Chickens are wonderful animals to own, even if you don’t count their many advantages, including fresh eggs and fertilizer.
But let’s not beat around the bush, those two features are among the best aspects of keeping these birds as pets.
However, not everyone feels the same way about chickens.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding urban chickens, which can put many people off when it comes to owning or even tolerating them.
Hopefully, by debunking some of the most common myths about urban chickens, you’ll hopefully be able to see why they can be such an asset to your or your neighbor’s backyard.
Why Keep and Employ a Family Flock?
With the rise of green thumbs everywhere, more and more people are delving into agriculture and learning how to grow their own food.
As chickens come with a wealth of benefits related to these, a lot of folk want to raise their own flock.
Chickens aren’t just valuable egg and meat providers; they’re also pretty handy at creating fertilizer, top soil, insecticides, biomass recyclers, and more. Therapy chickens can even offer calming effects to people of all ages.
But not everyone knows how great these animals are. In fact, there are a lot of false claims and myths about chickens out there.
So, let’s try and correct that and disprove some of the most popular misconceptions once and for all!
Myth 1. Urban Chickens Carry Diseases
A lot of people think urban chickens are linked to salmonella and avian flu, but this simply isn’t true.
Large multi-million factory farms house birds in tight, unsanitary living conditions and are who you can look to blame for the prevalence of these two diseases.
Small flocks have virtually zero risk of spreading avian flu to humans. In fact, directly on the Centers for Disease Control website it states that: “There is no need at present to remove a family flock of chickens because of concerns regarding avian flu.”
Additionally, salmonella is not an illness caused by chickens; it’s linked to poor food handling methods.
Myth 2. Chickens Are Noisy
While roosters can certainly make a lot of noise in the morning (they have the same decibel level of a barking dog!), hens are nowhere near as much of a nuisance.
Even at their loudest, laying hens only have the same decibel level (65 decibels) that is generally experienced in a human conversation.
As they aren’t particularly loud animals, many chicken owners have kept their flock for years with their neighbors never even noticing!
Myth 3. Waste and Odor
Did you know that a 40-pound dog produces more waste per day (around ¾ pounds) than 10 chickens (⅔ pounds)?
While both dog and chicken poop is rather unpleasant in smell, chicken manure does have benefits.
If you compost chicken manure, it eventually becomes a high-nitrogen fertilizer that is excellent for growing plants and crops.
This can’t be said for doggy doo!
Myth 4. Chickens Attract Predators, Pests, and Rodents
Urban areas are already full of pesky rodents, predators, and pests.
A family flock of chickens alone will not increase these numbers.
But left out garbage, wild bird feeders, fish ponds, gardens, and pet food certainly will attract the likes of foxes, raccoons, rodents, and flies.
Modern chicken tractors, micro-flock coops or elevated coops, as well as fencing all help repel nuisances like pests and rodents.
Chickens Can Help Reduce Pests
Besides, chickens are omnivores!
They naturally seek out fleas, mosquitoes, ticks, stink bugs, grasshoppers, and even slugs to feast on.
They’ve also been known to eat mice, small snakes, and baby rats.
Myth 5. Property Values Will Decrease
Another big misconception regarding chickens is that they decrease property values.
Well, in Forbes Magazine’s “Most Desirable Cities”, 7 out of 10 cities featured allow backyard chickens.
Furthermore, there hasn’t ever been a documented case of a home suddenly decreasing in value due to a family flock living next door.
Some realtors and home sellers even offer free coops with every property sale. So, that’s a myth that is well and truly debunked!
Myth 6. Coops Are Ugly
Although you might not believe it, coop designs can be incredibly charming and stylish.
They can all be constructed in ways that make them blend in with the local architecture and color scheme.
You could also plant flowers, shrubs, and/or install attractive fencing around your coop to make it look more homely and aesthetically pleasing.
Myth 7. What Will The Neighbors Think?
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion – but that doesn’t mean you have to listen to it. While plenty of people are supportive of backyard chickens, there will always be individuals strictly against them.
If you provide your neighbors with facts on the advantages of chickens, then you might be able to change their mind if they’re staunchly opposed to the idea.
But even if their opinion doesn’t waver, you shouldn’t let that stand in your way!
Civic Chicks Are Valuable Assets
Chickens are valuable bio-recyclers, which is a benefit that isn’t talked about often enough regarding these lovable birds! They can prevent a lot of waste from going into the garbage.
Chickens will happily eat pretty much any type of kitchen waste, including slightly “gone-off” leftovers that would otherwise go straight into the trash.
As mentioned before, their poop is also a fantastic fertilizer.
Simply combine their manure with grass clippings and leaves to create a nutrient-rich compost and top soil.
Not only are these creatures a joy to own, but they also have many sustainable attributes that can serve local agriculture and home gardens. And, I haven’t even mentioned the main attraction: delicious, freshly-laid eggs!