There is a great deal of information on backyard chicken keeping all over the internet as the hobby grows in leaps and bounds. We wanted to tackle the common myths we at Carolina Coops hear every day.
There is the mindset that chicken coops are unattractive, but they don’t have to be. We think chicken coops can be both functional and beautiful.
Screening the bottom of the henhouse is bad for your flock’s feet and the poop will not fall through the screen.
Screening the bottom of the run is also bad because your chickens need to scratch, and they will and potentially cut their feet, which can lead to bumblefoot. They also need to dig for bugs and to dust bathe. In other words, they need to do all the chicken things.
There are many ways to take the time-consuming chores out of chicken keeping. Besides the deep litter system, you can get a large capacity feeder (We love CoopWorx Feed Silo), an automatic chicken run door, and a poultry water system (heated or unheated).
These are some essentials that lead to a set-it-and-forget-it system, so you can spend time enjoying your chickens.
You can have lots of different types of chickens in your flock. ‘One of each!’ is what we like to say. You can also have ducks, peahens & peacocks, turkeys, and geese.
If you want to add quail, just make sure they cannot free range, because they likely won’t come back.
Anyone who has chickens will tell you that they love to pick a favorite nest box, and when one likes it, then they all do.
And, that favorite can change at any time…and usually does.
Heating the henhouse or any part of the coop is a big mistake in our books. People often think chickens will be cold in the harsh winters, but most are equipped to handle the cold.
Chickens need consistency in temperature. It’s worse to have a huge drop in temps from a heated henhouse to the cold run or field for your flock.
Cold drafts should also be avoided, so make sure your henhouse is still ventilated, but not very drafty where they will sleep.
Fires like the one pictured above happen all too often and can be avoided.
Anyone with chickens has heard the famous ‘egg song.’ That’s the sound a hen usually makes after she lays an egg. Sometimes chickens will make this sound to alert each other too, and a bunch of hens will join in the chorus.
But as a rule, hens aren’t noisy. (Roosters are another story and will crow throughout the day). There are so many other daily noises that far exceed a hen at her loudest.
We hear constantly that people think they can’t have chickens because they have so many predators nearby. Everyone has predators, it’s a fact of life. Whether it’s hawks, eagles, neighborhood dogs, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and the list goes on.
The key is to protect your flock from nocturnal predators with a strongly constructed coop. Half-inch PVC coated hardware cloth attached securely with stainless steel staples is a must. Most predators will find a weak spot in your hardware cloth before you do.
A simple predator apron helps for digging predators. As for daytime predators you can protect with poultry netting and fencing. Or else you may have to figure out how comfortable you will be with a certain amount of loss due to predators.
This is a common comment about chickens and chicken coops. The key to making sure your coop doesn’t stink is to first make sure you aren’t overloading your chicken coop.
You want to find the right coop to chicken ratio and still leave room to grow your flock. (Because chicken math is real!)
Topping our list at number one backyard chicken keeping myths is…you need a rooster to get eggs.
We acknowledge that roosters definitely have their place with a backyard flock. However, our advice is unless you are breeding chickens, and if you just have chickens for eggs (and/or meat) you probably shouldn’t have a rooster. They tend to stress out the hens, and many people keep too many roosters per hen. (we advise 8-10 hens per roo)
Hens start to lay eggs at about 5 months (depending on the breed). Think about how women ovulate each month, it’s the same thing except hens do it with more frequency. Without a rooster, the hen’s egg isn’t fertilized.