "I've have other chickens already" or "I have some other chicks their age" and they'll give you 3 or 4. Also, you can sell "organic cage free free range!!!" eggs pretty easily, or give them to your neighbors. When I lived in a less rural area, my neighbors always loved getting eggs from me. Also, chickens happily eat their own eggs, so you can just recycle.
Coyotes and Raccoons. We had a few and despite having a few big dogs they kept being taken every time we turned our backs. They weren't safe in their personal enclosure due raccoons literally climbing in, killing them and climbing out in the middle of the night. The only safety was inside of a locked crate at night, which had the adverse effect of having the chickens jump over the house fence to roam when let out due to being kempt up, where a coyote picks them up quickly after.
Can't shoot either animal because of a neighbor who will call police for anything and traps didn't work on the raccoons.
>>2071770 Most neighborhoods have HOAs. It's like a contract that you have to follow for living in that subdivision. We live out in the country surrounded by farms and ranches but our community is a gated development. Even though everyone around us has chickens, we cannot have them in our development per HOA. If we do, we get fined.
>>2070688 Raccoons. I have racoons in my neighborhood. In fact a few years ago I had one living in the pair of blue spruce in my back yard. An old co-worker of mine had their rabbit pulled THROUGH the fucking chicken wire in the rabbit hutch by a raccoon. the mess was incredible.
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