Backyard Chickens for City Coops

The city has many challenges for keeping chickens. Noise, space, time, and lifestyles are but a few. When deciding what chickens to get take some consideration tothe breed type.

Chickens come in all kinds of models. They are like dogs and cats. Purebred chickens can be shown at competitions just like dogs and cats. Thers big ones, little ones, ones that hatch eggs, and ones that lay eggs. Thers some that are noisy and some that like to fly. Takingthe needs of the chickens into consideration will make a happier flock and produce more eggs.

The heavier breeds are less likely to want to fly. I have a small group of Brown Leghorns (pronounced leggerns I dont know why) and they are lightweight, eat less, but can fly even with a clipped wing. Ive had to get them from the street before, several times. They are skiddish and nervous breed of birds. However they lay an egg a day, almost everyday. I didnt know that they would fly off with ease. I thought they were wellsummers, but didnt do my homework 100%. Welsummers look a lot like brown leghorns but have a brown ear patch, Leghorns have a white ear patch.

The heavier breed chickens generally arent as flighty but eat more. The are usually friendlier too. I like to let my chickens roam around the yard eating grass and bugs and what not. The next group II got are not as flghty and come up to you. They are light Sussex. A heavy dual purpose breed that is very friendly.

Orpingtons lay well and are docile, as are the brahma line of chickens. They take longer to mature and more feed but are a better choice over other breeds. They do well in smaller areas, as do Rhode Island Reds, and black astralorps. The barred rock is a good one too.

In a nutshell do your research before you get a breed of chickens. Figure out what you have to offer. WIll they be caged all the time, or free ranged? Do you like running around the neighborhood chasing them with a net? Do you care if they are more petlike or stay out from under your feet?

Egg production is the most questioned aspect but the best egglayers are not always the best urban chicken to have for your needs. There are hybrid crosses that lay very well. Figure out what you need, just like you would a dog or cat breed. Everyone will be more satisfied and happy. Happy chickens make happy eggs.

Many people do not get chickens in an urban lot thinking they will stink. If you have a dog and do not pick up after it there will be stink too. Wood shavings, hay, straw, and other such floor coverings will help prevent smelly chickens. Cleaning and replacing the bedding weekly will ensure that you have to stinky chickens. Another common method is to use a tractor. A tractor can be moved around easily in areas that need the fertilizer without letting it build too much to present a problem.

Keeping your chicken coop away from teh property line is a big consideration for your neighbors. Many cities have an ordinance about how far away from the property line you can keep your chickens. I dont know of any ordinances to keep dogs away from a property line though.

A well managed flock will create a fresh and healthy supply of eggs, reduce your garbage waste (by feeding your chooks and converting those trimmings into eggs), weed and bug proof your lawn, fertilize and thatch your lawn, and provide you the companionship of a semi intelligent animal (that is debateable I suppose).

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