Lots of people get chickens thinking that they are easy to care for. The truth is that chickens are cute, but you need to understand the truth about them to make sure that you’re giving them the care they need. So, are chickens dirty?
An increasing number of homeowners want to keep chickens in their backyards. However, sometimes they don’t know how to care for them, and this is why many chickens end up in shelters or on the street. Keep on reading to find out more about these lovely animals.
Why Do People Keep Chickens?
Backyard chickens are fluffy sweet birds that everybody in the family will fall in love with. In addition to giving them the love and care they need and deserve, you need to think about the best way to care for these feathery creatures. So, why do people raise chickens in the first place? Here are a few reasons.
- Chickens lay eggs. When you raise your own chickens, you guarantee that you will have fresh eggs every single day, and you know that your eggs will be free of chemicals that commercial breeders might use.
You can control the nutritional content of the eggs by controlling the food you give to your chickens. You can even sell the extra eggs as most breeds will provide you with 1 egg per every hen you own.
- Chicken manure is an excellent fertilizer that you can use in your home garden. If you’re growing your veggies and fruits, the chicken manure will provide your crops with the right amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
- The manure can also be composted and used in growing shrubs and flowers in your lawn or backyard. You don’t have to use chemical fertilizers, especially if you have children and pets that enjoy playing in the garden. These chemicals are too dangerous, and you can grow healthy plants and flowers without them.
- If you’re looking for a lovable pet that brings love and fun to your family, you can keep chickens as pets. They’re incredibly sweet, especially towards children.
Each chicken has an individual personality, so some of them might be funny, while others might be shy, playful, or grumpy. It will be fun to explore the different personalities in your backyard flock, and you might find a specific bird attracted to one person in the family.
- Raising chickens will help you keep your garden or backyard pest-free without using any pesticides or insecticides. If you have crickets, grasshoppers, snails, or any other bugs that are infesting your garden, your chickens will help you get rid of them because they will eat them.
- Chickens will keep your backyard in perfect shape because they feed on weeds and fallen fruits. As a result, these fallen fruits won’t rot in your backyard or attract any bugs.
- These beautiful birds are not picky eaters, so they will eat anything you offer them. This includes salad leftovers, rice, nuts, seeds, vegetable peelings, and fruits that no one wants to eat.
As long as you’re providing them with nutritious and clean food, your chickens will stay in good health and will provide you with healthy eggs. They will also help you control the amount of garbage you dispose of every day.
- If you’re growing your chickens for meat, you will enjoy healthier meat with fewer fats and fewer calories. You’ll also guarantee that your chickens will be free of chemicals.
Are Chickens Dirty?
Even though raising your flock of backyard chickens will be an exceptionally rewarding experience, you need to understand how to take care of them. Any living creature that eats, drinks, takes dirt baths, and poops can be thought of as a dirty animal. Chickens interact with the soil and bugs every day, but this doesn’t mean that they’re filthy.
As a matter of fact, chickens spend a considerable amount of time taking care of and cleaning their feathers every single day. So, it’s unlikely to see soil or dirt trapped in their plumage. However, if you don’t provide your birds with the right care and maintenance, they won’t be as clean as you wish them to.
The truth is that the term “dirty chickens” is inaccurate because it simply means chickens that aren’t cared for. If you feel that your chickens are dirty, you’re probably not paying them enough attention.
All farm animals step into their waste and move around, not knowing what got trapped in their feet. However, this behavior is perfectly natural and doesn’t make chickens dirtier than any other farm animal.
You can have control over chickens’ health and hygiene by paying attention to a few factors.
Space Per Bird
When you’re designing a chicken coop or planning to keep your chickens in the backyard, you need to make sure that space isn’t overly crowded.
Chickens aren’t litter trained, and this means that if you have a large number of chickens, the space where they play and live will be covered in filth in no time. As a rule, each chicken should have about square feet of space in the coop and about 10 square feet in an outside living area.
Providing your chickens with enough space is also essential for their health because they need to run and roam freely. Providing your chickens with enough play area will make them happier. In the coop, every chicken should have a comfortable space to sleep in, and you should be able to access it easily for cleaning.
Keep the Area Dry
When chickens get in touch with wet mud, they won’t be able to clean their feathers. Mud is challenging to clean and will easily get trapped into the chickens’ feet spreading around the coop.
It’s a good idea to provide your chickens with an area where they can dry off. Make sure that there are enough straws or wood shavings where chickens can rub off wet mud and keep their feet and feathers dry. This will come in handy, especially after rain, when the dry soil turns to mud.
Use the Deep Litter Method
You need to clean out the coop on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on the number of chickens you have. However, once a year, you should give your coop a thorough cleaning.
The chicken poop or litter can be used to create compost for your garden. The deep litter method is easy to maintain and guarantees that your coop won’t smell.
This is a sustainable method of managing chicken litter by turning it into compost. The idea is to build a litter pile with a layer of wood shavings at the bottom. You should avoid using cedar shavings because cedar oil is toxic to chickens.
The chickens will scratch the floor of the coop to aerate your compost, and you can add corn to encourage this behavior. This is beneficial for the chickens because they get exposed to good bacteria.
You can add more clay to increase absorption if you feel that there’s too much moisture. When it’s time to clean the coop, you can take the litter away and keep it in a compost bin if you feel that it’s not ready yet.
Is it Healthy to Keep Chickens in Your House?
Although chickens are amazing creatures, it’s not recommended to keep them in the house. They’re not litter trained, and one chicken can turn your house into a mess unless you’ll be cleaning after it all day long.
They poop way too much and will poop everywhere in the coop.
Chickens are outdoor farm animals and enjoy spending time in the sun. Keeping your chickens inside isn’t right for them or your family. They flap their wings quite a lot, and this means that any dust, dirt, fecal mites, or any bugs trapped in the wings would spread into the air in the house.
Although people would love to keep their chickens as close as possible, it’s best to keep your chickens outside where they can pick the ground and play.
Chickens are amazing animals to keep, but you need to know how to take care of them. Chickens aren’t dirty animals if you take care of them properly. You need to provide your chickens with a spacious outdoor living area as well as a comfortable coop where they can rest.