Chicken Keeping | The Dusty, Smelly Truth

chicken poop, chicken mites, chicken illness, chicken injury, chicken vet, chicken predators, chicken keeping | the dusty, smelly truth

Hi there! So you’ve been searching on Pinterest and the idea of keeping backyard chickens looks so fun.  It seems so picturesque and wholesome. You’ve seen the pics of kids holding chickens and collecting eggs and it seems like something you really want to do. Sound familiar? Well, I have a few things to discuss that may change your mind.  But maybe not! As your trusted guide, I feel it necessary to share some of the not-so-pleasant facts about raising chickens. Keep reading for Chicken Keeping | The Dusty, Smelly Truth:

READ>> Chicken Keeping Basics | How to Get Started Raising Backyard Chickens


Chickens are dirty!  They scratch in the dirt and dust bathe all day long and create a LOT of dust. Cobwebs are abundant in chicken coops.  I promise your coop will NOT look like one of the adorable WHITE shabby chic coops you see on Pinterest. Those coops look that way for the photo shoot and are disgusting again in an hour. Truth!


Chickens poop a LOT.  Like every few minutes.  There will always be poop in your chicken coop even if you clean it everyday. The more chickens you have the more poop you will have to clean up. Chicken poop is really stinky. It will be on your shoes, hands, eggs. It’s completely unavoidable.

READ >> Chicken Keeping Basics | How to Get Started Raising Backyard Chickens

Veterinary Care

There are very few vets who treat chickens.  If one of your chickens gets hurt or sick it’s all on you to figure out what to do.  I have had a several situations that required a trip to Tractor supply for veterinary supplies. They all ended well, but very stressful at the time. For chicken illness and injury I highly recommend: Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens. It’s an excellent guide.


Chickens can get mites. And flies will be drawn to the poop in your coop.  There are ways to keep insects in control but they can not be avoided. I talk about tips and tricks on minimizing the insects in your coop in my course Chicken Keeping Basics | How to Get Started Raising Backyard Chickens


Depending on where you live predators could become a big problem for you. In New England we have hawks, black bears, fox, bobcats, and weasels. Sometimes when predators learn about the chickens in your yard they may become obsessed and continue to return night after night. I have heard countless stories from friends and neighbors who have had their entire flocks wiped out by a persistent predator. So discouraging. For information on building a chicken fortress see my article on Chicken Coop Construction: How to Build a Predator Proof Chicken Coop

So there you have it.  Chicken Keeping | The Dusty, Smelly Truth. My confession that raising chickens is not ALL fun.  To me the positives outweigh the negatives. By far!  Still, chicken keeping is not for the faint of heart.  You are running a miniature farm after all and you will have to deal with some of the unpleasantness farmers have dealt with for centuries.  I discuss these issues in further depth throughout my course (and many more!)

Sign up for my course here: Chicken Keeping Basics | How to Get Started Raising Backyard Chickens

Still think backyard chickens are for you after reading Chicken Keeping | The Dusty, Smelly Truth?  GREAT! Continue reading:

Rebecca is a mom, wife, real estate broker, decorator, party planner, chicken keeper, and gardener

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