Keeping chickens in the garden: Avoid these common mistakes

Poultry keeping in the garden is possibile
Poultry keeping in the garden is possibile

Want to keep chickens in your own backyard? Get thorough information beforehand, so you can avoid these common mistakes when keeping chickens.

Happily in the garden, pawing, cooing and clucking chickens are a beautiful picture, which makes many people want to have their own chicken. The animals are not only useful pest exterminators, but also provide fresh eggs and, if you want, meat. But those who want to acquire chickens should not do so unprepared. After all, they are living creatures with their own needs. You should definitely avoid these common mistakes when keeping chickens if you want to keep happy and healthy animals.

Choosing the wrong breed

There are a lot of chicken breeds worldwide. Many of them are regional specialties, of which there are only small populations. Depending on the breed, the animals differ not only in size, color and behavior, but also in their quality as egg or meat suppliers. Too many people choose chickens for their decorative value and then experience unpleasant surprises. Therefore, get advice from a breeder before buying. Otherwise, you run the risk that the hoped-for eggs fail to appear, the animals are quarrelsome or do not tolerate the climatic conditions well and fall ill.

Too little space per chicken

The image of chickens sitting on the roost in their coop all day is false and shaped by modern factory farming. To live in a species-appropriate way, chickens need plenty of room to run around. Eight to ten square meters (86 to 107 Square Feet) per animal should be at least. Chickens like to move freely in the garden and only retreat to the coop to sleep or brood. So before you buy chickens, plan exactly how much garden you want to cede to the animals. Based on the space then measure the number of animals that can be kept species-appropriate.

Wrong chicken feed

Chickens that have sufficient run in the yard or garden are to a large extent self-sufficient. They eat grains, but also worms, insects, small snails, seeds and greens. However, the feed that the animals find outside is usually not enough. Therefore, grain or concentrated feed mixtures for chickens must be fed. If the animals do not get enough calcium, the eggshell becomes brittle. If deficient, the animals often stop laying eggs and may even become ill. Avocado, onions and citrus fruits have no place in the chicken coop, they are toxic to chickens and can even kill the animals. Raw meat should not be fed, as this can lead to feather pecking and cannibalism among the chickens.

Underestimated noise

A common mistake made when keeping chickens in your own backyard is not informing your neighbors. While chickens are not as noisy as a dog, for example, they certainly have a communicative streak. While the gurgling and cooing of the scratching chickens pleases one, it gets on the nerves of the other. If a rooster is added to the mix, which rouses the residents from their sleep early in the morning with a spirited crowing, the good neighborly relations could quickly come to an end.

Do not register chickens

In most countries, poultry keepers are obliged to register their animals with the veterinary office and the animal disease insurance fund. It does not matter whether the keeping is private or professional or how many animals you keep. Registration is important so that in the event of a disease outbreak, for example, bird flu, safety measures can be taken to prevent uncontrolled spread. There are severe penalties in the event of a proven disease spread. You should also keep a herd register as well as proof of vaccination of the animals.

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